Former NFL star found asleep behind wheel in suspected DUI case, officers say
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — An attorney for former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch pleaded not guilty on his behalf in a Las Vegas courtroom Monday on charges including DUI.
Lynch, 36, faces charges of DUI liquor and/or drugs, driving an unregistered vehicle, and failure to drive in a travel lane for the August incident where Las Vegas Metro police found him asleep in his car.
He did not appear in court Monday. Lynch’s lawyers have argued the case does not constitute a DUI. Nevada law states a person sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle is deemed “in physical control,” of the vehicle.
Officers arrested Lynch after a traffic stop at Fairfield and West Utah avenues around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9, the 8 News Now Investigators first reported. Officers said they found him “asleep behind the wheel with the vehicle in an undrivable condition.” The car, a 2020 Shelby GT500 Coupe, was unregistered, police said.
Police said Lynch was asleep with the driver’s side door open while leaning back in the seat. Lynch began speaking to the officers and then fell back asleep several times, a report said. Officers smelled alcohol on his breath and in his car and noticed that he had bloodshot eyes and was only wearing one shoe.
Lynch told police he was not drinking and does not do drugs, but said he stole the car, the report said. He was taken to jail, where he had to be restrained in a chair for corrections officers to draw a blood sample.
A trial in the DUI case was scheduled for May 24, the court ordered Monday.
Lynch’s attorney, Richard Schonfeld, said he planned to file a motion to suppress evidence investigators obtained from the car’s GPS unit.
Lynch had faced an additional charge of failure or refusal to surrender proof of insurance, but prosecutors dropped the charge before Monday’s hearing.
Lynch was involved in a previous crash on Feb. 22 that led to a parking ticket, the 8 News Now Investigators first reported last summer. He was driving on Tropicana Avenue near Santoro Drive around 4 a.m. when his Lamborghini Aventador “collided with landscaping and a fence,” police wrote in a report.
Metro police body camera videos showed Lynch’s car sitting in the landscaped area as police try to determine who was driving it. Officers suspected Lynch was driving at “a high rate of speed” when his car veered off the road, hit a curb, and traveled about 50 feet before stopping on top of the boulder.
Three days after the crash, police met with Lynch who owned up to driving, they wrote in the report. Lynch told officers he was new to the neighborhood and that he left the crash site “to avoid being placed on video,” the report said.
Police cited Lynch for the crash and did not arrest him. Court records show Lynch pleaded nolo contendere — accepting violation but denying guilt — to a charge of stopping, standing, or parking prohibited in specified places, which is a misdemeanor. A judge ordered him to pay a $750 fine.
Lynch most recently played for the Seattle Seahawks and played for the then-Oakland Raiders for the 2017-2018 season.