SEATTLE -- Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch apologized Friday for drawing negative attention following his arrest last weekend on charges of driving under the influence in Northern California.
"I want to apologize to my family, the Seattle Seahawks, the NFL and the 12th Man for the negative attention resulting from my recent actions," Lynch said in a statement released by the team. "This is not the type of community leader I have been over the last two years or the one I'm striving to become. I want to assure everyone that I will work to be better and look forward to a very exciting, and very successful season with the Seattle Seahawks."
Lynch was charged Wednesday with two counts by the Alameda County, Calif., district attorney: driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and driving while having a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher. He has an Aug. 14 court date.
Lynch was arrested early last Saturday after the California Highway Patrol reported seeing Lynch weaving on Interstate 880 in the Oakland, Calif., area. An incident report released by CHP described Lynch driving a Ford Econoline van and having two near collisions with two other vehicles driving in adjacent lanes.
According to his attorney, Ivan Golde, Lynch blew a .08 during a preliminary screening at the scene shortly after he was pulled over and registered slightly higher when tested at the jail on a calibrated breathalyzer machine. Golde said he believes Lynch was actually under .08 when he was pulled over and had a rising blood-alcohol level.
This is Lynch's first off-field problem since coming over to Seattle from Buffalo during the 2010 season. Lynch's career stalled with the Bills and was highlighted by two off-field brushes with the law, one of which resulted in a three-game suspension.
He pleaded guilty in March 2009 to a misdemeanour gun charge in Los Angeles. He was sentenced to 80 hours of community service and three years' probation, and was suspended three games by the league for violating the NFL personal conduct policy.
That was Lynch's second run-in with the law with the Bills. He was also involved in a hit-and-run accident in Buffalo in May 2008. In the earlier incident, he pleaded guilty to a traffic violation and admitted to driving away after striking a woman with his car near Buffalo's downtown bar district.
The league is aware of Lynch's latest legal trouble, but it's unclear whether his past transgressions could get lumped together with his current DUI arrest and lead to yet another suspension.
Lynch signed a four-year contract in March that will keep him in a Seattle uniform for the prime of his NFL career. The contract is worth $31 million, including a guaranteed $18 million. Lynch rushed for 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.