Friday , Jan , 09 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Charles Barkley Blew .149, Will Take Leave of Absence from TNT


Charles Barkley is taking a leave of absence from the broadcast booth.

The announcement by Turner Sports came Friday, hours after police said the 45-year-old former NBA star was legally drunk when police arrested him Dec. 31 on suspicion of drunken driving in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Test results show Barkley had a blood-alcohol level at .149, nearly twice the legal limit of .08 in Arizona.

Barkley will be off the air for a minimum of several weeks and no return date has been set, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it.

"I have spoken with Charles Barkley regarding the incident. .. and I understand he has hired a lawyer to represent him regarding this matter," said David Levy, president of TNT Sports, in a statement. "When I spoke with Charles, he was apologetic for the events that transpired and it was obvious he understands the significance of the situation. This is an important time for Charles as he deals with the legal and personal issues that confront him. Charles is a valued part of the Turner Sports organization and we are concerned for his well-being."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3821676