Georgia defensive starter arrested, charged with DUI

Credit: Chip Towers/AJC

Credit: Chip Towers/AJC

ATHENS — A defensive starter for the No. 1-ranked Georgia Bulldogs was arrested and jailed for DUI and six other misdemeanor charges early Sunday.

Javon Bullard, a sophomore from Milledgeville who has started all four games in the defensive backfield this season, was booked in Athens-Clarke County Jail at 4:57 a.m. Sunday and released at 8:30 a.m. after posting $4,250 in bonds through Citadel bail bonds. Typically, such alleged offenses result in automatic suspensions for athletes, per UGA Athletic Association policy.

Bullard was pulled over by UGA Police. He was charged with five driving offenses: no license exhibited, improper turning, failure to maintain lane, holding a cellphone while operating a vehicle and no headlights. He was also charged with furnishing or possession of alcohol under the age of 21 and DUI alcohol.

The jail’s booking report lists Bullard’s blood-alcohol content as 0.02%. But Georgia state law stipulates that any trace of alcohol in an under-21 driver qualifies as a jailable offense.

UGA Athletics issued a statement when asked about the incident.

“We are limited in what we can say, but the report is disappointing and is not reflective of our standards,” the school said. “In addition to university disciplinary processes, we will address the incident internally according to Athletic Association policies.”

Bullard has been an important and productive member of Georgia’s nationally renowned defense. He has started all four games this season at the “star,” or nickel back, position in the defensive secondary. Bullard had three tackles in the Bulldogs’ 39-22 win over Kent State at Sanford Stadium on Saturday afternoon. For the season, he has seven tackles and one pass breakup.

Georgia already lost another frontline player at that position earlier this season in sixth-year senior William Poole. That leaves junior Tykee Smith and freshmen Marcus Washington and Darris Smith to step up if Bullard is sidelined in the coming weeks.

Georgia (4-0, 1-0 SEC) plays at Missouri on Saturday (7:30 p.m., SECN) in Columbia. The Tigers (2-2, 0-1) lost at home to Auburn 17-14 in overtime this weekend.

No other information was immediately available on Bullard’s arrest.