DUI Charge Dropped Against Miami RB Mark Walton

Drunken driving charges have been dropped against University of Miami running back Mark Walton, clearing the way for him to rejoin the Hurricanes' football team.

Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office spokesman Ed Griffith confirmed Monday that the 19-year-old player no longer faces the DUI charge.

Police said Walton had bloodshot, watery eyes and slurred speech when officers stopped him, and his blood-alcohol level was as high as 0.06. That's above the Florida threshold of 0.02 for people under 21, but prosecuting such cases requires more evidence, which police didn't have.

With the charge gone, Miami lifted Walton's suspension. The sophomore finished spring practice atop the Hurricanes' depth chart at running back. As a freshman, Walton led Miami with nine rushing touchdowns and had 300 kickoff return yards.

Miami Police later released a statement on the Walton case.

"Mr. Walton was taken into custody based upon probable cause, which is the legal standard required to effect an arrest. Mr. Walton’s physical contact with the Miami Police Department began with visual observations of possible impaired driving. Further investigation revealed he was driving with a suspended license. Mr. Walton’s eventual blood alcohol level was below the .08 threshold, however it should be noted that Mr. Walton is not of age to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages," the statement read. "The declination to file criminal charges as a function of prosecutorial discretion should not be used to presume wrongdoing on the part of the Miami Police Department or any of its officers. Our investigation revealed there was no evidence of any prior relationship or association between the complainant and any of the officers involved in the surveillance and apprehension of Mr. Walton. Furthermore the officers involved acted in accordance with the law and Departmental policy."

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