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Chargers DT Williams arrested on suspicion of DUI

SAN DIEGO -- Chargers defensive tackle Jamal Williams was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, the team's second such arrest in less than a month.

Williams was pulled over for speeding early Sunday on a freeway outside downtown, the California Highway Patrol said. Williams gave a blood sample for a blood-alcohol test, but the results won't be known for a few weeks. Williams was booked into county jail and later released on bail.

The City Attorney's office said the case hadn't been submitted as of Tuesday.

"It's disappointing to hear about the issue involving Jamal Williams," Chargers general manager A.J. Smith said in a statement released by the team. "We'll continue to monitor the situation and let the legal process run its course.

"The Chargers have always been leaders and positive contributors to our community," Smith added. "We take our stature in the community very seriously. Through the Chargers and the NFL, our players receive one of the most comprehensive education and support programs in sports to help them deal with issues that affect all segments of society."

Smith didn't return a call seeking further comment.

Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson was arrested for investigation of DUI on Jan. 6, five days before San Diego's playoff loss at Pittsburgh. Jackson is due in court Feb. 17. He was on probation for a previous DUI arrest, the CHP said.

Williams, an 11-year NFL veteran, shared the team's Most Valuable Player Award with quarterback Philip Rivers this season. The Chargers reached the playoffs by winning the AFC West with an 8-8 record.

Coincidentally, the Chargers were the first NFL team to implement Safe Ride Solutions, a program in which professional athletes who've had too much to drink can call a toll-free number and request a ride from an off-duty police officer.

For implementing the program, the Chargers were awarded the NFL's Winston-Shell Award for demonstrating commitment and dedication to developing unique and innovative ideas and solutions.

Smith often speaks of signing "character" players, yet the Chargers have had their share of off-field problems in recent seasons.

In 2006, there were seven run-ins with the law by Chargers players, including linebacker Steve Foley's shooting by an off-duty Coronado police officer who suspected him of drunken driving, and two other players who were arrested for investigation of DUI.

Besides the arrests, linebacker Shawne Merriman received a four-game suspension for testing positive for steroids in 2006, and the NFL benched linebacker Stephen Cooper for the first four games of the 2008 season after he tested positive for a banned stimulant.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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