PROVO — A BYU football player has been charged with driving under the influence, according to court documents.
Wide receiver Neil Pau’u, who will be a junior this fall, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of driving under the influence and interfering with signs and signals, according to documents filed in Provo City Justice Court.
The two violations represent class B and class C misdemeanors, respectively.
The charges stem from an incident on June 8 involving Pau’u and BYU University Police, when Pau'u was found operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of at least .05 or greater, according to charging documents. The receiver was cited a week later, on June 17, but the citation was classified as private in court documents.
Pau'u was observed by a BYU police officer driving "right next to and around my patrol vehicle" on June 8 at 12:58 a.m., according to court documents. After driving through a barricade marking a newly paved road, the officer pulled over Pau'u, who was the only occupant of his vehicle, the documents said.
While speaking with police, the officer smelled a "strong odor" of alcohol, to which Pau'u responded that he had "two jungle juice," a mixed liquor that commonly combines vodka and rum with fruit, and is regularly served at college parties, according to drizly.com.
After a field sobriety tested measured a blood alcohol level of .147, Pau'u was placed under arrest, the documents state. He was booked into jail by the Utah County Sheriff's Office.
A pretrial conference has been scheduled for July 22 in Provo. BYU football opens fall camp in late July.
Pau’u, a 6-foot-4, 223-pound wide receiver from Santa Ana, California, is the younger brother of former BYU linebacker Butch Pau’u. The junior-to-be played in all 13 games of his sophomore year, including three starts, accumulating 216 receiving yards and one touchdown. He was listed as the No. 2 starter at the "Z" receiver spot on BYU's preseason depth chart.
The younger Pau'u was not available during BYU’s media day last week. An official with the BYU athletic department said that the university is aware of the situation and "looking into it."
Contributing: Carter Williams, KSL.com