Atlanta, GA- Mike Budenholzer, the newly hired coach for the Atlanta Hawks was arrested on drunken driving charges Wednesday night, and has entered a plea of not guilty.
Budeholzer was pulled over in Atlanta by Georgia State Trooper J. Nelms after the officer noticed the taillights in Audi were out. The arrest report states that Budenholzer had bloodshot eyes and his speech was slurred.
“As I spoke with him I noticed that he had bloodshot and watery eyes and a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath,” Trooper Nelms wrote in his report, USA Today reported.
Budenholzer initially refused to take a breathalyzer test and informed the trooper he had one glass of wine 15 minutes before he left his location. He, however, he agreed to participate in field sobriety tests and completed three of four tests.
Trooper Nelms noted in his report that Budenholzer was “polite” and his speech was mumbled, slow and slurred, according to ESPN.
Budenholzer was booked into jail, and immediately contacted his attorney, which is what everyone who has been arrested from DUI should do. His attorney, Mike Hawkins released a statement Thursday assuring his client was driving well below the legal limit.
“Last night, Atlanta Hawks head basketball coach Michael Budenholzer was stopped by a Georgia State Patrol DUI Task Force officer for a broken taillight,” Hawkins said. “He was stopped solely for an equipment violation and committed no traffic offenses. The trooper demanded that he submit to a breathalyzer, and when Coach Budenholzer asked to consult with an attorney first, he was immediately arrested and charged with DUI.”
After consulting with Hawkins, Budenholzer then asked to be given a breathalyzer and a blood test but those requests were refused. Once his client was released from jail he went to a Piedmont Hospital to have a blood test “several hours after his arrest.”
“The official report from the hospital blood test revealed that his blood alcohol concentration was less than .01, well below the legal limit of .08,” Hawkins said.
Budenholzer was the former coach for the San Antonio Spurs and took his position with the Hawks late May of this year.
Following his arrest, the Hawks general manager Danny Ferry said the team was aware of the situation and said they took the “matter seriously.” Adding, “We support his during the legal process and will let that take its course,” ESPN reported.
Budenholzer issued an apology after his arrest, expressing his regret over “for any negative attention this incident has brought upon my family and the organization while the legal process evolves and I contest these misdemeanor charges.
He also said, “I take my role as a leader very seriously and hold myself to a high standard.”
Budenholzer isn’t the only NBA coach to get a DUI. Last year, Jason Kidd, of the New York Nicks was charged with intoxicated driving while he was a player, and this past July he was placed on probation after pleading guilty.