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Cavaliers president Koby Altman arrested on OVI charge in Ohio


Cleveland Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman was arrested by Ohio State Highway Patrol officers for an operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) charge on Friday night for impaired driving.

The incident occurred at 8:53 p.m., when Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers saw a white 2022 Lexus committing a traffic violation on Route 2 near East 55th Street in Cleveland.

Before initiating a traffic stop, the driver, who was identified as 41-year-old Altman, showed indications of impairment. Altman was placed under arrest for OVI and soon after offered a breath test, which he refused.

Altman is being charged with committing a marked lanes violation and OVI, per the official police report.

“Troopers initiated a traffic stop and during their interaction with the driver indicators of impairment were observed,” the Ohio State Patrol said in a statement. “The driver was subsequently placed under arrest for OVI and soon after offered a breath test, which he refused.”

The Cavaliers issued a statement after Altman was arrested: “We are aware of an incident involving Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman. We are currently gathering more information and have no further comment at this time.”

Cleveland Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman was arrested on Friday for operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI)

If convicted, Altman will probably face discipline from the league office. Last season marked the first time the Cleveland Cavaliers made the playoffs without LeBron James on the roster since 1998.

The NBA suspended San Antonio Spurs guard Devonte’ Graham for the first two games of the 2023-24 regular season after his driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction.

In Ohio, a driver can be convicted of a “per se” alcohol OVI for operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher (or urine alcohol concentration of .11% or more).

An OVI can be a felony if the offender had three or more prior convictions and caused injuries or deaths.

A first-offense OVI is a misdemeanor and carries:

  • 3 days to 6 months in jail
  • $375 to $1,075 in fines
  • a period of license suspension of 1-3 years

Additionally, the penalties are raised if the driver had a BAC of .17% or higher.

Per Ohio’s implied consent law, drivers who unlawfully refuse testing or test at a BAC or drug concentration that’s over the legal limit will receive a notice of suspension. The suspension length is based on the number of prior OVI convictions. Test refusals within the last 10 years are also considered.

A driver can be convicted of a per se alcohol OVI without proof of actual impairment (a BAC that’s above the legal limit is enough). Of course, a BAC level of .08 or higher while operating a vehicle is illegal in all 50 states.

If the driver’s license gets suspended, the number of days depend on the charge. Check out the offenses below.

  • 15 days for a first offense
  • 45 days for a second offense
  • 180 days for a third offense

During these minimums, the driver will have no driving privileges.

Altman first joined Cleveland’s front office in 2012

Koby Altman joined the Cavaliers’ front office in 2012. The UMass alumnus was the director of pro personnel when LeBron James and the Cavs won their first NBA championship in 2016.

With the future NBA Hall of Famer, Cleveland appeared in four straight NBA Finals from 2015 through 2018. Last season, the Cavs made the playoffs for the first time without James this century.

However, they were eliminated in six games of their first-round series against the New York Knicks.

Altman became assistant general manager ahead of the 2016-17 season. The Brooklyn native was then promoted to general manager in July 2017. He became Cleveland’s 11th G.M. in its franchise history.

In January 2022, Altman signed a new long-term contract with the Cavaliers, as he was promoted to president of basketball operations.

“Today is a great day for the franchise and another step forward in realizing our vision that includes stability in leadership for the Cleveland Cavaliers,” said Cavaliers Chairman Dan Gilbert.

“In extending Koby Altman’s contract and elevating his title to president of basketball operations, I have the utmost confidence in his ability and the culture he has established since taking over the basketball leadership role with our organization.

“Koby consistently adapts to the ever-changing landscape of the NBA, and he has assembled a team whose players complement each other’s talents both on and off the floor, in addition to a front office and coaching staff of top-notch basketball minds.

“I feel our organization is primed for sustainable and long-term success and that is in no small part thanks to Koby’s efforts, determination and talent. I look forward to what’s ahead for Koby and the Cavaliers.”

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