published Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Tennessee lawmaker arrested on DUI, gun charges

  • photo
    In this Feb. 8, 2010 file photo, Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, speaks in the House Chamber of the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville, Tenn. Todd, lead sponsor of a law allowing handgun carry permit holders to bring their guns into bars, was arrested late Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, on charges of drunken driving and possession of a gun while under the influence. (AP Photo/Josh Anderson, File)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee state lawmaker who was the lead sponsor of a law allowing handgun concealed carry permit holders to bring their guns into bars has been arrested on charges of drunken driving and possession of a gun while under the influence.

Rep. Curry Todd, a Collierville Republican, was pulled over in Nashville late Tuesday, police say in court documents. He allegedly failed a roadside sobriety test and refused to take a Breathalyzer test. A loaded .38-caliber gun was found in a holster stuffed between the driver seat and the center console.

A police affidavit said Todd was unsteady on his feet, “almost falling down at times.” It concluded that Todd was “obviously very impaired and not in any condition to be carrying a loaded handgun.”

The name of a lawyer for Todd, who is a former Memphis police officer, could not immediately be located. A spokesman for the House Republican Caucus had no immediate comment on the arrest.

Todd’s arrest was first reported by WSMV-TV.

Todd sponsored a 2009 bill to allow people with handgun carry permits to bring their weapons into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, provided they don’t drink. The law passed despite opposition from law enforcement and district attorney groups, and easily survived a veto from former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen.

A judge later declared the law unconstitutionally vague. The Legislature passed a new version last year.

Todd, the chairman of the House State and Local Government Committee, is known for flashes of a quick temper. After Bredesen vetoed the original version of the guns in bars bill, Todd said: “I want to tell you what the governor can do with that piece of paper he just sent.”

Todd also drew national attention last year for saying in a committee hearing that illegal immigrants can “go out there like rats and multiply” after hearing that federal law requires the state to extend prenatal care to women regardless of their citizenship status because all children born in the U.S. are citizens.

Todd initially acknowledged that he used the wrong words and that he meant to say “anchor babies” — itself a term many consider offensive — but refused to apologize for the original remark.

Todd later changed course and said he would “apologize if the comment offended anyone.”

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esaletnik said...

He's just pandering to his base.

October 12, 2011 at 10:53 a.m.
XGSBoss said...

Class act all the way around. An abberation in the Republican party? Doubt it. Hell he just assured his re-election with out having to spend more that a few buck on drinks!

October 12, 2011 at 11:09 a.m.
bluedagger said...

It's not a right vs left thing, it's a right vs wrong thing and he should be punished for it.

October 12, 2011 at 12:05 p.m.
callison said...

It is a right vs left thing. Had he not sponsored this bill, then perhaps he wouldn't have a loaded gun in his front seat after obviously coming from a bar. This guy is a joke, and this couldn't have happened to a more deserving political party.

October 12, 2011 at 12:12 p.m.
rolando said...

He was arrested and charged for his offenses...Hell of a lot better than what is happening to Holder and Crew with their gun running offenses.

But that is a basic difference between Democrats and Republicans. The latter are prosecuted, the former aren't. It is that simple.

October 12, 2011 at 1:24 p.m.
dao1980 said...

I agree with bluedagger, the fact that this dinglehopper thought it was a good idea to get sloshed and drive around with his pistol ready for fun isn't a right/left issue at all.

It's a reflection of a much greater issue with all elected officials.

They're all crooks, liars, cheats, drug addicts, and power hungry fools.

They play both sides against each other to keep us in a constant state of unproductive bickering over Red or Blue.

The decisions that they make on a daily basis would bankrupt a private company or destroy a family unit quite quickly.

Yet we trust them with the creation of laws and the use of our tax dollars and all other duties related to general governance.

It's almost as though a desire to govern over your fellow man is inherently indicative of deep personal issues.

Oh well... better they than I.

October 12, 2011 at 1:32 p.m.
biofish said...

Yes, We thought Republicans never break the law. Now we know better. Your insight has now changed us all to Liberals.

Get a clue. This has nothing to do with politics.

October 12, 2011 at 1:41 p.m.
Facts said...

Let's see if the GOP that talks values will walk values by punishing this guy within the party. I vote GOP/conservative but see very few Republicans do exactly what they say.

October 12, 2011 at 1:43 p.m.
WHS1970 said...

People like this hypocrite is the reason that I have no respect for any politician today. Trouble is, he will probably be reelected as long as he has an R by has name.

October 12, 2011 at 1:44 p.m.
floridabb said...

Wake up people,its all political.

October 12, 2011 at 2:01 p.m.

What does the gun have to do with the drunk driving charge? He wasn't waving it around or something stupid like that. He was however doing the equivalent of waving around a grenade launcher by driving drunk. The gun had no part in the story. I guess he proved it is safer for a drunk man to have a loaded gun than to have the keys to an automobile.

