State Lawmaker Charged in DeKalb & Wilson Counties

September 10, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

Democratic State Representative Rob Briley of Nashville, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has been charged with DUI, evading arrest, and vandalism, among other traffic offenses as the result of incidents in DeKalb and Wilson Counties on Saturday afternoon.

The first involved a "hit and run" in DeKalb County around 4:31 p.m.

Trooper Allen England of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE Monday that the 40 year old Briley was eastbound on Highway 70 at Dowelltown in a 2005 Nissan Xterra SUV when he rear-ended an eastbound 2007 Chevy Colorado pickup truck, driven by 56 year old John P. Mitchell of McMinnville.

Passengers with Mitchell were 50 year old Janice Mitchell and 9 year old Sabrina Flanagan both of McMinnville.

Briley was traveling alone.

No one was injured in the accident.

According to Mitchell and another witness, Briley made a U-turn in the highway after the collision and fled the scene going west toward Watertown.

Mitchell said he pulled into the turning lane after the accident, but when he saw the driver of the other vehicle was not going to stop, he drove to the shoulder of the road, where he parked and called 911 to report the hit and run.

Trooper England says a plastic cover over the front bumper came off of Briley's vehicle during the crash and clung to the ball of the trailer hitch on Mitchell's truck.

After Trooper England learned that Briley was arrested in Watertown and that his vehicle fit the description of the one involved in the hit and run, he took the bumper cover found at the crash scene to Watertown and matched it with Briley's Xterra.

Trooper England says he went to the Wilson County Jail, where Briley was taken after his arrest in Watertown, and issued him citations for failure to give immediate notice of an accident, leaving the scene of an accident, a separate citation for leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, and following to closely.

Briley will appear in DeKalb County General Sessions Court on the citations December 5th.

After the hit and run in Dowelltown, Briley was pulled over by Watertown Police Officer Ricky Lucy, Jr. for traveling 72 mph in a 45 mph zone

In addition to being charged with evading arrest, Briley allegedly failed three field sobriety tests and was charged with DUI. He also allegedly refused to take a blood or breathalyzer test and was charged with violation of the implied consent law.

Watertown Police say they found a bottle of Maker's Mark whiskey as well as various prescription drugs inside Briley's SUV.

In Lucy's report, Briley listed taking anti-depressants as a medical reason for not being able to perform the field sobriety tests, saying they made him "dizzy."

The state lawmaker was later charged with vandalism by Wilson County authorities after he allegedly damaged a door to a patrol car by repeatedly kicking the door and window frame as he was being taken to jail.

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