By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State Rep. Curry Todd pleaded guilty Friday to drunken driving and gun charges and was sentenced to 48 hours in jail and the loss of his firearm for a year.
The Collierville Republican was arrested in October 2011 in Nashville after failing a roadside sobriety test. A loaded .38-caliber gun was found stuffed between the driver’s seat and center console.
Todd, who is best known for sponsoring a law that allows people with handgun carry permits to be armed in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, told reporters after the court hearing that he has no plans to resign.
“I’ve always found that we’re molded and shaped by experiences in life, both good and bad,” Todd said. “And it’s my intention to use this experience over the last 15 months to become a more knowledgeable and effective representative of the people of this state.”
Todd’s sentence of 48 hours in jail on the drunken driving charge will be reduced by the eight hours he spent in police custody after his arrest. He will also have to pay a $350 fine, install an alcohol monitoring device in his vehicle, perform 24 hours of community service and attend alcohol safety school and a victim impact panel.
Todd was placed on one year of probation on the firearm charge, and will be barred from carrying a gun during that time. If he successfully completes the probation, he can petition the court to have his weapon charge expunged and the confiscated handgun returned to him.
Todd, 65, is a former Memphis police officer who once played basketball for the University of Memphis. He resigned as chairman of the House State and Local Government Committee following his arrest.
Police said Todd’s GMC Envoy was stopped while going 60 mph in a 40 mph zone in a neighborhood surrounding Vanderbilt University, weaving and crossing the double yellow lines.
Todd, who told police he had consumed two drinks, failed a roadside sobriety test and refused to take a breath alcohol test.
After making the plea in his case, Todd insisted in a statement read to reporters that had not been drinking excessively, but that his condition was caused by mixing prescription drugs with two glasses of wine over several hours.
“I clearly recognize that I made that mistake,” Todd said. “I cannot change the past.”
Todd, who did not take questions from reporters, did not explain why he refused to take a breath alcohol test if he wasn’t over the legal limit.
“That’s a choice he made on that day at that time, and that’s the choice he is living with,” said his attorney Worrick Robinson.
A charge of violating the state’s implied consent law was dropped as part of Todd’s plea agreement.
Todd went straight from the court hearing to a meeting in House Speaker Beth Harwell’s office. A spokeswoman said Harwell was not in her office at the time and hadn’t spoken to Todd.
Todd, who is known for his aggressive and combative approach toward his opponents in the Legislature, said the experience has left him a changed man.
“While I cannot change the past, I can assure you I’m greatly humbled,” he said. “I spent many years in law enforcement in this state. But this year I found myself painfully on the other side.”