Mike Budenholzer, head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, has been fighting for the past 34-months to prove his innocence in a suspected DUI charge. After a four-day trial and 20-minute verdict, the jury has decided to clear Budenholzer of his DUI charge and have him only pay a fine for defective headlights.
In August 2013, Budenholzer was pulled over for driving without his headlights on and he was asked to take field sobriety tests. The arresting officer noted that Budenholzer had red and glassy eyes so he asked Budenholzer to take a breathalyzer test which Budenholzer declined to take. He was then arrested and taken into custody.
In the video of the arrest, Budenholzer is seen struggling to walk a straight line, which he contributed to an ankle surgery he had when he was younger.
Prior to the arrest, Budenholzer had dinner with former Hawks general manager Danny Ferry. At dinner, they are said to have had no more than one glass of wine. One glass of wine was not enough for Budenholzer to be considered under the influence.
While living and working in Texas where the arrest took place, Budenholzer was told to “never take a breathalyzer test”. After the arrest Budenholzer got in touch with Ferry, whom told him to go ahead and take the breathalyzer test. The test was never administered.
On the final day of the trial, Budenholzer testified on his own behalf and maintained his stance of not being affected by the glass of wine he consumed. He had a doctor from San Antonio testify on his behalf as well. The doctor testified that Budenholzer suffers from a condition that causes red eyes. Danny Ferry also testified on Budenholzer’s behalf.
The jury deliberated for two hours before reaching their final decision. The fact of the matter is that Budenholzer only had one glass of wine which would likely not have impaired his driving ability. His blood alcohol level would probably have been below what is considered driving under the influence.
This does not mean one should drink and drive but if you are being wrongfully accused, then you should fight to prove your innocence.