Braves reliever Cristhian Martinez was arrested early Monday morning in Gwinnett County on charges of DUI, after allegedly weaving in and out of a lane and traveling at a low speed on I-85, confirmed Gwinnett County police spokesman Corporal Jake Smith.
Martinez was pulled over at 2:42 a.m. on I-85 North at Steve Reynolds Boulevard for failure to maintain a single lane by a Gwinnett County police officer who clocked Martinez traveling 40 mph. The officer smelled alcohol on Martinez’s breath, Smith said, and put him through a field sobriety test. Martinez’s blood alcohol registered .13 in a breathalyzer administered at the Gwinnett County jail, Smith said. The legal limit in Georgia is .08.
Martinez was booked into the Gwinnett County jail at 4:24 a.m., on charges of DUI, improper lane change and impeding the flow of traffic. He was released on $1,627 bond at 10:41 a.m.
“We were very concerned to learn of the arrest of Cristhian Martinez in Gwinnett County this morning,” the Braves released in a statement.
The club announced it will require Martinez to be evaluated by an “independent professional,” in accordance with Major League Baseball’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and declined further comment until all the facts and details are known.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez voiced his own disappointment, however, after the Braves spring training game Monday, saying: “As an organization we don’t like our name in the paper behind that kind of stuff. He’ll get an earful tomorrow. We’ve got to make sure, get all the details…But I’m upset.”
Martinez is the second Braves pitcher in less than a year to be arrested on charges of DUI. Former Brave Derek Lowe, now with the Cleveland Indians, was arrested for DUI on April 28, 2011, in Atlanta but charges were dropped about a month later. In that case, the Braves waited until the legal process was complete before deciding on any disciplinary action.
Martinez was among a group of Braves pitchers who returned from spring training in Orlando, Fla., ahead of the rest of the team to prepare for Tuesday night’s exhibition game at Gwinnett’s Coolray Field.
Martinez has secured a spot in the Braves bullpen this spring after going 0-0 with a 1.38 ERA in eight appearances, allowing two runs in 13 innings, with three walks, 13 strikeouts and a .159 opponents’ batting average.
Martinez, 30, is in his third season in the Braves organization after appearing in 64 major-league games over the past two seasons.
Staff writer David O’Brien contributed information to this report.