Steelers' Hines Ward charged

Updated: July 11, 2011, 2:14 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

DECATUR, Ga. -- Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver Hines Ward was arrested early Saturday in Georgia on a drunken driving charge, sheriff's officials said.

The former Super Bowl MVP and reigning "Dancing With the Stars" winner was booked into the DeKalb County jail just outside Atlanta at 3:41 a.m. ET and charged with driving under the influence.

Ward
Ward

A jail official said he was released on $1,300 bond, though the sheriff's office website said his bond was set at $1,000. The discrepancy couldn't be immediately resolved Saturday.

The sheriff's office said it had turned over paperwork to the courts and couldn't release any further information about the player's arrest.

Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said the team was aware of the DUI charge against Ward, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, but added he would not comment further.

It was not immediately clear if Ward had an attorney.

Ward's marketing agent and attorney, Andrew Ree, released a statement Saturday afternoon.

"(Ward) cooperated fully with the police and truthfully answered all of their questions ... From our preliminary investigation we can tell you that we are confident that the facts will show that Hines was NOT impaired by alcohol while driving," the statement read. "However, Hines is deeply saddened by this incident and apologizes to his fans and the Steelers organization for this distraction."

Since being drafted in the third round out of Georgia in 1998, the 35-year-old Ward has been a four-time Pro Bowl selection and won two Super Bowls.

Dancing with professional partner Kym Johnson, Ward in May became the second professional football player to win the "Dancing" crown after Emmitt Smith won in 2006. He beat actresses Kirstie Alley and Chelsea Kane to become the Season 12 champion of the TV celebrity dance competition.

Coincidentally, Ward had made mention on Facebook of his habit of texting while driving, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Saturday.

"How many of you guys and gals text while driving?" Ward asked on Facebook. "I am bad at doing that. It's very unsafe. Help remind me from time to time to stop texting, tweeting, or facebook while driving. Let's help each other!"

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.