Former Vol and pro-baseball player Todd Helton charged with DUI
KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — Former Tennessee All-American and Major League Baseball star Todd Helton was charged with driving under the influence on March 18 in Knox County, court records show.
The former Colorado Rockies star was driving a 2019 Ford F-150 King Ranch when he left the roadway and hit a steel telephone pole while traveling northbound on Harvey Road, an incident report from the Knox County Sheriff's Office states.
"The arrestee admitted to officers that he had taken an Ambien" approximately four hours before at his home, according to the report.
Officers also "observed a plastic travel cup in the vehicle that had the odor of an alcoholic beverage inside of the cup."
Officers did not conduct a standard field sobriety test or interview him in depth on the scene because he was taken to Parkwest Medical Center for further evaluation and medical treatment, the report said. While at the hospital, Helton voluntarily gave blood for chemical testing.
A statement from Helton's attorney says that he is currently in a residential treatment program outside of East Tennessee.
"He realizes there are parts of his behavior that need to change, and he is focused on doing just that," the statement from attorney Stephen Ross Johnson reads.
"Todd Helton has spent much of his life in the public eye and has tried hard to be a role model. Even more importantly, he is a father and wants to set the best example possible for his kids," according to the statement.
It also says the family is thankful for the officers and medical professionals who took care of Helton.
"Because of those first responders, he was not seriously injured," the statement reads. "Mr. Helton is grateful for the support of his family and community and asks for their prayers."
His DUI arraignment is set for April 1.
Helton had previously been sentenced in 2013 for driving while ability is impaired in Colorado when he was a first baseman for the Colorado Rockies.
At the time, he was sentenced to one year of probation, 24 hours of community service and will have to pay a $400 fine for the charge. The court also instructed for him to go through alcohol evaluation and treatment if recommended. The DUI charge he was facing was dropped when he pleaded to driving while ability is impaired.
Helton joined UT's baseball staff in early 2017 as the director of player development.