The good news for Seahawks running back Quinton Ganther is that, per a league source, his blood-alcohol concentration was measured close to the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
The potentially bad news comes from the fact that we don’t yet know whether he was close on the good side, or close on the bad side.
The legal limit in every state currently is 0.08 percent (the federal government used the carrot of highway dollars several years ago to persuade state governments to drop the maximum from what was in most state 0.10 percent). Many if not most (if not all) states permit prosecution even if the measured amount is under 0.08 percent, but it’s typically much harder to get a conviction absent the legal presumption that anyone measured by science to have a BAC of 0.08 or greater is legally intoxicated, even if he or she shows no signs of intoxication.
Still, even if Ganther’s result ends up being close on the good side, NFL players need to realize that, if they’ve been drinking, there are other ways to get home, including the league’s “safe ride” program. Most players likely assume that they’ll be able to make it home without incident, which makes us wonder how many NFL players have driven drunk without being caught — and how many will continue to do so.