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Dallas cops: Jay Ratliff's blood-alcohol content twice legal limit

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
Jay Ratliff's blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit at the time of his arrest, police say tests show. (US Presswire)

Cowboys defensive tackle Jay Ratliff was arrested on Jan. 22 for a drunken driving charge. His arrest caused a bigger stir than your "normal" DUI, mainly because teammate Jerry Brown died in a car accident involving another teammate, Josh Brent, last month. Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter.

Ratliff's alcohol level should cause an even bigger stir. Grapevine, Texas, police told ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon that Ratliff had a 0.16 blood alcohol content when he was arrested. That's twice the legal limit -- and that's after a two-and-a-half hour wait to take his blood.

Per MacMahon and the police report, Ratliff failed three sobriety tests in the field and refused to take a breathalyzer test. A warrant to test Ratliff's blood was issued at 2:55 a.m. -- more than two hours after Ratliff was accused of crashing his SUV into an 18-wheeler.

Things don't get much better for Ratliff. The probable cause affidavit states that while he was "cooperative and courteous" at the scene, Ratliff became "verbally abusive several times" after arriving in jail.

And Ratliff displayed 12 "clues of intoxication" during his three sobriety tests, according to the affidavit.

Ratliff's accident occurred on the same highway as Brent's wreck, just 16 miles away from where his teammate died.

"Having recently experienced the most tragic of circumstances regarding this issue, we, as an organization, understand the ultimate consequences of driving while impaired. We know that one incident is too many," Calvin Hill of the Cowboys said in a statement released by the team. "The critical goal is to effect the decision making process in the hours before the wrong decision is made. Our player assistance programs in the areas of preventing incidents such as these are at the highest level in professional sports, but we are always looking to do better and for ways to improve. We will continue to draw upon the best expertise and resources available, both internally and from outside the organization, to work toward being the best in the areas of education, prevention, and effecting the right decisions.

"We have been in communication with Jay Ratliff regarding this incident, and we will monitor the legal process and work within the NFL guidelines for player behavior moving forward."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

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