October 12, 2011 at 2:33 p.m.
ecah said...

Just the fact that he REFUSED a breath test should get him barred and removed from his position. He is in a position that should be held to a higher standard, just like a cop... like it or not, that's the way it is.

October 12, 2011 at 2:49 p.m.
Gator said...

I'm a little confused as to how a DUI has become "driving around with his pistol ready for fun". Prosecute the guy for DUI - he deserves it, but if he had a permit for that gun, and it was never removed from the holster, it shouldn't even be part of this discussion. Read the 2nd Ammendment. His gun was for self-defense, NOT for "fun". What a bunch of goobers.

October 12, 2011 at 3:04 p.m.
dao1980 said...

Your right Gator, I misunderstood the point of the story my first read through, sorry for saying it that way.

I allowed the inflection of the headline and content to direct me towards believing that he was handling his 38 whilst careening around drunk.

After re-reading a little more carefully.. no foul whatsoever on having said pistol tucked neatly between the seats.

Yes, major foul on him being a "lawmaker" that refuses to obey the law.

My point is more about politicians all being idiots wishing for us to be the same than it is about him having a gun with him.

October 12, 2011 at 3:39 p.m.
Shock said...

It's more than just a DUI. He was also charged with "possession of a gun while under the influence." I had no idea such a law existed on the books. A lesson for everyone with a carry permit - hand over your keys and your gun when you've had too much to drink.

Disgusting that a lawmaker got a DUI. Unbelievable that the very man who sponsored the guns in bars bill went out and got arrested for illegally mixing guns and booze, undercutting any and every argument he posited for the bill in the first place. The NRA ought to send him a sternly worded note with their next campaign contribution.

October 12, 2011 at 4:08 p.m.
hambone said...


October 12, 2011 at 4:13 p.m.
fedup350 said...

Wow, the liberals who NEVER do any wrong are coming out like cockroaches. We could go on and on about what Republicans or what democrats got arrested, we really could. Leave to some mindless fools to make this a political thing. If he is guilty then punish him, simple as that. I can’t believe e some of the people on this post who are slinging the word "hypocrite" around. Sheesh, give me a break. I will tell you the difference between Republicans and democrats when they get caught doing something wrong. The Republicans usually admit it and resign. The democrats lie, make excuses and drag it out for months wasting taxpayer time and money. Hell, Bill Clinton left his mark on a dress and he denied it. The Louisiana democrat got caught with hundreds of thousands in bribe money in his freezer and denied it until, he was finally tossed out. Ford in Memphis and Marion Barry in D.C. were video taped! We could go on like this on both sides so give it a rest you liberals dems, you and your side are no better.

October 12, 2011 at 4:40 p.m.
headcoconut said...

biofish said... Yes, We thought Republicans never break the law. Now we know better. Your insight has now changed us all to Liberals. Get a clue. This has nothing to do with politics

Sorry, biofish. This has everything to do with politics. TN Republicans would have had a preaching hitsy fit if this has been a Democrat. They'd have beaten the issue into the ground with their Jesus stick.

October 12, 2011 at 5:11 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

I find it AMAZING that there are people on this board who do not get the irony of this situation. Nor do they know the Tennessee state law about carrying and drinking which...I would assume...would have been discussed in any handgun carry permit class. I'll post it here for you:

39-17-1321. Possession of handgun while under influence -- Penalty. (a) Notwithstanding whether a person has a permit issued pursuant to § 39-17-1315 or § 39-17-1351, it is an offense for a person to possess a handgun while under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance. (b) It is an offense for a person to possess a firearm if the person is both: (1) Within the confines of an establishment open to the public where liquor, wine or other alcoholic beverages, as defined in § 57-3-101(a)(1)(A), or beer, as defined in § 57-6-102(1), are served for consumption on the premises; and (2) Consuming any alcoholic beverage listed in subdivision (b)(1). (c) (1) A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor. (2) In addition to the punishment authorized by subdivision (c)(1), if the violation is of subsection (a), occurs in an establishment described in subdivision (b)(1), and the person has a handgun permit issued pursuant to § 39-17-1351, such permit shall be suspended in accordance with § 39-17-1352 for a period of three (3) years.

I think that Todd's arrest for DUI and carrying ABSOLUTELY justifies the political question of why the insane law that he sponsored was ever passed in the first place and reinforces the opposition's position on why it shouldn't have been.

I think that he should be punished even harsher for his offense as he clearly had higher standards...i.e. being a law maker AND sponsoring a bill that allows guns where people are live up to and he KNEW it.

October 12, 2011 at 5:13 p.m.
fedup350 said...

I bet that XGSBoss, SavartiTN and headcoconut will be sheepishly quiet the next time a democrat gets caught at something. Just you wait and see. I bet they were calling for Ward Crutchfield’s resignation (sarcasm here) when he got caught taking payoffs. Just to validate my point I made above: Chris Newton (Republican), plead guilty and resigned. Democrats Crutchfield, Ford, Bowers, Dixon all lied, attempted cover-ups and cost the taxpayers money on lengthy trial which they ultimately plead guilty or were found guilty. We could go on all day. If Mr. Todd is guilty he should be punished, simple as that.

