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New Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer arrested for DUI in Atlanta

Mike Budenholzer (left) is leaving the Spurs after nearly two decades. (D. Clarke Evans/Getty Images) New Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer (left) left the Spurs after nearly two decades. (D. Clarke Evans/Getty Images)

New Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer was arrested Wednesday night in Atlanta for driving under the influence of alcohol.

The Associated Press reports that Budenholzer was pulled over by a Georgia State Patrol officer for a tail light violation. Once the officer observed Budenholzer's "bloodshot and watery eyes" and smelled the "strong odor" of alcohol on his breath, Budenholzer went through a field sobriety test, and later refused a breathalyzer test.

Budenholzer, who told the officer that he had "one glass of wine" before getting behind the wheel, was then taken into custody. He posted bond early Thursday morning and was released.

Michael Hawkins, attorney for Budenholzer, issued a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, noting that Budenholzer has "no prior criminal record" and that he volunteered to take a blood alcohol test at the jail, an offer that was allegedly refused.

“I take my role as a leader very seriously and hold myself to a high standard," Budenholzer said in the statement. "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."

Hawks president Danny Ferry, who hired Budenholzer in May, issued a brief statement in response to the incident.

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

Budenholzer, 41, spent 19 years with the Spurs before accepting the Hawks' job, his first as an NBA head coach. In San Antonio, he rose from video coordinator to assistant coach on Gregg Popovich's bench. He took the reins in Atlanta from Larry Drew, who will coach Milwaukee this season. Budenholzer is one of nine first-time head coaches in the NBA this season, joining Brett Brown (76ers), Steve Clifford (Bobcats), Jeff Hornacek (Suns), Dave Joerger (Grizzlies), Jason Kidd (Nets), Michael Malone (Kings), Brian Shaw (Nuggets) and Brad Stevens (Celtics).

The Hawks are set to open their preseason on Oct. 7 against the Heat in Miami. Their regular-season opener is Oct. 30 against the Mavericks in Dallas.

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