ATLANTA – The University of Georgia athletic director who publicly campaigned against drunken driving will make a public statement Thursday about his arrest on charges of driving under the influence.
Athletic director Damon Evans was arrested late Wednesday night after he was pulled over in a 2009 BMW by a Georgia state trooper in north Atlanta and accused of driving erratically, Georgia State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright said Thursday.
Police said Evans smelled of alcohol and was given a field sobriety test before being taken to the Atlanta city jail on charges of DUI and failure to maintain a lane, Wright said.
“The trooper determined that he was not safe to be operating a motor vehicle,” Wright said.
The 40-year-old former UGA football player refused a breathalyzer test at the jail, Wright said. He was released early Thursday.
He said there was a passenger in Evans' car who also was taken to jail. The passenger's identity was not immediately released.
UGA spokesman Chuck Toney said the university is aware of the report and will issue a statement later Thursday. Evans, whose new five-year contract with the university began Thursday, did not immediately return a call for comment.
Evans became head of UGA's athletic department in 2004, following legendary director and coach Vince Dooley. He lead the department to a record profit in 2005, beating out all other college athletic programs with $23.9 million in revenue.
He appears in a public service message against drunken driving that is shown on the big screen of Georgia's stadium during home football games.
“We ask that you be responsible,” Evans says in the message.