CINCINNATI (AP) -- Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Odell Thurman was arrested early Monday on a drunken driving charge.
Thurman, already serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, registered 0.18 percent on a blood-alcohol test -- more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent, police said.
Police Capt. Dan Gerard said an officer working near a DUI checkpoint saw Thurman drive a sport utility vehicle across a double-yellow line and stopped him. Thurman was with two other Bengals players, but police declined to release their identities.
Thurman was taken to the checkpoint, being operated by police and the State Highway Patrol, and given a breath test, Gerard said. Thurman was released to a companion who was sober to drive him home, police said.
A court appearance was scheduled for Oct. 2, the day he was scheduled to return to the team.
If convicted, Thurman could get a tougher sentence because of the high blood-alcohol level, patrol Sgt. Jon Payer said. The average sentence for a first-time offender in Ohio is three days in jail or an alcohol-education program and a $500 fine, he said.
A second-round draft pick out of Georgia last year, Thurman led the Bengals in tackles and had five interceptions as a rookie, helping Cincinnati reach the playoffs with its first winning record since 1990.
The arrest is "certainly a concern since he recently was suspended, but this is an entirely new case," Bengals spokesman Jack Brennan said Monday.
Thurman, who has one game left on his suspension, is the sixth Bengals' player arrested in the past year.
Cincinnati (3-0) defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 28-20 on Sunday to stay in a first-place tie with Baltimore (3-0) in the AFC North.