Former Atlanta Falcons star Jamal Anderson was passed out behind the wheel of his Cadillac Escalade in the travel lanes on I-85 when an off-duty police officer asked him to move onto the shoulder, according to a report released by the Georgia State Patrol.
Anderson, 42, of Suwanee, smelled of alcohol and was unable to coherently answer questions for the Brookhaven officer, who called GSP to I-85 in Gwinnett shortly before 6 p.m. Friday, the report states. Anderson was unsteady on his feet and had watery, bloodshot eyes while being questioned by a state trooper.
“I asked Anderson why he was stopped in the middle of the interstate, noting that it was extremely dangerous and asked him if he was trying to hurt himself,” the report states. “He stated that he wasn’t trying to hurt himself and didn’t really have a good explanation as to why he had parked in the middle of the interstate.”
Anderson allegedly said he was on his way home from a friend’s house, where he had been drinking the previous night. But Anderson had been headed southbound toward Atlanta near Georgia 316, rather than toward his home in Suwanee, the trooper stated.
Anderson admitted to having three beers, but declined to submit to field sobriety tests, including a breath test, the GSP said. He was arrested and charged with DUI and improper stopping in the roadway and booked into the Gwinnett County jail.
A popular Falcon drafted by the team in 1994, Anderson played eight seasons wearing No. 32 before a knee injury ended his career. But it may be his “Dirty Bird” dance that fans remember the most.
Since his football playing days, Anderson has ventured into the entertainment business and sports broadcasting. And he has occasionally made headlines for his arrests.
Anderson previously faced a drunken driving charge after being arrested by DeKalb police in June 2012. In December of that year, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless driving. He was sentenced to 12 months of probation and ordered to pay a $700 fine. He was also ordered to perform 64 hours of community service, complete a defensive driving program and attend a drunk driving impact panel.
In February 2009, Anderson was charged with cocaine and marijuana possession after an off-duty officer said he saw the athlete using drugs at a Buckhead bar. The charges were later dismissed, according to Anderson’s attorney.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.