Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge John Burlew imposed a 90-day jail sentence but said Thurman did not have to start serving it yet. Another court hearing was set for June 5, at which the judge said he planned to reduce the sentence if Thurman, 23, continues treatment and has no other alcohol-related offenses.
He suspended Thurman's driver's license for a year and fined him $250 and court costs.
The plea is not an admission of guilt but means the defendant will not fight charges. Two stemming from the early morning Sept. 25 traffic stop were dropped.
After the arrest, the NFL suspended Thurman for the season. He had already been serving a four-game suspension from the league for missing an offseason drug test.
Thurman was a second-round draft pick out of Georgia in 2005 and started 15 games as a rookie. He led the team in tackles, tied for the lead in forced fumbles and had five interceptions, the most by any rookie in the NFL. He can apply for reinstatement by the NFL before next season.
Thurman is among nine Bengals players arrested on various charges in less than a year, and coach Marvin Lewis has indicated he is no longer in the team's plans.