On March 18, 2019, Todd Helton, a Former Star First Baseman for the Colorado Rockies was involved in a one car accident in Knox County, Tennessee. Helton’s vehicle struck a telephone pole on or about 6:00 p.m. In today’s law enforcement, any contact with a driver includes a driving under the influence assessment.
In response to police questioning, Helton volunteered that he had taken an Ambien approximately 4 hours earlier. An officer noted a cup in Helton’s vehicle that seemed to have an odor the Officer associated with alcoholic beverages. Helton did not realize that under the Constitution he had no obligation to incriminate himself. Instead, he could have said “I want a Lawyer” to assert his rights.
Because the 45 year old Helton was injured and needed prompt medical attention, he was not coerced into performing roadside gymnastics also called sobriety tests. That was fortunate for Helton as the field sobriety tests are a mechanism to convict people not test whether or not they are sober. Based upon his admission of taking medication and the smell of an alcoholic beverage, Helton was given a citation instead of being taken into custody.
Helton was kept at the hospital for further evaluation. Helton was fortunate as law enforcement often ignores actual injuries assuming that any issues they see are caused by drugs and/or alcohol.
Helton was convicted of DUI in Colorado in 2013. According to the Tennessee police, Helton volunteered for chemical testing at the hospital. It was not clear whether there was a search warrant issued for his blood.
Helton was a five time All-Star first baseman who completed 17 seasons with the Rockies organization. Helton was the National League batting champion for 2000 and retired in 2013. Helton hold the Rockies’ record for most homers, most runs, most runs batted in and most bases. Helton attended the University of Tennessee who retired his number 17 uniform.