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Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather is arrested on drunk driving charges

Washington Redskins strong safety Brandon Meriweather was arrested on drunk driving charges in Arlington County early Thursday morning after he was pulled over for speeding and failed a field sobriety test, authorities said.

An Arlington County police officer spotted Meriweather speeding just before 3 a.m. in the westbound lanes of Interstate 66 near North Ohio Street, said police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. He said the officer clocked Meriweather, a two-time Pro Bowler who recently agreed to a $6 million contract with the Redskins, traveling 73 mph in a 55-mph zone and pulled him over.

Meriweather smelled of alcohol and refused to take a breathalyzer test, Sternbeck said. The officer then initiated a field sobriety test — which normally includes balancing on one foot, reciting the alphabet and following an object with one’s eyes, among other things — and Meriweather failed.

The incident was first reported by arlnow.com.

Meriweather told the officer he had just left a D.C. nightclub, though he did not remember the club’s name, Sternbeck said.

Sternbeck said Meriweather was taken to the Arlington County Detention Facility and was charged with DUI and refusing to take a breathalyzer test. He was released later Thursday, Sternbeck said.

Sternbeck said he was unsure if the officer who arrested Meriweather knew he was dealing with a Redskins safety or if Meriweather spoke of his connection to the team. He said he did not know the precise details of the conversation the two men had.

“We handled this one just like we do all the others,” Sternbeck said.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.

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