Kindle DWI case moved up

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Sergio Kindle's pending driving under the influence case has been moved up to Tuesday afternoon in Howard County District Court. The case had initially been set for May 18, but was moved up on the docket

Kindle is looking forward to putting the case behind him. "The main thing is I want to get it over with and figure out what they're going to do," Kindle told the Times earlier this spring. "I don't know how the Maryland law works, but I want to get it behind me and not have to worry about it anymore." Kindle's Breathalyzer was recorded at 0.17, according to a police report. That's twice the Maryland legal limit of 0.08. Kindle was stopped by police at 4:09 a.m., and the second-round draft pick was issued citations for driving under the influence of alcohol, failure to obey traffic control devices and speeding.

Kindle was pulled over on Route 1 near Route 32 in Savage and was given a ticket for driving 70 mph in a 55 mph zone. "First and foremost, I would apologize," Kindle told the Times following the incident. "I don't want to put the organization's name in a negative light due to my actions. I made a mistake by driving. I don't know what's going to happen or how they're going to handle that." Kindle said he was driving a friend to the airport. When asked how much he had to drink, Kindle replied: "It wasn't much, but I guess it was enough. I guess it was enough for me to fail a Breathalyzer."

Kindle was arrested for DUI while in college and was suspended for three games. In a separate incident, he crashed his car into an apartment building when he was admittedly texting while driving.

Kindle suffered a hairline fracture of his skull a few days before training camp when he fell down two flights of stairs at a friend's house while searching for the bathroom in a dark house in the middle of the night. A second-round draft pick from the University of Texas, Kindle's health has improved. And the Ravens aren't ruling out him out for the future. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome recently expressed optimism that Kindle will eventually play football again,

"Well, Sergio has made a lot of progress from the time he fell down the stairs," Newsome said during a conference call with season ticket holders. "Right now, it's still in medical hands. We are very optimistic that there may be an opportunity for him to get back on the field. When will that happen? We're not sure. We're very optimistic that Sergio will get back on the field at some point." Newsome's comments echo what coach John Harbaugh said about Kindle earlier this spring. "There's some hope there, there's a chance," Harbaugh said. "I'm more optimistic now than ever before that he has a chance to come back and play. It will just be a matter of seeing how well he does."

Kindle recently visited neurological specialists in Boston and Michigan and told the Carroll County Times that it went well, but emphasized there was nothing definitive learned about his status.

"I don't know how to describe it exactly in medical terms, but they're very pleased with his progress," Harbaugh said. 'There's a chance he could be cleared to compete in football at some point and time." Harbaugh was adamant that Kindle has to get medically cleared before the team can begin making any plans for him on the field. If Kindle returns, the Ravens will get a former All-Big 12 pass rusher back on the field. "He'll go out there and compete with everybody else," Harbaugh said. "If he can regain some of that form he had at Texas, here's a guy that's a big, fast, strong, aggressive guy who loves football and can rush the passer, that would be a bonus for us. That's for sure."

Earlier this year, Kindle said he feels much better.

"I feel great," Kindle said in a telephone interview. "I feel like I'll get that clearance. How I feel about things could be different than what the doctors say. It's up to the doctors. Based on how things are going, I feel like I'll have good results." How will Kindle know if he can withstand the rigors of football?

"The main thing is the actual contact," Kindle said. "There's no way to really evaluate that until you do it. They're going to be looking at the healing of my head and whatnot and my body. It looks like I'll be able to take a hit. My balance is improved by far. "One thing I've done is put a helmet on and banged my head against a wall. I'm careful about how hard I do it. I haven't had any problems. I think I'm ready to hit. I can't wait to play football again."

The Ravens signed Kindle to a one-year, $320,000 contract last fall that didn't include a signing bonus. They retained his rights by assigning him an exclusive rights tender. Kindle has been training in his hometown of Dallas and taking online classes toward his degree.

Kindle works out four times per week, including drills, running and lifting weights at a performance facility run by Michael Johnson, outside of Dallas.

Kindle said he currently weighs roughly 240 pounds. He has been taking online classes toward completing his degree in youth and community studies. He would like to be a coach one day when he's done playing football.

"One of my coaches came down and worked me out and I showed him around the facility to show them I'm not going to be slacking off," Kindle said prior to the NFL lockout. "When or if I get cleared, I can get back on the field in stride."

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