ATHENS — Chauncey Rivers, the now-former Georgia defensive lineman, was asleep behind the wheel of his parked car at a gas station before his arrest earlier this week.
Rivers was subsequently arrested on four charges, including felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor marijuana possession, and dismissed on Friday. UGA’s student-athlete drug policy calls for a loss of scholarship after a third marijuana violation, and this was the player’s third in seven months.
In a report provided by the Doraville Police Department, the arresting officer says he approached Rivers’ car, a silver 2011 Chevy Camaro, because it was parked in a handicapped spot and did not have handicapped license plates or placards.
The driver “appeared to be passed out” behind the steering wheel, the report then states, and did not respond at first when the officer tapped on the glass. When the officer opened the driver’s side door, he could “smell a strong odor of marijuana.” Then he tapped Rivers on the shoulder and he immediately woke up.
Rivers was able to provide a proper driver’s license.
Rivers denied a request to search the car. The officer determined there was probable cause to search because of the marijuana smell, ordered Rivers to get out, and conducted a search. A search of the trunk revealed a backpack, which caused Rivers to get nervous, the report states, at which time he approached the officer.
“He advised that he was a University of Georgia football player that has been recently in trouble for possession,” the report states. “He stated that he just got his car back. (The other officer) and I secured Mr. Rivers in handcuffs to detain him due to his behavior.”
A further search of the backpack found a “green leaf like substance,” which later field tested positive for marijuana.
After arriving at the jail, a small yellow rectangular pill was found in Rivers’ pocket and was later identified as Alprazolam. More commonly known as Xanax, it is regarded as a Schedule IV substance (on a I-V scale, with I being the most serious), and is considered a felony to possess if there is no prescription. That led to the felony arrest for violation of Georgia’s Controlled Substance Act.