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Atlanta Hawks Coach Mike Budenholzer Arrested for DUI

By Brett Snider, Esq. | Last updated on

Atlanta Hawks Coach Mike Budenholzer was arrested for DUI in Atlanta late Wednesday despite the fact that he told officers he'd only consumed "one glass of wine."

The 44-year-old NBA coach was released early Thursday on a $1,524 bond. Hawks General Manager Danny Ferry said the team was "in the process of gathering more information" about the incident, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

DUI in A-Town

Trooper Johnathon Nelms reported that the coach was driving his Audi A8 without its tail lights on, giving him cause to pull Budenholzer over, reports the AJC.

An officer can pull over any driver for a suspected traffic violation or DUI stop, as long as there is reasonable suspicion that the driver is committing an offense.

In this case, Budenholzer's traffic stop turned into a DUI investigation, according to The Associated Press, once Trooper Nelms noticed that he had:

  • Bloodshot and watery eyes,
  • Strong odor of alcohol on his breath, and
  • Slurred (but polite) speech.

The former San Antonio Spurs assistant coach refused a Breathalyzer and was then arrested following a field sobriety test, reports the AJC.

Refusing a Breathalyzer Test

As with any resident of Atlanta, it was Budenholzer's right to refuse to take the Breathalyzer test when Trooper Nelms requested one. But even if Budenholzer had been sober, he would face certain administrative penalties for refusing a test.

Georgia, like most other states, enforces implied consent laws that serve to punish drivers for refusing to submit to chemical tests for alcohol when there is probable cause to test that driver.

Even if Budenholzer had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) below the legal limit, refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer can result in a minimum one year suspension of a Georgia driver's license.

Driving and criminal ramifications aside, Budenholzer's future with the Atlanta Hawks remains uncertain, although the team's GM Danny Ferry confirmed that the coach had "immediately informed him of the arrest," reports The AP.

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