He and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning are good friends after playing football together at the University of Tennessee in the 1990s. They recently went on a hunting trip after the Broncos' unexpected early exit from the NFL playoffs.
Manning has credited Helton and the Rockies with helping him recover from a series of neck operations that led to his departure from Indianapolis by allowing him to work out at Coors Field during the NFL lockout two summers ago.
Helton, who lives in Thornton year-round, was driving a Ford F-150 pickup at the time of his arrest early Wednesday, police said. He was taken to the police department where he was booked, issued a summons and released to a friend, Thornton police spokesman Matt Barnes said.
"Last evening I exercised poor judgment and was charged with drinking and driving after driving to a gas station near my house," Helton said in a statement released through the team. "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 Rockies, under new manager Walt Weiss, begin reporting to spring training this weekend as they try to bounce back from a 64-98 season.
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