“I ACED THE FIELD TEST, CHECK THE VIDEO”

Those are the words Cedric Benson texted to me 6 hours after he was released on $2000 bond in Austin Texas on Saturday.  Confirmed by his attorney Sam Bassett, Austin Texas police not only have videotape of such arrests but also wireless microphones.  While NBC5 has filed a “Freedom of Information Act” or FOIA, request for the video tape, we and other news organizations may have to wait to view it.  That’s because Texas has a well known exception to the FOIA requests if a criminal trial is still proceeding — in other words, they don’t have to release the tape if it could affect a court case still active.

While Cedric Benson is convinced he “aced” the test (just as he was convinced he did the same on the boat in Lake Travis last month), Benson had better be praying the video backs up his words.  His attorney, Sam Bassett is trying to convince both the Bears and the NFL NOT TO DO ANYTHING until they see the video and draw their own conclusions about Benson’s actions.  Sounds like both the Bears and NFL WANT TO DO SOMETHING right away.  Afterall, the Bears don’t really care whether Benson is guilty or not, they didn’t care that Tank Johnson’s “suspicion of DWI” in Arizona after his jail sentence, was eventually dropped, they released him anyway for being out in the wee hours of the morning.  Remember when your mom told you, “nothing good happens after 1am?” she was right.  Even if Cedric were to blow below the .08, he was in a nightlife district at 2am where cops are crawling and just watching to pull people over.

As for that .08 that Benson didn’t blow?  He refused the breathylyzer test and blood test at the police station thinking he already passed the field test.  Most lawyers will advise their clients not to submit to such tests anyway, for fear of their reliability.  But by refusing, he was “considered” guilty enough to be charged with Drunken Driving.

Benson’s latest arrest should not affect his current bond status from the Lake Travis incident, and the $2000 bond was considered low by his attorney suggesting the judge didn’t think the severity of the incident was very high, nor would Benson be considered much of a flight risk.

Benson is supposed to be in the Chicago area by Sunday night, though he is not expected to meet with the Bears brass until possibly Tuesday.  Unless they call him in earlier.  Organized Team Activities continue on Monday, if Benson is absent they likely told him not to come while they decide what action to take.  A suspension is likely for staying out in the wee hours one month removed from another alcohol related arrest.  The teetotaler Lovie Smith doesn’t appreciate a player drinking even one drink, when he’s awaiting trial on another alcohol related charge.  That’s not being careful and protecting your job, thinking it is the most important thing in your life.  That’s not taking any of this serious enough.  Cedric just didn’t get it.

Whether or not Sam Bassett can hold back the fire breathing Bears from taking action remains to be seen.  Benson is expected to make his own statement in the next few days as well, though he won’t be doing as much talking as he did last month.  The tail should be wagging this dog.

I’m taking bets on what comes first: The Bears release Cedric Benson, or the birth of my child (due date June 10th)?  I’m thinking they’re both a little too comfortable with their current positions and both need to be shook up!

For the second time in a month Cedric Benson was arrested on alcohol related charges in Texas.  For the second time in a month, Benson says he doesn’t think he was drunk.

Sometime after 2am Saturday, Benson was pulled over in the warehouse district of Austin, Texas after having dinner at a Japanese Sushi restaurant with his girlfriend.  Benson was motioned to the side of the road by a police officer on bike patrol who witnessed Benson go through a red light near a pedestrian crosswalk.  Benson thought it was a yellow light and saw the officer glance back at the light after he went through the intersection, but pulled over and cooperated.

A field sobriety test was performed, and while Benson told me he thought he “aced” it, the cop thought otherwise and called a patrol car to take him in for suspicion of drunken driving.  Once at the Austin police station Benson refused a breathalyzer test and blood test and thus was charged with drunken driving.

“Was this poor judgment on Cedric’s part?  Probably.” said his Texas defense attorney Sam Bassett, “do we all wish Cedric would just stay home?  Probably.  But let’s not rush to judge, it could be all he did was run a red light”, the attorney warned.

Austin police have wireless microphones and cameras to record such arrests, and NBC5 is looking into whether or not that is the case earlier this morning with Benson’s arrest.

A bail bondsman who saw Benson a few hours afterwards said he did not appear intoxicated and that Benson was polite and cooperative.  Benson’s attorney does not believe his client, the football player was a “target” of the police, but rather was in a heavily patrolled area of nightlife where drunken driving arrests are common.

As for his role with the Bears, Benson realizes his leash just got shorter as Jerry Angelo told reporters at soldier field today, “we are extremely disappointed and frustrated” adding that the Bears are using the word disappointment with Benson on the field and off, a bit too much.

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