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Atlanta Hawks head coach arrested for DUI

Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer was arrested by the Georgia State Patrol overnight and charged with driving under the influence.

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, according to the State Patrol incident report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“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.

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“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.”

Budenholzer, who had been the top assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs, was hired by the Hawks in May to replace Larry Drew as head coach.

Budenholzer was with the Spurs for 19 seasons.

Just after 9 a.m. Thursday, the Hawks released a brief statement from president of basketball operations and general manager Danny Ferry:

“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.”

Budenholzer released the following statement through his attorney:

“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.”

Staff writer Chris Vivlamore contributed to this article.

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