Seahawks' Tatupu enters not guilty plea to DUI charge
KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu entered a plea of not guilty Tuesday to charges of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Tatupu appeared before Kirkland Municipal Court Judge Michael J. Lambo, but did not speak. His attorney, Jon Fox, told the judge his client would plead not guilty. After the hearing, Fox told reporters that Tatupu would not make a statement or answer questions.
Lambo set a tentative court date for July 7. The Seahawks' training camp opens July 25.
Tatupu was stopped in this Seattle suburb, the home of the Seahawks' headquarters and practice facility, at 2 a.m. on May 10 for traveling more than 15 mph above the posted 35-mph limit. The officer said Tatupu was driving erratically before finally stopping at a fast-food parking lot.
An arrest report said that at the Kirkland police station two hours later, Tatupu registered 0.155 and 0.158 in breath test readings, nearly twice the state intoxication threshold of 0.08.
The only public comment Tatupu has made was a May 13 statement issued through the team.
"I want to apologize to my family, teammates, the Seahawks ownership and organization, and the fans for making a poor decision and putting myself in a bad situation," his statement read. "I take seriously my role as a leader on this team, and in the community, and because of that I'm disappointed and embarrassed by the level of poor judgment I used last weekend. Thankfully, nobody was hurt. This will never happen again, and I hope through hard work on and off the field to begin earning your respect and trust again."
On March 25, the Seahawks had signed the third-year, 25-year-old Tatupu to a $42 million, six-year contract extension.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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