ROANOKE, FEB. 19 -- Virginia Tech basketball coach Frankie Allen was arrested on a drunken driving charge early today after totalling his car in an accident in nearby Salem, Va., but he declined comment before boarding a plane for Saturday night's game against Marquette in Milwaukee.

Virginia Tech athletics spokesman Jack Williams said Allen would make a statement after discussing the matter with Athletic Director David Braine.

Braine, who was out of town at an athletic directors meeting, released a statement today through Virginia Tech's sports information office.

"I was surprised to learn of the arrest of basketball coach Frankie Allen," Braine said. "To the best of my knowledge, Coach Allen has not previously had difficulties of this sort, and I will do whatever I can to assist him as he deals with this situation. I am reluctant to comment further until I have an opportunity to speak with him in person on his return from Milwaukee."

Allen was arrested in Salem after a 12:45 a.m. accident in which his car crossed the center median and struck a utility pole on the opposite shoulder, Salem Police Chief Harry T. Haskins said.

"Mr. Allen was arrested by Officer David H. Viar, charged with driving under the influence and, subsequently, he was charged with refusal to take a breath or blood test," Haskins said.

Allen is scheduled to appear in Salem General District Court Tuesday on the drunken driving charge and on April 5 on the test refusal charge, Haskins said. The charges are misdemeanors, he said.

Haskins said Allen's car was destroyed in the accident, but no injuries were reported.