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McNair not present at court hearing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of drunken driving and
possession of a firearm while intoxicated.

McNair, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle last
week, did not appear in Davidson County Criminal Court before Judge
Cheryl Blackburn. His attorney, Roger May, entered the plea.

The NFL's co-MVP is due in court on April 15 for initial
discussions in his case and again on June 3. He was indicted
earlier this month on charges stemming from his arrest last May.

He was arrested after an officer noticed him driving on a
downtown street, and his blood alcohol content was 0.18 percent,
almost twice the 0.10 level then used to define driving under the
influence.

May had questioned the arresting officer at a hearing in October
over how aggressive he was in getting McNair to take a breath
alcohol test.

That officer was suspended in December for 15 days for violating
department procedures during McNair's stop and for taking home
copies of videotapes of drunken driving arrests, including
McNair's.

Another officer was suspended for 12 days after an investigation
showed he had tried to get McNair released following the arrest.