Jamal Anderson refused breath test, police struggled to wake him

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The lawyers for former Falcons running back Jamal Anderson say he was just tired when he was arrested for driving drunk last week. The police say that it’s true Anderson was tired, but he was also drunk.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has obtained the police report from Anderson’s arrest, and among the details is the fact that Anderson refused to take a breath test — an odd decision for someone who was just tired, not drunk.

Anderson was clearly very tired: The police found him asleep at the wheel of his SUV in the middle lane of Chamblee-Tucker Road in DeKalb County, and they couldn’t wake him, even though they tried repeatedly.

“I tapped on Mr. Anderson’s window several times in an attempt to wake him up. Mr. Anderson did not wake up,” the arresting officer wrote in his report.

Eventually two police officers came and used their cars to block in the SUV to keep it from moving if Anderson were to awaken, or hit the gas pedal in his sleep. With the SUV secured, one officer climbed on top of the SUV, reached in through the sunroof, put the SUV in park and unlocked the door. Then the cop got off the roof, got in through the door and turned off the ignition. The officer tapped Anderson several times and still didn’t wake him, and it wasn’t until after Anderson had been handcuffed that he finally woke up.

The officer said Anderson was emitting “a very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage,” was sweating profusely, had bloodshot eyes, was slurring his words and stumbling and failed a field sobriety test.

Once a popular and successful player, Anderson’s post-NFL life has not gone well. He’s been arrested for drug possession, reportedly owes the IRS more than $1 million and has sued the NFL, saying he expects the effects of concussions to negatively impact his life in the future.