20-minute dashboard video embarrassing for Tom Lewand

An embarrassing situation for Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand got worse when a 20-minute dashboard video of his arrest on suspicion of drunken driving was released to media outlets in Michigan.

The video shows officers being stunned by the smell of alcohol coming from his vehicle. Then, Lewand performed poorly at field-sobriety tests. The video tells the story better than the release by the Roscommon County Sheriffs Department that Lewand eventually registered a 0.21 and a 0.20 blood-alcohol level after he had been transported to jail.

The video – and the audio – from the arrest are damaging for the man who is front and center for an NFL organization. According to the Detroit Free Press – which has the entire arrest video here – the organization has declined to comment further on the arrest since Lewand, team owner William Clay Ford Sr. and coach Jim Schwartz released statements.

As previously reported, Lewand denies having had a drink for a year-and-a-half. He performs poorly on the field tests the officers asked him to take and then he debated at length whether or not to submit to a breathalyzer.

“I’m happy to take whatever you want me to do, but review for me why I did not pass what you suggested I do,” Lewand said.

Finally, the officers ran out of patience with Lewand.

“If you don’t blow you’re going to get arrested right now,” one officer is heard saying. “If you haven’t been drinking like told me you haven’t been that is going to register all zeroes. Do you want to take the test -- yes or no? I want that answer right now -- yes or no. Don’t say another word other than yes or no.”

Lewand couldn’t provide an answer and he was handcuffed on the spot. He remains on the job for the Lions but there’s a credibility issue here at some level for the team. Individuals in positions like Lewand are held to a higher standard than players or even coaches who hit the drive-thru in the buff.

The Free Press reports Lewand has been in treatment for alcohol abuse for several months. Hopefully, he will continue down a path toward recovery. Meanwhile, the Lions need to determine what is the best course of action for the franchise.

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