(Updated 11:35 a.m., 3:10 p.m. and 9 p.m.)
Two University of Georgia football players were arrested on alcohol-related charges early Saturday after their vehicle was pulled over by UGA Police.
Dontavius Jackson, 20, a backup running back, was charged with six misdemeanors: driving under the influence of alcohol, underage possession of alcohol, following too closely, leaving the scene of an accident, violation of the move-over law and violation of learner’s permit.
Tavarres King, 19, a starting wide receiver, was charged with underage possession of alcohol.
According to Clarke County Jail records, Jackson was booked into the jail at 6:25 a.m. and, as of 9 p.m., had not been released. King was jailed at 5:55 a.m. and released at 7:05 a.m. on $500 bond.
UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson told the AJC that the arrests occurred after a series of events on East Campus Road.
Williamson said two patrol cars were at an unrelated traffic stop when a vehicle — later determined to be driven by Jackson — passed at an inappropriate speed and failed to move over. As one of the patrol cars began pursuit of Jackson for allegedly violating the move-over law, a third officer put out a radio report of an incident moments earlier in which a vehicle had left the scene of a minor accident. The description of the vehicle that allegedly left the scene of the accident — a Chevrolet Avalanche — matched the one being pursued for the move-over violation, Williamson told the AJC.
“It just happened that our officer was behind that vehicle when the third officer put the information on the radio,” he said.
When the vehicle was pulled over, Jackson was driving and had four passengers, Williamson said. Police determined the vehicle had damage consistent with the earlier accident.
Williamson said the vehicle that Jackson was driving belongs to King.
Williamson said there were no injuries in the accident that started the series of events. He described the collision as minor. The following-too-closely charge against Jackson stemmed from that accident, Williamson said.
Jackson’s DUI arrest came 2 ½ days after Georgia coach Mark Richt expressed hope that his players would learn from the June 30 DUI arrest and subsequent resignation of UGA athletics director Damon Evans.
“I think [the players] are all very conscious of what happened and the ramifications of it, and so hopefully it’ll strike a chord,” Richt said Wednesday afternoon.
Richt was not available for comment Saturday on the arrests of Jackson and King. Associate athletics director Claude Felton said Richt “is in the process of gathering all the necessary facts” before deciding on disciplinary action. UGA Athletic Association policy mandates at least a one-game suspension for a football player arrested on an alcohol-related charge. Georgia opens the season Sept. 4 against Louisiana-Lafayette in Sanford Stadium.
Check back to ajc.com for updates.
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