Former U.T. All-American and retired major-league baseball player Todd Helton was charged with DUI in Knox County last week after he left the roadway and struck a steel pole on Harvey Road.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office says Helton admitted taking Ambien at home about four hours before the incident. Officers also found a plastic travel cup in the vehicle that smelled of alcohol.
They did not run standard field-sobriety tests or conduct an in-depth interview with Helton, as he was transported to Parkwest Medical Center for evaluation and treatment. While there, Helton voluntarily gave blood for chemical testing.
Helton was not arrested, but was issued a misdemeanor citation.
A statement from his attorney indicated Helton has entered a residential treatment facility. “He realizes there are parts of his behavior that need to change and he is focused on doing just that,” the statement said in part, adding Helton “wants to set the best example possible for his kids.”
Helton is due in court April 1.
In 2013, while he was first baseman for the Colorado Rockies, Helton was sentenced in Colorado for driving while ability is impaired.
Helton became director of player development at the University of Tennessee in early 2017.