Ed Oliver, the second-year defensive tackle of the Buffalo Bills, was cleared of all charges stemming from his arrest on the evening of May 16 in Houston.
Oliver had been charged with driving while intoxicated and unlawfully carrying a weapon as he drove through a construction zone on Texas State Highway 242.
Those are both misdemeanors under Texas law. However, while there was a handgun in Oliver’s car, it is legal to carry a permitted firearm in Texas. It is only illegal if a person is in possession of the gun while committing a crime. When the DWI charge was dropped, the gun charge was no longer valid.
Oliver’s attorney, Gary Patterson, released the following statement:
“The DA of Montgomery County concluded that they can’t prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, and that’s based on the fact that the blood evidence that has been completed shows that Ed’s results were all negative. He had no drugs whatsoever in his system.”
Patterson went on to tell the Houston Chronicle, “We feel the cops didn’t do a good job with this investigation. Ed is thankful for the fans that didn’t rush to judgment and believed in his innocence. He feels vindicated, but he also feels somewhat violated because he had to go through this. Ed wasn’t intoxicated, he wasn’t drinking. The report that there was a beer can between his legs was totally inaccurate. He blew a triple-zero on the breathalyzer. Blood tests were all negative.”
The beer can that was found by police in the vehicle was apparently being used by Oliver as a spit can for his chewing tobacco.
The Bills followed with their own statement:
“We are pleased with the ruling today regarding Ed Oliver. We supported and worked with Ed throughout the offseason program as it was a priority for us to allow the legal process to play out. We appreciate Ed’s honesty and his communication with us. With his name cleared of all charges, he can now turn his full attention on the upcoming training camp and season.”
On the night in question, Oliver was reported by another motorist for driving dangerously and failing to maintain a lane. When he was pulled over, he was given a field sobriety test. His performance was enough for the officers to arrest and charge him as they reported he looked nervous.
Oliver could still face discipline from the NFL, but as a first-time offender with charges completely dropped, that likely won’t happen.