49ers’ Bryant avoids 

The San Francisco 49ers wide receiver arrested by San Mateo police last month on suspicion of driving under the influence has successfully avoided a drunken driving charge by refusing to take sobriety tests.

Antonio Bryant, 25, instead pleaded not guilty this week to two lesser misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and resisting arrest, Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Bryant was arrested just before midnight on Nov. 19 on northbound U.S. Highway 101 near Whipple Avenue after being spotted driving allegedly more than 120 mph in his orange Lamborghini. He allegedly tried to speed away from officers and refused to get into their car before he was arrested, prompting them to use a special "wrap" device to restrain him, Wagstaffe said.

Bryant refused to take a field sobriety test or to undergo blood alcohol chemical tests, according to police. Wagstaffe said Bryant wasn’t wobbly and didn’t smell of alcohol.

"Without those additional things, we just didn’t have a case," he said.

The lesser misdemeanor charges allowed Bryant’s attorneys to waive an arraignment scheduled for Thursday by filing paperwork with the court clerk on Wednesday, according to Wagstaffe. The Department of Motor Vehicles will still suspend his license for six months.

The NFL has suspended Bryant for four games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He is out of custody on his own recognizance. A jury trial was set in the case for March 5.

Bryant’s attorneys, Josh Bentley and Jonathon McDougall, did not return calls for comment Thursday.

eholt@examiner.com

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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