House Judiciary Chairman Rob Briley, a Nashville, Tenn., Democrat, was charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident after two separate incidents over the weekend, according to police reports.
Safety Department spokesman Mike Browning said Briley’s sport utility vehicle struck the rear of a truck in DeKalb County east of Nashville on Saturday evening, then turned around and drove away.
Police records show Briley was arrested about 15 minutes later in neighboring Wilson County on charges of driving under the influence, evading arrest and violation of the implied consent law.
Briley, 40, was released without bond and scheduled to appear in court Oct. 31. He did not immediately return a call on Monday seeking comment.
Briley’s committee is slated to take up a proposed overhaul of the state’s drunken-driving laws next year. During the last legislative session, Briley asked the sponsors of a several drunken-driving measures to hold off consideration of their bills so the General Assembly later take up a comprehensive DUI bill.
Briley was first elected in 1998 and had served as House majority floor leader before being named judiciary chairman in January.
House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington, planned to make a statement about the arrest on Monday afternoon, a staffer said.
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