Court records: Vikings coach arrested for drunken driving

MINNEAPOLIS - Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in May and pleaded guilty in August to a misdemeanor charge of careless driving, court records show.The Pioneer Press learned of the arrest Tu...
Aug 28, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards and head coach Mike Zimmer talk on their headsets as the Vikings play the San Diego Chargers at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 23-10. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS - Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in May and pleaded guilty in August to a misdemeanor charge of careless driving, court records show.

The Pioneer Press learned of the arrest Tuesday. In a statement, the Vikings said Edwards notified the team immediately of his arrest and that "he was significantly disciplined by the Vikings.''

The Vikings did not say what punishment Edwards incurred. In a statement released to the Pioneer Press, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, "The team made us aware of the incident and the discipline it imposed as a result.''

Tuesday is the team's usual day off, but the Vikings did release offensive lineman Isame Faciane from the practice squad, less than a week after he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in St. Louis Park .

On Monday, head coach Mike Zimmer called Faciane's arrest "stupid," adding "that's one of the things that I'm trying to get rid of around here."

Before Faciane was arrested last Wednesday, the last Vikings player known to have been arrested was cornerback Jabari Price on Dec. 29, 2014. Arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, Price pleaded guilty to careless driving and received a two-game suspension from the NFL to start the 2015 season.

Edwards, in his third season with the Vikings, is coordinator of a unit that ranks first in the NFL in scoring defense and second in total defense. Minnesota is 5-0 going into Sunday's game at Philadelphia.

Edwards, 49, was charged May 21 with fourth-degree DWI and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol after being pulled over in suburban Chanhassen, Minn., at 11:46 p.m. According to the police report, Edwards blew a blood-alcohol level of .11 at the time of his arrest - .03 over the legal limit of .08 - and tested at .10 at 1:04 a.m. on May 22 at the Carver County Jail.

According to police, Edwards was observed failing to use a turn signal. Police followed him and pulled him over after police said he failed to signal a turn for a fourth straight time.

According to Hennepin County Court records, Edwards pleaded guilty on Aug. 30 to a misdemeanor charge of careless driving, paid a $1,000 fine and was placed on one year of probation through Aug. 30, 2017.

Records show, as terms of his sentence, he has completed a chemical dependency evaluation/treatment and attended a Mothers Against Drunk Driving Impact Panel, along with other requirements.

Edwards' lawyer David Valentini declined comment Tuesday. The Vikings, in their statement to the Pioneer Press, said they consider the matter closed.

"George Edwards immediately notified the team of this situation when it occurred,'' the statement read in full. "He was significantly disciplined by the Vikings. George has fulfilled both his legal obligations as well as the additional team-imposed discipline.''

Faciane was charged last week with fourth-degree DWI and driving without a Minnesota driver's license. He was not at practice Monday, when Zimmer was asked about his arrest.

"My thoughts are that it's disappointing, and that's one of the things I'm trying to get rid of around here, making sure that our fans are being represented in the right way," said Zimmer, in his third season as Vikings coach. "It was stupid, and we'll see."

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