Titans QB Simms' alleged admission can be used in court case

NEW YORK -- Tennessee Titans backup quarterback Chris Simms has lost a bid to keep an alleged admission about smoking marijuana from being used in his drugged-driving case.

A judge in New York ruled Tuesday that Simms' statements were obtained legally, and police were justified in stopping and arresting him early on July 1.

Simms' lawyers say police had no justification for stopping their client, so the supposed statement should be suppressed. Prosecutors say the arrest was lawful, and the statements were legally obtained from Simms, a son of former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms.

Police said Chris Simms was stopped for making an erratic turn near a police checkpoint around 1 a.m., with his pregnant wife and two other people with him. An officer approaching his car was confronted with a marijuana smell so strong that he got a headache and his tongue went numb, and he found Simms in a state "like a zombie," the officer testified at an October hearing.

Simms told the officer he'd been "smoking marijuana in the car earlier," taking four puffs, but there wasn't any left, according to a court document.

Simms, however, told the Tennessean newspaper in August that he "definitely didn't say" he had been smoking marijuana. He wasn't tested for drugs, and an alcohol test came back negative.

Simms has pleaded not guilty to driving while impaired. The top charge against him is a misdemeanor that carries the potential for a year in jail if he's convicted.

Simms' lawyers didn't immediately return phone calls. He and his lawyers were excused from a court appearance Tuesday.

Simms has a 7-9 record in his 16 NFL career starts. A third-round draft pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003, he ruptured his spleen in a 2006 game against the Carolina Panthers and had to undergo emergency surgery.

After Tampa Bay released him, he went to Tennessee in 2008, played for the Denver Broncos in 2009 and then returned to the Titans. The Titans released him in September but then re-signed him in November. He didn't play in any games this season.

Simms' father played 14 seasons with the Giants, leading them to two Super Bowls. He is now a CBS Sports announcer and analyst.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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