A little over eight months after Andrew Brunette was charged with a DUI while driving a golf cart in Florida, the first-year Nashville Predators head coach had the criminal charges dropped, per Andy Slater of Fox Sports 640.
Brunette was named the head coach of the Predators by first-year general manager Barry Trotz on May 31, taking over for John Hynes after a three-and-a-half season run with the team. During his first radio interview with 102.5 the Game after being hired, Brunette addressed the circumstances around his arrest.
“I feel bad that I put myself and my players and my coaching staff in a position they had to answer for me,” Brunette said. “I feel terrible about that and putting myself in that position. But I’m just going to let the process take care of itself. I’m expecting a positive result, but live and learn and move on.”
On the morning of his arrest, Brunette was reportedly driving home with his wife from a Deerfield Beach bar when he was pulled over after not completing a full stop at a stop sign. The arrest report stated that officers believe Brunette was slurring his speech and that he was unsteady on his feet.
Brunette's attorney, Eric Schwartzreich tells me:
Mr. Brunette was neither drunk nor impaired. We look forward to Mr. Brunette being vindicated of this accusation.
— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) April 18, 2023
Video from the arrest shows Brunette, who was an associate coach with the New Jersey Devils at the time, bailing on his field sobriety test and stating that he was going to call his lawyer. As he tried walking back to his golf cart, two police officers detained him.
“You f—ing fight me and you’re going to f—king regret it,” one officer can be heard telling Brunette as he tried to place him in handcuffs. “Put your hands behind your back and don’t f—ing move, do you understand me?”
In addition to the DUI, Brunette was also charged with two counts of disobeying a stop or yield sign. He posted a $500 bond and was released the same day.
Brunette led the Florida Panthers to a 51-18-6 record and an Atlantic Division championship before losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round of the playoffs two seasons ago. The 49-year-old was also a finalist for the Jack Adams award, given annually to the top head coach in the NHL.
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