Baltimore Ravens RB Pierce charged with drunken driving

BALTIMORE (AP) The Baltimore Ravens released running back Bernard Pierce on Wednesday, hours after he was charged with drunken driving.

Baltimore County police said an officer stopped a Ford Mustang that was speeding around 2 a.m. Wednesday in Towson, north of Baltimore.

Police spokesman Cpl. John Wachter said Pierce had been driving 55 mph in a 30 mph zone, and that Pierce failed a series of field sobriety tests after he was stopped. Pierce was taken to a station house in Towson for processing, and later released.

Pierce is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while impaired by alcohol and two additional speeding offenses.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Ravens announced that Pierce, 23, had been cut in a press release consisting of one sentence.

The move was in line with the team's assertion last month that off-field misbehavior would not be tolerated.

Five Ravens players were arrested last year, most notably running back Ray Rice for domestic violence, an offense that led to his suspension by the NFL and his release from the team.

Owner Steve Bisciotti acknowledged the arrests made 2014 his ''worst year'' since taking over the Ravens, and insisted the team would work to avoid grabbing the wrong kind of headlines this offseason.

''Things come in waves and we certainly took a crash here last year,'' Bisciotti said last month. ''There isn't a lot you can do. We are a team and an organization that cares obviously about our reputation and when it takes a hit, then you examine what you do.

''But in order to take a hit to your reputation, you have to have a pretty good reputation to start with, and we did. Now it's about proving it was an aberration, and we believe that to be the case.''

So far, little has changed.

Defensive tackle Terrence Cody was indicted in February for animal cruelty and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released by Baltimore as soon as the investigation began.

Also, security director Darren Sanders was charged in December with a sexual offense after he allegedly groped a stadium worker while she escorted him to his car after a game. He is now facing an additional assault charge stemming from the same alleged incident.

That case is pending.

Pierce was supposed to take over the starting job at the beginning of last season after Rice received a two-game suspension from the league. But Pierce never played up to his potential, getting only two starts before being replaced by Justin Forsett.

Drafted in the third round of the 2002 draft out of Temple, Pierce started three games in three years with Baltimore. He has run for 1,334 yards and five touchdowns in 45 games over three seasons.

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AP Sports Writer Dave Ginsburg contributed to this report.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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