Former Panthers coach Andrew Brunette arrested on DUI charge in golf cart

Boca Raton resident stopped by BSO deputy after leaving bar in Deerfield Beach
Florida Panthers interim head coach Andrew Brunette in third period vs. Montreal Canadiens, March 29, 2022
Posted at 9:23 AM, Feb 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-02 09:24:59-05

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Former Florida Panthers coach Andrew Brunette was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of drunken driving in a golf cart near his Boca Raton home.

A Broward Sheriff's Office deputy was ticketing Brunette's golf cart, which was illegally parked outside Kahuna Bar & Grill in Deerfield Beach, when he noticed Brunette, 49, leaving the bar, unsteady on his feet and slurring his speech, according to a probable cause affidavit.

After receiving the ticket, Brunette and his wife were leaving the bar together in the golf cart when, according to the affidavit, the deputy overheard Brunette's wife telling him "not to drive because the police were still there."

Seventeen minutes later, the deputy spotted Brunette driving the golf cart and running two stop signs, the affidavit said.

The deputy initiated a traffic stop, but Brunette continued into Boca Raton before stopping, according to the affidavit.

Brunette, who lives in Boca Raton, claimed that he wasn't driving and that his wife was, even though he was sitting in the driver's seat, the affidavit said.

Florida Panthers interim head coach Andrew Brunette during OT at Pittsburgh Penguins, Nov. 11, 2021
Florida Panthers interim coach Andrew Brunette gives instructions during overtime of the team's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, in Pittsburgh. The Penguins won in a shootout, 3-2.

After starting to perform roadside sobriety tests as requested, Brunette suddenly started to walk off, requesting his attorney, the affidavit alleged.

According to the affidavit, Brunette refused to submit to a breath test.

Brunette was interim head coach of the Panthers during the 2021-22 season, replacing Joel Quenneville, who resigned after it was revealed the Chicago Blackhawks mishandled abuse allegations brought by a player during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs. Quenneville coached Chicago at that time.

After the Panthers hired Paul Maurice in June, Brunette left and became an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils.