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Updated: September 20th, 2011 9:37am
Vikings safety Tyrell Johnson arrested on fourth-degree DWI charge

Vikings safety Tyrell Johnson arrested on fourth-degree DWI charge

by Tom Pelissero
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For the second time in as many months, a Minnesota Vikings player is in trouble for drunk driving.

Safety Tyrell Johnson was arrested on a fourth-degree DWI charge early Tuesday morning and released a couple of hours later, according to Hennepin County Jail records.

State Patrol said a preliminary breath test measured Johnson's blood-alcohol content at .12%, which is over .08% legal limit. He was stopped on the ramp from northbound Interstate 94 to westbound I-394 a little before 2 a.m. Tuesday, the patrol said.

Johnson, whose given name is Marcellous, was taken into custody at 3:17 a.m. and released without bail at 5:28 a.m.

Fourth-degree DWI is a misdemeanor and is classified as having no aggravating factors (alcohol-related driver's license revocation, alcohol concentration of 0.20% or more, having a child under age 16 in the car). It is punishable with up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The Vikings released a statement around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday saying they were aware of the incident and would withhold further comment.

Johnson, 26, has fallen short of expectations since the Vikings drafted him in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft out of Arkansas State. After starting 22 games in his first two seasons, Johnson failed to win the job in the past two training camps, although he has been rotating with Jamarca Sanford this season and played 30 snaps in Sunday's loss to Tampa Bay.

Fourth-string quarterback Rhett Bomar was arrested on a DUI charge on Aug. 8 during Vikings training camp in Mankato. Bomar apologized to the team and was allowed to continue practicing, but he didn't play a single snap in the preseason and was released in the first round of cuts.

The NFL generally doesn't punish first-time offenders of the league's personal-conduct policy without a conviction or guilty plea.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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