Hawks coach Budenholzer to contest DUI charge

6:48 PM, Aug 29, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer was arrested early Thursday morning in Atlanta and charged with driving under the influence.

In a statement Thursday morning he says he contests the charges.

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READ | Police report of Budenholzer's arrest

Police said he was arrested for having a faulty tail light along with DUI.

According to the police report, an officer pulled Budenholzer's Audi over on 10th Street at Crescent Avenue. The officer noted Budenholzer's "bloodshot and watery eyes" and an odor of alcohol on his breath.

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Budenholzer refused to take a breath test, according to the report. He also admitted that he stopped drinking about 15 minutes before he was stopped.

He was released from the Atlanta City Jail early Thursday on $1,523.50 bond.

The Hawks and coach Budenholzer issued this statement Thursday morning:

Last night, Atlanta Hawks head basketball coach Michael Budenholzer was stopped by a Georgia State Patrol DUI Task Force officer for a broken taillight. 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.

While at the jail, after consulting with an attorney by telephone, he immediately volunteered to take both a breathalyzer and also requested that a blood alcohol test be performed. His request for testing was refused. Immediately upon his release on bond, Coach Budenholzer went directly to Piedmont Hospital where his blood was tested at the earliest opportunity, albeit 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.

Coach Budenholzer has no prior criminal record and entered a plea of Not Guilty to all charges this morning in the Atlanta Municipal Court. 

"I take my role as a leader very seriously and hold myself to a high standard. I apologize to the fans and to the Hawks organization 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," said Coach Budenholzer.

Budenholzer, 44, was hired as the new Hawks head coach in May after a stint as assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs.

Hawks general manager Danny Ferry released a statement Thursday morning:

"Bud made us aware of the situation last night. We are in the process of gathering more information and will have further comment at the appropriate time."

A second statement came from Ferry Thursday afternoon:

"We take this matter seriously and have been in constant communication with Coach Budenholzer throughout this situation. We support him during this legal process and will let that take its course."

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