Briley says he was driving to rehab before DUI stop

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 1:10am

State Rep. Rob Briley said he had been “consuming alcohol to excess” and was trying to drive to rehab when police finally stopped him on the day of his September arrest, court documents released Tuesday show.

Briley said he had “no further memory” about Sept. 8, 2007, the day of his arrest when he allegedly rear-ended a pick-up truck, fled the scene of an accident, led police on a high-speed chase, did drive drunk and asked police twice to shoot him in the head.

Briley (D-Nashville) pleaded guilty this week to DUI, but cut a deal with state prosecutors to suspend the felony charge of evading arrest and other misdemeanor charges against him.

In the written agreement with the state, Briley submitted a “recitation of the facts,” which is required by law.

Briley’s statement says he “had been consuming alcohol to excess” in the days leading up to his Sept. 8 arrest.

“I did realize during this time that I had succumbed to my addiction and was in need of professional assistance to overcome this adversity,” Briley, an alcoholic, wrote.

“In the days prior to my arrest, I had been in contact with Cumberland Heights in Nashville, Tenn., in an effort to voluntarily enter rehabilitation. I phoned several days and each day was advised no bed was available.

“On Sept. 8, I was advised a bed was available and I could enter rehabilitation on that day. I remember getting in my vehicle and beginning to drive west in the direction of Cumberland Heights.

“I have no further memory of Sept. 8.”

After he was arrested, Briley did enter rehab at Cumberland Heights, but left abruptly after it was alleged in published reports he had an extramarital affair with a Capitol Hill lobbyist, Mary Littleton.

Briley’s statement provides a glimpse into the deteriorating life of the 41-year-old Nashville attorney from the famous political family.

In a previous interview Briley had with The City Paper, he would not discuss the day of his arrest on advice from his attorneys.

He did acknowledge in that interview that he was an alcoholic and that he had relapsed after 14 years of sobriety in 2003.

Contributing to his relapse, Briley said, were memories of unnamed childhood abuse against him.

Briley’s loss of sobriety contributed to him also having a pending divorce from his wife, Pier, who has moved to Vermont with their two children.

It all came to a head on Sept. 8 for Briley.

That day, a police officer’s video camera taped the state lawmaker in an apparent agitated state, whaling in pain and asking to be killed.

In his statement, Briley said he has seen the videotape of the arrest.

“After I was handcuffed, the video shows me acting loud and out of control,” