TOWSON, Md. (AP) -Baltimore Ravens return specialist B.J. Sams was acquitted of driving under the influence and negligent driving charges in district court Tuesday.
Sams, who was arrested Oct. 3, was found guilty of a lane violation, which carries a $90 fine and one point on his driving record.
He had probation before judgment on his record for a prior DUI charge.
Judge Nancy Purpura said the state's case was affected by a lack of evidence, because Sams wasn't offered a Breathalyzer exam and field sobriety tests weren't captured completely on the arresting state trooper's video.
``I'm not persuaded by a reasonable doubt that he drove while impaired,'' Purpura said. ``The burden of proof never moves from the state to the defense.''
``He has been exonerated, and he's excited about that,'' said Sams' lawyer, Mark Alperstein. ``I think there's a tendency with professional athletes to assume because they're charged and because they've been involved with something in the past or because of their lifestyle that they're automatically guilty. We should all be cautious about that.''
Sams didn't comment to reporters while leaving the courthouse, but smiled and hugged his attorneys after the verdict. ``B.J. said at the beginning and we said that he had to go through a process,'' said Kevin Byrne, the Ravens' vice president of public and community relations. ``He went through it and it's good that he got to tell his side of the story. He can move on with his life now, which is a good thing for him. I'm happy for him.''
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