'Guns in bars' legislator pleads guilty to DUI, gun charge

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 12:31pm
011813 Curry Todd with attorney Robinson topper .jpg

Rep. Curry Todd, alongside his attorney Worrick Robinson, speaks to reporters after Todd's court appearance Friday. (Andrea Zelinski/SouthComm)


A key architect of the state’s so called “guns in bars” law, state Rep. Curry Todd, pleaded guilty to drunken driving and illegally possessing a weapon Friday.

With teary eyes, he told reporters he was sorry for the actions that led to his October 2011 arrest in Nashville, adding the experience has “greatly humbled” him as former law enforcement officer who found himself “painfully on the other side.”

“Rather than looking back, it’s my intention to move forward, concentrate my efforts, my experiences both good and bad on being the best friend, leader and advocate for the people in my district in the state of Tennessee,” he said outside the Nashville courtroom as tears welled in his eyes.

While Todd pleaded guilty, he maintained his DUI arrest was the result of taking prescription medication and later drinking “less than two glasses of wine.”

Fifteen months ago, Todd was pulled over south of Hillsboro Village near the corner of 21st Avenue and Blair Boulevard for swerving and driving 60 mph in a 40 mph zone. He failed field sobriety tests but refused to take a breath test to determine his level of intoxication. The refusal is a violation of the state’s implied consent law that stipulates all drivers are expected to submit to sobriety tests, although that charge was thrown out in court Friday as part of Todd’s plea deal.

Police also found a .38-caliber gun stuffed between the drivers seat and center console. State law prohibits possession of a handgun while under the influence.

Todd now faces 48 hours in jail and a year of probation. He is also responsible for a $350 fine, 24 hours of community service. He will lose his driving privileges for a year but be eligible for a restrictive drivers license. He must complete alcohol safety classes, must install an interlock device on his vehicle and must work with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a victim impact panel.

He also cannot carry a gun until after finishing his probation and asking the court to expunge the weapons violation from his record.

A Republican from Collierville, Todd sponsored legislation allowing gun owners to carry into establishments that serve alcohol under the stipulation those individuals refrain from drinking. The battle over the legislation went on for years before becoming law in 2010.

Todd, who was chairman of the key State and Local Government Committee, stepped down from his post following his arrest. While he won re-election unopposed last year, House Speaker Beth Harwell did not reappoint him to a legislative leadership position as chair of that committee. The Republican Caucus also replaced him on the Fiscal Review committee.

15 Comments on this post:

By: HamBoneHamBone on 1/18/13 at 2:46

Tennessee's finest. Sweet Jesus, where does this state find these people?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/18/13 at 3:25

And yet there's not a lot of comments of outrage! Unbelievable.

By: CrimesDown on 1/18/13 at 4:04

I'm not outraged. He made the poor decesion to drink and drive and was arrested. He was also carrying a gun, which is illegal while intoxicated, and he was arrested for that. Looks like the law is working just fine. If people think that this is enough to keep him out of office, well, that's what the next election is for.

There are plenty of things we should be outraged about, this doesn't seem like one of them to me. I am glad that a person driving under the influence was arrested though.

By: FaceBook:Emmett... on 1/18/13 at 6:15

There is no "guns in bars" law, no matter how often dishonest so-called "journalists" claim there is.

By: Rasputin72 on 1/19/13 at 1:35

Now if "Sack Pants Smith" had been arrested for the same set of reasons the public would have never heard of his misery. The reason of course is that "Sack Pants Smith" does not give a big doobie. He is relieved of some money of course which hurts but "Sack Pants is a part of the new America that is iinvisible right through his own death and cremation.

Curry Todd on the other hand does not understand how to calculate risk vs reward but will in all liklihood be re-elected by people just like "Sack Pants Smith".

By: Radix on 1/19/13 at 10:12

He sounds pretty remorseful. An event like that can really wake you up and realize that laws we pass are for real. I wish the best for him, this is something he won't soon forget.

By: Shadow63 on 1/19/13 at 10:38

Being represented by hypocrites does no cause any good. He should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

By: dargent7 on 1/19/13 at 1:38

Everyone pulled over by the police only had, "two glasses of beer or wine".
What was this sack's BAC level?
If he had, "only two", it would be les that 0.04.
If over 0.08, Then he'd be a liar, too.
And the DA should trace his bar hopping at Brown's, et.al., and look at his VISA/ bar receipts to see how many drinks he actually had.
It's absurd we as a society let these fat, rich cats get away w/ murder.

By: joe41 on 1/20/13 at 10:52

He is probably remorseful that he got caught. Thankfully he didn't kill an innocent person.


By: pswindle on 1/20/13 at 3:31

I just do not know where these GOP lawmakers are coming from. They want to do as they say, but I'll do as I please.

By: CrimesDown on 1/21/13 at 12:42

dargent7...I'm not sure you read the article. He didn't get away with anything. He pled guilty. How does pleading guilty equate to getting away with something?

By: mars on 1/21/13 at 12:54

So he can ask the court to expunge the fact that he was drunk and carrying a gun, be reelected and again carry a concealed a gun. Lovely system

By: freddy on 1/21/13 at 2:21

Emmett says there is no "guns in bars" law in Tennessee. The law that allows registered gun owners to carry their weapons in a venue that serves alcohol is for real, but isn't called "guns in bars." The fact that Curry Todd co-sponsored the legislation is why people are calling him a hypocrite, Emmett. What rock have you been living under for the past two years?

By: GUARDIAN on 1/21/13 at 5:42

This shows the law worked... there's no other story here.... GUARDIAN-GOD, COUNTRY, FAMILY and FRIENDS. The American Way.

By: 4gold on 1/23/13 at 9:12

Republicans supporting guns in bars lead the nation in stupidity. Guns and booze do not mix. Is this country null and void of plain common sense? Tennessee leads the way.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!