Seahawks' Geno Smith won't be charged in connection with 2022 arrest for suspicion of DUI

RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith will not be charged in connection with his 2022 arrest on suspicion of DUI, a spokesperson with the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office told ESPN on Thursday.

Prosecutors also declined to charge Smith with reckless driving, citing insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty of either offense.

Smith's blood-alcohol concentration was found to be .038, less than half of the .08 legal limit in Washington State. His THC concentration was 2.6, also well below the legal limit of 5.

Smith, 32, was arrested early on the morning of Jan. 10, 2022, hours after the Seahawks returned to Seattle from their 2021 season finale against the Arizona Cardinals. According to an arrest report, he was initially stopped for going 96 mph in a 60 mph zone and driving erratically across several lanes of traffic.

The state trooper who pulled Smith over detected an odor of intoxicants and observed that he had bloodshot, watery eyes, according to the arrest report. A judge issued a search warrant for a blood draw after Smith declined to take a preliminary breath test. He was taken to a hospital where he became agitated before the blood draw, even with the Seahawks' director of team security present to try to calm Smith down, according to the report. Restraints were used to complete the process, troopers wrote.

"In considering the filing of charges, prosecutors must consider any reasonably foreseeable defense to be raised," the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office wrote in a news release. "From the investigation material, prosecutors do not have evidence to rebut likely explanations for his bad driving. While we can show that Mr. Smith consumed alcohol and marijuana and that in general those two substances have a compounding effect, we do not have any evidence to show exactly what effect they had on Mr. Smith, and a reasonable doubt exists as to whether his ability to drive was affected by alcohol or marijuana."

The prosecuting attorney's office wrote that despite evidence that Smith was driving fast and briefly traveled out of his lane, they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was disregarding the safety of people or property on the road.

Due to a backlog with blood tests in the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab, Smith's results were not provided to King County prosecutors until this past April. The prosecutor's office noted in its release that Smith's samples were being stored at the crime lab in a refrigerator that failed, and that while "there is no reasonable doubt to the accuracy of the results, there would likely be litigation related to the handling of his blood samples."

At the time of his arrest, Smith had just completed his third season as Russell Wilson's backup with the Seahawks. In a tweet after the arrest, Smith urged the public to withhold judgment. He later told reporters that he didn't think anything would come of the matter.

Three months after his arrest, Seattle re-signed Smith to a one-year, $3.5 million deal. After beating out Drew Lock to replace Wilson as the starter, Smith broke out with a career year, earning a Pro Bowl nod and leading the Seahawks to a wild-card berth. The Seahawks gave him a three-year, $75 million deal in March.

In other Seahawks news on Thursday, running back Zach Charbonnet returned to practice. Seattle's second-round pick had missed four practices after hurting his shoulder. He'll play in Friday's scrimmage at Lumen Field, coach Pete Carroll said. Starter Ken Walker III remains sidelined with a groin injury.

Outside linebacker Darrell Taylor did not practice Thursday because of a sprained shoulder. Carroll said it will not require surgery.