Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer Gets Pinched For DUI in ATL

Mike Budenholzer Hawks DUI

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Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer has some explaining today, after getting pinched by Georgia State Patrol on Wednesday night and charged with a DUI in addition to a tail light violation.

Budenholzer was previously the top assistant with the San Antonio Spurs, where spent 19 seasons before landing the gig with the Hawks to replace Larry Drew.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has all the deets:

A trooper stopped Budenholzer about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday on 10th Street at Crescent Avenue in Midtown because the Audi A8 he was driving didn’t have the tail lights on…

“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 Johnathon Nelms wrote in his report.

“I asked Mr. Budenholzer how much alcohol he had and he advised that he had one glass of wine to drink prior to driving,” Nelms said.

After giving Budenholzer a field sobriety test, Nelms placed the coach under arrest.

“I requested a breath test and Mr. Budenholzer refused the breath test by giving a verbal ‘No’,” Nelms said.

Budenholzer’s attorney, Michael Hawkins, said late Thursday morning that while at the Atlanta City Jail, his client volunteered to take both a breathalyzer and a blood alcohol test, but, “his request for testing was refused.”

A spokesman for the jail said Budenholzer, 44, was charged with DUI and a tail light violation, and was released on $1,524 bond at 3:45 a.m. Thursday.

After Budenholzer was released, he “went directly to Piedmont Hospital, where his blood was tested at the earliest opportunity,” Hawkins said in a statement. “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.”

Just looking at these facts Budenholzer definitely tried to make the best of a difficult situation, wisely refusing to take the breathalyzer test — which is not necessarily an admission of guilt regardless of how questionable it looks.

Although I can’t speak for Georgia and their legal system, it is generally a wise decision to refuse the breathalyzer — especially if you know for a fact that you are shitfaced, because you’re screwed either way.

However, it does buy Budenholzer some time to let the inebriation wear off if he is in fact shitfaced. If Budenholzer did indeed have his request to take a breathalyzer and/or blood test at the jail denied, then his attorney may be able to negotiate down his DUI to a lesser charge.

Budenholzer’s attorney stating that the Hawks coach headed to the hospital following his release to get his blood tested really means nothing, as he would have had a good 6-7 hours to let his system clear out.

Following his arrest and charge with DUI, Budenholzer released the following statement through his attroney:

“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.”


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