Rockies' Helton arrested, facing DUI charge

DENVER -- Rockies first baseman Todd Helton was arrested early Wednesday morning and charged with investigation of driving under the influence, being above the legal blood-alcohol limit and careless driving, a Thornton (Colo.) Police Department spokesman said Wednesday afternoon.

Helton, 39, was arrested after police were contacted at 2:08 a.m. MT when a pickup truck was spotted driving erratically southbound on Colorado Boulevard. Police spotted the vehicle, driven by Helton, at a Conoco gas station. Helton was booked at 2:38 a.m., processed and released.

According to officer Matt Barnes, public information officer for the Thornton Police Department, Helton's blood alcohol was tested. Under department policy, the result will not be released until a trial is conducted, but the charge means the reading exceeded Colorado's legal limit of .08. The case has been presented to the Adams County District Attorney's Office, which will decide whether to file formal charges, according to Barnes.

Both the club and Helton released statements, with the Rockies saying:

"We were extremely disappointed to learn that Todd was arrested this morning. This type of behavior is taken very seriously by our organization. We know that he clearly understands the seriousness of his poor decision, the harm that could have been inflicted on others and the embarrassment his mistake has caused to himself, his family, the Colorado Rockies organization and to Major League Baseball.

"Todd is taking full accountability for his actions with his family, his fans and the organization. The man we have grown to know has strong values that are grounded in his family and hard work. Todd clearly understands the severity of the situation."

Helton released a statement through the club:

"Last evening, I exercised poor judgment and was charged with drinking and driving after driving to a gas station near my house. I am very sorry and embarrassed by my actions. I hold myself to a high standard and take my responsibility as a public figure very seriously. My entire career I have worked to set a positive example for my family and in our community, and I fell far short of this standard.

"I sincerely ask my family, the Colorado Rockies organization, Major League Baseball and the community to accept my apology. I make no excuses and accept full responsibility for my actions. I humbly ask your forgiveness."

The 39-year-old Helton missed much of last season because of a torn labrum in his right hip, an injury that required season-ending surgery. He said last month he has healed properly, and he intends on being ready for Opening Day.

Helton, for years the face of the Rockies franchise, has been with the team for 16 seasons and is a career .320 hitter with 2,420 hits, 354 home runs and 1,345 RBIs.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.