State Rep. Curry Todd Arrested For DUI, Gun Charges
State Rep. Curry Todd, Jr. (Mug shot courtesy the Metro Nashville Police Department)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – State Representative Curry Todd Jr. has released a statement apologizing for his DUI arrest on Tuesday night.
Todd released a statement on Wednesday evening saying:
"Let me begin by saying I am deeply sorry for the events of last evening. On the advice of legal counsel, I have decided not to make any public comments about the situation at this time. Upon her return to the Capitol, I will have a conversation with Speaker Beth Harwell to determine whether it is in the best interest of the General Assembly for me to step aside as Chairman of the State and Local Government Committee."
Police said Todd was pulled over on 21st Avenue South at Blair Boulevard in Nashville at 11:55 p.m. Tuesday.
The Collierville Republican allegedly failed a roadside sobriety test and refused to take a breathalyzer. A loaded Smith & Wesson 38 Special was found in a holster stuffed between the driver seat and the center console.
He was charged with DUI and possession of a handgun while under the influence.
Todd was the lead sponsor of a law allowing handgun carry permit holders to bring their guns into bars. One of his arguments for the bill was that gun permit holders are responsible enough to know that guns and alcohol don't mix.
"He spent all his time arguing that as a permit holder that we don't violate the law, we are responsible and of course we would never drink, when we had our guns, and then be arrested for the very thing that he was out there clamoring about is a little bit of poetic justice if you will," said attorney Adam Dread, who formed a coalition to fight Todd on the issue.
While Democrats are calling for severe consequences, fellow Republicans have to answer to criticism that if the bill's main sponsor can't be trusted to follow the law, then who can?
"Well I don't know if we can trust the sponsor to carry or not, but until we can find out all the details I would be hesitant to answer that," said fellow Republican State Representative Gerald McCormick.
Even if House lawmakers are convicted of criminal charges, there are no rules that will kick them out of the Capitol. So the biggest obstacle for Todd may be getting re-elected and how he will be able to drive to work.
Since Todd refused to take a breathalyzer, he voluntarily surrendered his driver's license for a year under the state's implied consent law.
"If this is a DUI first offense, he would potentially qualify for a restrictive license, which could get him to work, school, but unfortunately for him, not to the bars," Dread said.
Todd is a former police officer so he had a gun carry permit. If Todd is convicted of a misdemeanor, he will not be allowed to carry a handgun for the duration of a sentence imposed by the court.
Todd was released from jail at 8:28 a.m. Wednesday after posting a bond of $2,000 for the DUI charge and $1,000 for the handgun charge.
A settlement hearing was scheduled for November 1.