ATLANTA - A Fulton County State Court jury has found Atlanta Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer not guilty of DUI. The verdict came back late Monday afternoon.
Bundenholzer testified Monday morning he did not feel impaired when a Georgia State Trooper arrested him on suspicion of DUI.
Coach Budenholzer told the court he had only had a glass and a half of wine that night.
But prosecutors said the coach was intoxicated on August 29, 2013 when he was driving his car back to the Loews Atlanta Hotel.
Budenholzer told jurors he had just eaten dinner at the Local Three restaurant with then-Hawks General Manager Danny Ferry and others.
The Hawks head coach said the trooper pulled him over because his tail lights weren't on.
Budenholzer told the court he thought he was fit to drive after drinking the wine.
"There has to be some small effect to the glass of wine," Budenholzer said.
Defense attorney Mike Hawkins asked Budenholzer if he felt impaired and concerned about driving. He answered no to both questions.
Budenholzer conceded he was not balanced when the trooper asked him to walk on a straight line.
The coach said he had undergone foot surgery in the past, which could have affected that test.
Budenholzer refused a breathalyzer test on the scene. He also testified he had a condition that causes his eyes to be blood shot red. He said he has now stopped taking the medicine.
In a surprise statement, retired Capt. K.G. Hinton, who served as morning watch commander at the Atlanta City Jail at the time of the arrest, told jurors Budenholzer did not appear drunk to him.
The arrest came before Budenholzer, who was named 2014-2015 NBA Coach of the Year, had coached his first game with the Hawks.
Closing arguments wrapped up Monday afternoon and the jury got the case at 3:20 p.m. Monday. They returned the ‘not guilty’ verdict close to 5:30 p.m.