Skip to comments.TENNESSEE: Republicans demand resignation of Rep. Briley after DUI arrest
Posted on 09/10/2007 1:12:00 PM PDT by SmithL
A heavily intoxicated State Rep. Rob Briley, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, fled the scene of an accident in DeKalb County on Saturday afternoon, then led police in Wilson County on a 100-mile-an-hour chase before finally stopping, according to police reports and court documents.
The Nashville Democrat was arrested at gunpoint after stopping his SUV in the middle of the road and is alleged to have kicked the window of a patrol car while in custody.
Briley, 40, a lawyer, was booked at the Wilson County jail shortly before 6 p.m. on charges of DUI, evading arrest and violation of the implied consent law.
Naifeh said today that Briley suffers from alcoholism, was in treatment last fall and is preparing to enter treatment again. I will do everything I possibly can to help Rob Briley down the road to recovery, he said.
House rules require that a legislator indicted on felony charges be removed from leadership positions. Briley is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, but the charges he faces are misdemeanors.
In cases of misdemeanors, it is up to Naifeh to decide whether Briley will lose a leadership position. Naifeh, speaking to reporters this afternoon, said he will wait until more information is available and until he has talked with Briley following rehabilitation treatment to make any decision on the Nashville lawmakers status.
House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada, meanwhile, issued a statement saying that Briley should resign from the Legislature. A similar statement was issued by state Republican Chairman Robin Smith.
Says Casada: As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I submit that Rep. Briley is held to an even higher standard as his committee is directly responsible for preventing this type of crime. As an attorney, he knows full well that his actions were a blatant violation of the law and were not fitting for a state representative. His district deserves better. Tennessee deserves better.
Naifeh said he was aware of naysayers who were attempting to turn Brileys situation to partisan advantage.
I think thats pretty lowlife. I have absolutely no use for those people, said Naifeh.
According to warrants filed in Wilson County Sessions Court, Briley was clocked at 72 mph in a 45-mph zone of Sparta Pike.
Watertown Police Department Officer Ricky Lucy fell in behind the speeding Nissan SUV and turned on his blue lights and siren.
Briley glanced back, then sped up, reaching speeds of more than 100 miles per hour, according to the arrest report filed by Lucy.
When Briley finally stopped in the middle of the road, Lucy and another officer approached the vehicle with guns drawn.
Briley got out of the vehicle with his hands raised, but then went back to the SUV and drank from a blue plastic cup, Lucys report stated.
Briley had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage also had red watery eyes, failed a field sobriety test and appeared to be in a high level of intoxication, according to the warrants signed by Lucy.
Briley complained to the arresting officers of injuries to his hand and elbow and said he had been taking anti-depressant medicine that occasionally made him dizzy.
Lucy said in his report that he began to give Briley field sobriety tests but that Briley was so unstable on his feet that I felt any further (testing) would be dangerous.
An empty bottle of Makers Mark and bottles of medication were found inside the vehicle, according to the report.
In connection with a traffic accident that occurred earlier in DeKalb County, Briley has been cited by the Tennessee Highway Patrol for leaving the scene of an accident, following too closely and failure to give notice of an accident, THP spokesman Mike Browning confirmed today.
In that accident, a 2005 Nissan SUV hit the rear end of a pickup truck on Highway 70 in Dowell Town.
Witnesses in the pickup truck told troopers that the SUV then made a U-turn and left the scene, Browning said.
There were no injuries. The final report of that accident was not immediately available.
Briley was released to the custody of his mother, GeAnne Briley, shortly after 11 p.m. on Saturday. He did not have to post bond. A court date is set for Oct. 31 at 9 a.m. in Wilson County Sessions Court.
He was rearrested today on a charge of vandalism in connection with an estimated $1,500 damage caused when he allegedly kicked the patrol car window.
Briley, grandson of the late Nashville Mayor Beverly Briley, is one of the Legislatures most powerful members. Besides chairing the Judiciary Committee, which deals with all bills involving the criminal justice system, he is a member of the House Ethics Committee and played a central role in shaping ethics legislation that was enacted by the General Assembly last year.
The judiciary committee is scheduled to review a proposal to overhaul of the states drunken-driving laws next year. Briley has asked the sponsors of several DUI-related proposals to delay their bills in lieu of a comprehensive DUI bill.
Briley is also a member of the powerful House Finance Committee, which rules on all bills that involve spending or taxes. This year, he sponsored 67 bills 10 of which became law.
I guess the shoe is on the other foot now. BTW He’ll never resign...he’s a dim.
“.... fled the scene of an accident....”
It kind of amazes me that we have minimized fleeing an accident scene. Seems like a negative impact of DUI laws and ads.
The treatment was apparently unsuccessful. Wonder what he went into treatment to dodge last time.
Not if you or I flee.
Looking at the next Democratic governor of Tennesee. Rats love to promote criminals you know.
He’s a Democrap and they have no scruples. He’ll be there until he retires someday.
This is an old legal trick. The defendant can claim his blood alcohol reading is not accurate because he drank after he stopped driving.
After a high-speed chase police would have been justified in firing into the vehicle. I wish they had.
What about Jeff Rabon?? I haven’t heard one word about this guy in the MSM.
It’s time to appoint an “Ad-Hic” Investigative Committee.
I lived in Lebanon, TN for a short period of time. Those guys had a reputation of not putting up with a lot of trash.
Not a situation that Briley somehow got caught up in. He acted with complete disregard for the law and public safety.
throw the bum out before the drunken idiot kills someone, make him a commoner so he can set his time out in jail like the rest of us would!!!!
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