Former Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Chris Hovan was arrested in Florida driving while extremely drunk with a child in the seat next to him, according to authorities.
Hovan, a first-round pick of the 2000 NFL draft, was pulled over Monday night in the Tampa suburb of Oldsmar and jailed that night on suspicion of drunken driving and felony child neglect. He was released about nine hours later on bond that required no dollar amount.
The Boston College standout recorded 192 tackles and 17 sacks over five seasons with the Vikings. He joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2005 and played another five seasons before retiring.
A message was left Wednesday morning with Hovan seeking his response to the allegations.
According to Pinellas County court records:
A sheriff’s deputy stopped Hovan about 7:40 p.m. along a well-traveled road and noted several signs of drunkenness including bloodshot eyes and being unsteady on his feet.
Hovan “performed poorly” during a field sobriety test, and preliminary breath tests administered at the scene measured his blood alcohol content at 0.309% and 0.315%, which is nearly four times the legal limit for driving in Florida.
The extreme level of intoxication “posed great risk to the child’s safety,” one of the court filings read.
Authorities declined to identify the child or explain the youngster’s connection to Hovan.
“We cannot release information that might tend to identify the minor victim, hence the redaction” from publicly disclosed court records, Sheriff’s Cpl. Charles Skipper said Wednesday.
In 2018, a court ordered Hovan to stay away from his wife and four children, ages 5 to 11 at the time, in connection with domestic violence allegations, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Hovan’s criminal history includes a drunken driving conviction in 2015.