Ex-Viking Everson Griffen charged with DUI, drug possession after traffic stop in Minneapolis

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Former Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and cocaine possession after a traffic stop late Tuesday in Minneapolis.

Griffen, 36, of Mound, was pulled over by a Minnesota state trooper for driving 82 mph on southbound Interstate 35W near Lake Street, the charges say. He failed sobriety tests, and a small vial with cocaine was found in his back pocket during his arrest.

Everson Griffen (Courtesy of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

Griffen was released from the Hennepin County jail Thursday afternoon after posting a $12,000 bond. He’s scheduled to make a first court appearance on the charges June 13. Court records do not yet list an attorney for him.

The charges are the latest in a string of legal trouble for Griffen, who is on probation for a reckless driving conviction that stemmed from a DWI arrest in Chanhassen in July.

According to the latest charges, the trooper pulled over Griffen, who was driving a Bentley Bentayga, at 11:35 p.m. He had watery eyes and smelled of alcohol. A passenger was in the front seat. Griffen said he had one drink and they were headed to Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake.

A preliminary breath test showed Griffen’s blood-alcohol content was 0.10. The vial found during his arrest contained 0.02 grams of cocaine. A breath test taken just before 12:30 a.m. also registered a 0.10 BAC. The legal limit in Minnesota is 0.08.

Griffen faces two counts of gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI and one count each of gross misdemeanor fifth-degree drug possession and misdemeanor careless driving.

During his July DWI arrest, Griffen’s blood-alcohol content registered 0.09, according to court documents. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless driving after striking a plea deal with Carver County prosecutors and was sentenced to a year of probation in February.

Three months after the arrest, Griffen crashed his 2017 Mercedes-Benz into a car, then a fence and gazebo in Mound on Oct. 28. He was convicted of failure to drive with due care, a petty misdemeanor.

Griffen was cited for speeding Dec. 7 after a Shakopee police officer caught him on radar driving his 2020 Bentley truck at 55 mph in a 30 mph zone.

The former All-Pro has struggled with mental health issues over the years.

While he was with the Vikings, Griffen was placed on the non-football illness list following an incident at his Minnetrista home on Nov. 24, 2021, in which he posted a since-deleted disturbing video on Instagram that showed him holding a handgun and expressing concern for his safety.

He called 911 to report an intruder, but none was found. Police and mental health officials worked for several hours to get Griffen to come out of his home before he was taken by ambulance to a mental health facility.

Griffen also missed five games in 2018 because of a mental health situation. He wrote in an Instagram post Dec. 3 that he is “bipolar” and will “be an advocate for mental health.”

Griffen played with Minnesota from 2010-19, making four Pro Bowls, and rejoined the team in 2021 after spending the 2020 season with Dallas and Detroit.

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