SAN JOSE, — San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving early Wednesday, and spent the night alone in a jail cell.
Garcia was booked into the Santa Clara County jail at about 3:30 a.m., spokesman Mark Cursi said. The three-time Pro Bowl selection was released six hours later.
Garcia was red-eyed when he made a short statement to reporters at the 49ers’ training complex in Santa Clara.
“I regret that I’m standing here in front of you in this type of situation,” he said. “As a member of the community, I take on my responsibility as a role model very seriously. I understand the actions or the responsibilities that somebody in my position sets within this community.
“I’m extremely embarrassed for my family, for the San Francisco 49ers organization and for the Bay area for having put them through something like this. … In all honesty, this matter will be taken very seriously. It’s not something that will be taken lightly at all, and it’s something that I hope I can put behind me very quickly.”
Garcia is scheduled to make a court appearance March 1, according to the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office.
“We were very, very surprised and disappointed at this event,” general manager Terry Donahue said. “We realize the seriousness of it. We were relieved to find out that no one was seriously hurt in this incident.”
Garcia was stopped by San Jose State University police near campus in his white SUV. He attended the San Jose Sharks’ game against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night, waving to the crowd when he was shown on the scoreboard.
Campus police issued a statement saying Garcia had three passengers in his car, which was pulled over for “erratic operation.”
The statement said preliminary results showed Garcia’s blood alcohol level was above the legal limit, but that final results would not be available for about two weeks.
Garcia attended San Jose State and lives in San Jose. The former Canadian Football League star has been the 49ers’ starting quarterback since Steve Young retired after the 1999 season.
This season, Garcia passed for 2,456 yards and 16 touchdowns despite missing four games with injuries.
Garcia is due to make nearly $10 million with the 49ers next season, but the team is expected to renegotiate his contract in the offseason to lessen its impact on the salary cap.
San Francisco coach Dennis Erickson, who was arrested for drunken driving while coaching in Seattle in 1995, was supportive of his quarterback.
“Jeff’s a tremendous guy and does a lot of things in the community and for the 49ers,” Erickson told KGO Radio.