Chicago Bears' Jeremiah Ratliff banned for three games for drunk driving

NFL logo

Another day, another NFL suspension.

Jeremiah Ratliff of the Chicago Bears has been suspended by the league for three games for violating its substance abuse policy, after a January 2013 car crash when he was found to be twice the legal limit for alcohol.

Ratliff is not expected to appeal, so he will miss the Bears’ home games against the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals, and road game against the Seattle Seahawks. The suspension represents a significant blow to the Bears’ defensive line.

Ratliff pleaded guilty in April to driving while intoxicated. He was ordered to serve a year of probation, pay a $750 fine and submit to sobriety tests whenever asked by law enforcement during traffic stops. The Bears were braced for disciplinary action from the league, and, as expected, the NFL found he violated the league’s policy and program for substance abuse.

His suspension will begin after the Bears’ final pre-season game. He is eligible to attend team meetings during his suspension, but he is banned from practice.

Ratliff, 33, a four-time Pro Bowler at age 33, is well regarded by John Fox’s coaching staff. They have repeatedly praised his talent and experience.

Ratliff was arrested in Grapevine, Texas, on January 22 2013 after crashing his pickup into another truck. His blood-alcohol level tested at 0.16, twice the legal limit, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Ratliff initially refused a breath test, so police obtained a warrant to draw a blood sample, according to the police report.

Ratliff first signed with the Bears in November 2013 and re-signed a two-year deal after that season. He is expected to speak to reporters Monday.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Guardian sport, for theguardian.com on Monday 24th August 2015 18.35 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010