Titans QB McNair's DUI case will go to grand jury

Updated: October 21, 2003, 6:44 PM ET

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Steve McNair's case on drunken driving and weapons charges will go to a grand jury.

Judge Leon Ruben ruled Tuesday that there was sufficient evidence for the case against the Tennessee Titans' quarterback to move forward. The grand jury could convene in four to five weeks, according to the district attorney's office.

McNair, the NFL's top-rated quarterback who has led the Titans to a 5-2 record, left with his lawyer after the hearing Tuesday and did not talk to reporters.

McNair was pulled over by police while driving a sport utility vehicle in Nashville just after midnight May 22. Officer Shawn Taylor said he saw McNair's vehicle swerve across the center line.

According to police, McNair's eyes were bloodshot, his breath smelled of alcohol and he acknowledged drinking.

"There was no doubt in my mind he was impaired and a dangerous driver," Taylor testified during the preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Defense attorney Roger May suggested the officer arrested McNair only because he wanted to nab a celebrity.

Taylor acknowledged he had talked to other officers about arresting a Titans player, McNair in particular. What he meant, Taylor explained, was that he would arrest anyone for drunken driving, no matter how famous they were.

"I used to joke and say, 'If it's Steve McNair and he's drunk, he's going to jail," Taylor said.

Police said McNair's blood-alcohol level was 0.18 -- well above Tennessee's limit of 0.10 at the time. The level dropped to 0.08 in July.

The weapon charge involves a 9 mm handgun found in the SUV. McNair has a permit for the handgun, but in Tennessee an intoxicated person may not legally carry a loaded weapon.

The defense attorney tried to persuade the judge to throw out the blood-alcohol test, saying the officer didn't have probable cause to stop McNair.

May said police videotape of the arrest never shows McNair's SUV swerving across the center line. The officer said McNair drove across the line twice before he turned on the camera.

Prosecutor Dumaka Shabazz said May's questions were the first allegation he had heard that Taylor had other motives in arresting McNair.

"It's an issue I'm going to look over," Shabazz said. "Even if the officer was out to get him, he saw evidence the defendant was intoxicated, and I think that's going to carry some weight."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index