A grand jury recently charged Tennessee State Rep. Curry Todd with driving under the influence and weapons possession. An allegation of implied consent was also levied against the one-time House State and Local Government Committee chairman, a civil charge that could cost the politician his driver's license.
Todd was arrested last fall after a traffic stop about 50 miles southeast of Clarksville in Davidson County. Police say the Collierville resident was pulled over for erratic driving and speeding on 21st Avenue South. The committee chairman allegedly was unable to pass a field sobriety test. Officers say Todd refused to take an alcohol breath test, which led to the implied consent charge.
Tennessee's drunk driving laws stipulate that drivers automatically "consent" to alcohol tests simply by driving on public roads. A refusal to take an alcohol test can lead a driver's license suspension or revocation.
Metro Police say they also discovered a loaded handgun in Todd's vehicle, a Smith & Wesson 38 Special. Todd was once a police officer and backed legislation to allow gun permit owners to carry weapons in places where alcohol is served.
A month after the state representative was arrested, the district attorney's office offered Todd a plea deal. It was rejected. A date for an arraignment has yet to be scheduled.
The embattled Todd has had a series of personal problems. The Tennessee politician was divorced not long ago. Todd also announced last winter that he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
The Republican lawmaker's political future is also hanging in the balance. News of the indictment is expected to make Todd's return to a House chair position "difficult if not impossible," according to the Tennessee Speaker of the House. No one has come forward to challenge Todd's job as a House representative.
Todd's legal counsel in Nashville said the grand jury indictment was not unexpected.
Source: The Tennessean, "State Rep. Curry Todd indicted on DUI, gun charges," June 11, 2012