October 12, 2011 at 5:44 p.m.
dennis said...

Hell folks forget the gun, its only a misdemeanor. This is the kind of TRASH that we are letting get elected to public office. They are the ones who are passing the laws that you and I have to live with everday. If this trash doesn't step down from office, lets make it a point to throw him out at the next election. I don't care what party you belong to, he needs to step down before he has a chance to retire and we have to pay him like we are going to have to pay Paul Page. LEAVE OFFICE NOW!

October 12, 2011 at 6:26 p.m.
headcoconut said...

fedup350 said... I bet that XGSBoss, SavartiTN and headcoconut will be sheepishly quiet the next time a democrat gets caught at something.

Don't be going on the attack, fedup350. It was your the Republicans who ran on a party of morals and Christian values. They were the ones constantly pointing their fingers and accusing anyone not a part of their exclusive club as having no values and no morals.

October 12, 2011 at 6:28 p.m.
sandyonsignal said...

He's a fine role model for the Republican Party. He should be the poster boy for personal responsibility.

October 12, 2011 at 7:10 p.m.
biofish said...

Sorry, biofish. This has everything to do with politics. TN Republicans would have had a preaching hitsy fit if this has been a Democrat. They'd have beaten the issue into the ground with their Jesus stick.their Jesus stick.

You realize you just described what you are now doing since he was Republican. Hypocrisy sucks huh?.

This is NOT political .. This is politician who got in trouble. I am not republican and I can see that. So go and get your Socialism stick and sit on it. ;)

October 12, 2011 at 8:17 p.m.
McRand said...

In some states a refusal to take a breathalyzer is an automatic suspension. In other states you are not required to take one. What if somebody spiked your drink it didn't hit you until after you left and were already on the road and you felt you were getting an odd feeling but did not believe it to be from your drink, but just thinking you may be getting sick and continued heading for home? That's why we have a system of due process. Until proven guilty, the charges are alleged.

What does TN say?

Am I required to take a field sobriety test? NO. Tennessee law does not require you to perform field sobriety tests at the request of an officer. The officer, however, is under no obligation to inform you that such tests are voluntary.

October 12, 2011 at 8:44 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

I'm "fed up" with people like FedUp.

I went back and reread my post. I didn't see the word "Republican" mentioned in it one time.

I think that you protest too much, FedUp. And we all know what that means.

Head Coconut does have a good point about the party with the morals and Christian values.

October 12, 2011 at 9:38 p.m.
moonpie said...

Without reading a post above.... let me venture a guess....

Supporters of the legislation condemn drinking and driving and support the wisdom of the bill.

People opposed to the legislation talk about the hypocrisy and make snide remarks.

Republicans make preimptive strikes about Democrat hypocrisy.

Basically, each side will "stick to their guns".

Have I missed anything? I'll hit enter then go back and read.

October 12, 2011 at 9:54 p.m.
moonpie said...

biofish is not a Republican but is probably a seamonkey, TeaParty conservative. To call another person a Socialist is practically calling yourself a Teabagger.

Fact, you are a breath of fresh air.

Any student of human nature is not surprised by this story. This man thinks it's important to be able to put guns and liquor in close proximity. What is he so afraid of?

I know what I'm afraid of, Drunks with Guns.

October 12, 2011 at 10:03 p.m.
NoMyth said...

As long as citizens continue to vote for stooges, this is what we will get from our legislators. We are voting into office people that are caricatures of the right and left. Look at the bio on this a-hole: He just wants to be everything to the demographic that he thinks we will get him re-elected. Also, chances are this guy has been pulled over many times and 'taken care of' by his friends on the force and in the legislature. Vote for someone with new ideas, even if you don't support 100% of them....not for another stooge that just tells you what you want to hear but who will never deliver anything of value and more likely will disgrace themselves, their community and the electorate. Kudos to the officer that pulled this clown off the road.

October 12, 2011 at 10:29 p.m.
kingfish15 said...

Sorry all you numbnuts, but neither party has any priority when it comes to drinking. Hard to find one that does not swill the booze. Todd will pay for his screw up, just like Ted Kennedy did. Oh, wait, wrong guy. That is what happens when you get old, you mix things up. I even thought NoMyth was talking about our president starting with--"He just wants to be everything to the demographic that he thinks will get him re-elected........" But I guess he was not. Not sure who he was talking about besides a standard politician. Yup, ye old corrupt standard politician. How do we get rid of them?? Voting does not seem to work. Too many dumb people around. We even had some guy steal some water from a gate someplace, but the made him quit. Our best hope will be divine intervention!

October 19, 2011 at 3:14 p.m.
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