Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - The attorney for Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair entered a plea of "not guilty" to charges of DUI and possession of a handgun on behalf of his client in Criminal Court Wednesday.
McNair was indicted by a Davidson County grand jury this month and waived his right to appear in court, in part because of arthroscopic surgery performed on his left ankle last week.
The 31-year-old McNair must appear in court on April 15th for a pre-trial order and June 3rd for the settlement deadline, unless he is excused.
McNair was arrested last May after police claimed he was weaving through the streets of downtown Nashville. Upon pulling into the parking lot of a corner store, McNair was approached by the police.
The officer smelled alcohol on his breath before searching the car. A 9mm handgun, for which McNair had a permit, was found in a compartment in the front seat.
McNair's eyes were reportedly bloodshot and a blood-alcohol test revealed a 0.18 level, which is significantly higher than Tennessee's legal limit of 0.10. Since McNair's arrest, the threshold in the state has been lowered to 0.08.
Roger May, McNair's attorney, has indicated that he will zealously defend his client, and that the defense will concentrate on the events leading up to McNair's arrest.
McNair was named co-winner of this year's NFL Most Valuable Player award, along with Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning.
The Alcorn State product threw for 3,215 yards despite missing two of the final three games of the season due to calf and ankle injuries. He tossed 24 TD passes, while being picked off only seven times. The Titans (12-4) earned a No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs and won at Baltimore in a first-round playoff contest before falling to the eventual-Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.