Police: Alfonzo Dennard of Patriots arrested for DUI


In the thick of a troubling offseason for the New England Patriots, the team has encountered more bad news.

Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was arrested and cited for driving under the influence, then released, Lincoln (Neb.) Police Department spokeswoman Katie Flood told NFL.com and NFL Network on Thursday morning.

The Omaha World-Herald first reported the news.

Dennard, who was alone in the vehicle, was stopped just before 2 a.m. CT on Thursday, after a sergeant with the Lincoln Police Department observed a red Honda Accord sedan straddling lane lines.

Upon contact, Dennard emitted an odor of alcohol and displayed signs of impairment, Flood said. Standardized field sobriety tests were conducted at the scene, and Dennard, 23, was transported to Cornhusker Place, a licensed substance abuse treatment center, for a formal breath test, but he would not provide an adequate breath sample for testing, according to Flood. He was not jailed.

Dennard also was cited for refusal of a chemical test and straddling lane lines, Flood said. Dennard has a court date scheduled for Aug. 12, and Flood added that the Lincoln City Attorney's Office will determine what charges Dennard will face, if any.

This isn't Dennard's first run-in with the law. Three months ago, he was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 24 months of probation after he was found guilty of felony assault on a police officer and resisting arrest in connection to an April 2012 incident. The judge in that case said she would permit Dennard to wait until March 1, 2014 to serve his sentence. It's unclear if this incident will alter that decision, but either way, Dennard faces the possibility of punishment from the NFL.

A seventh-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2012, Dennard slid down draft boards because of the incident with the police officer.

The Patriots took a gamble on Dennard, who is projected to start across from Aqib Talib this season. Now, in a summer filled with legal trouble for the Patriots after former tight end Aaron Hernandez was charged with first-degree murder, it will be interesting to see how the franchise ultimately responds to this latest disruption.

UPDATES:  NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Friday, via a source who has heard specifics of Dennard's side of the incident, that Dennard attempted to blow for a Breathalyzer test at least twice. Each time, the attempt was not deemed to have been blown hard enough to meet officers' qualifications. That number was believed to be below the legal limit. He was not asked to take a blood test. Thus, he was described as not complying. The source told Rapoport the results of the field sobriety test did not indicate someone under the influence. Dennard did not "fail" it, he was told. In the police report, the outcome of the test is not noted, just that it occurred.

The Patriots released the following statement in response to Dennard's latest arrest: "The New England Patriots are extremely disappointed to learn of Alfonzo Dennard's arrest. We take this matter very seriously and are working to get more information on the incident."

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league "will look into it, as we would any such incident, but will not speculate on an outcome until all the facts are known."

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.