football Edit

Taylor tested negative for alcohol at DUI stop

Alabama quarterback Jake Coker (14) runs the ball while offensive lineman Alphonse Taylor (50) blocks against Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday November 28, 2016. (Noah Sutton | The Tuscaloosa News)

The Alabama offensive lineman arrested on a DUI charge last week tested negative for alcohol, but performed poorly on field sobriety tests, according to court documents.

Alphonse Taylor, 22, was arrested the morning of July 17 at the Woodlands Apartment complex off Hargrove Road East.

According to documents requested by The Tuscaloosa News and provided by the Tuscaloosa Office of the City Attorney, Taylor called Tuscaloosa Police at 8:50 a.m. that Sunday to report that he had struck a vehicle in the parking lot.

"I immediately noticed that Taylor's speech was very slow and he appeared lethargic," the responding officer wrote in the arrest report. "Taylor advised that he had not been drinking, he did not take medication and had no medical problems."

The officer wrote that Taylor was reclining in his 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe when he arrived. Taylor told the officer that he had bumped his head on the steering wheel. The 911 call taker who dispatched the officer to the accident reported that Taylor was very difficult to understand.

"While I was speaking with him, I observed him drop his phone on the ground between his feet," the officer wrote. "Taylor struggled and swayed to retrieve his phone."

Taylor was arrested, and provided two breath samples at 9:19 a.m. The tests showed that he had a 0.0 blood alcohol content.

According to the DUI questionnaire, Taylor told the officer that he felt fatigued. He said that he had slept at least six hours and had eaten American Deli from University Mall around 11 p.m. the previous night. He told the officer that he had been playing cards and was heading home.

The officer reported that Taylor's eyelids were drooping, and that he performed poorly on the eye tests and could not keep his balance and started too soon during the walk-and-turn test. He reported that Taylor was walking unsteadily, swayed while standing and needed support exiting his vehicle. The officer checked boxes describing Taylor's attitude as cooperative, indifferent, carefree and sleepy. The officer noted that he did not smell alcohol.

Tuscaloosa defense attorney Jason Neff is representing Taylor.

"I have reviewed the reports and based on the blood alcohol concentration of .000 and him having just been in an accident, I believe the case has some points to work with for a defense," he said. "As always, I need to get all the information and facts before we can make a complete analysis."

Taylor was charged with driving under the influence of any substance which impairs the mental or physical faculties and cited for leaving the scene of an accident. The officer found another vehicle in the parking lot that he said Taylor had struck with his Tahoe before he continued and hit the second vehicle.

Taylor is free on a $1,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Tuscaloosa Municipal Court on Aug. 16. He has been suspended from the team indefinitely.

“We are very disappointed any time a player makes a choice that leads to this kind of behavior," head coach Nick Saban said in a statement released the day after Taylor's arrest. "We are still in the process of gathering all of the details on the situation, but from a football standpoint, Alphonse Taylor has been indefinitely suspended from the team.”

Taylor started all 15 games of the 2015 season at right guard. He worked with the second unit on the offensive line in the spring after beginning practice overweight but was expected to be an anchor on the offensive line again this fall. He was named preseason second-team All-SEC by the media earlier this month.

Alabama is set to play the USC Trojans at AT & T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Sept. 3.

Reach Stephanie Taylor at stephanie.taylor@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0210.