Prosecutor: BAC of former Detroit Lion in crash was possibly more than twice state limit

Detroit News
Oralandar Brand-Williams and Justin Rogers |  The Detroit News

Former Detroit Lions cornerback Alex Brown was arraigned Tuesday in connection with a Sunday crash in which he is accused of driving the wrong way on a Detroit freeway at a high rate of speed before striking another vehicle head-on.

Brown, 24, was arraigned in 36th District Court in Detroit in connection with the crash at 2:13 a.m. that left two people, including a teammate, seriously injured.

Brown is accused of driving northbound on southbound Interstate 75 near Interstate 275 before colliding with a 27-year-old Detroit man’s vehicle head-on, causing injuries to the man’s legs. Charlie Taumoepeau, who has since been waived by the Lions, was a passenger in Brown’s vehicle and had to be extricated from it using the Jaws of Life.

Brown is charged with two counts of operating while under the influence causing serious injury and two counts of reckless driving causing serious injury.

Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Brian Johnson asked for a high bond of $500,000 to $750,000 and requested 36th District Court Magistrate Dawn White have Brown surrender his passport.

Brown’s blood alcohol level is believed to have been 0.211, or more than two and one-half times Michigan’s limit of 0.08, Johnson told White, adding that Brown did not know where he was at the time of the crash.

“He thought he was in Atlanta, Georgia going to the strip club… and he admitted to drinking as well,” said Johnson.

Brown’s attorney Ray Paige asked for a lower bond, saying Brown “is in the process of putting his career back together” and needs to be able to travel. He said Brown has never been in trouble before, graduated from the University of South Carolina with an engineering degree and deserves a “fair” bond.

Paige said Brown, who stood mute during the hearing, understands the serious nature of the charges and will show back up to court.

“The last thing he wants to be is incarcerated so he can’t make a living,” Paige said Tuesday.

White entered a not guilty plea on Brown’s behalf and gave him a $50,000/10% bond. He also was ordered to stay away from alcohol and drugs, wear an alcohol tether and drive only if he has a valid driver’s license and the vehicle he operates has an interlock system, which requires a driver to blow into a mouthpiece to test their BAC. He was also ordered to surrender his passport.

White said Brown presents a “danger to the public” based on the investigator’s report of alcohol being involved in the crash.

The Detroit Lions organization issued a statement on Monday about the incident.

“We are aware of the situation from Sunday morning involving Alex Brown,” the statement said. “Alex was waived from the team Sunday afternoon and Charlie Taumoepeau, is receiving proper medical care following injuries sustained from the incident.

“Driving under the influence is a matter we take very seriously,” the statement continued. “We, as an organization, extend our thoughts and support to the victim and his family during his recovery.”

Brown’s next court dates are Aug. 26 for a probable cause conference and a preliminary examination on Sept. 2, both before 36th District Court Judge Kenneth King.

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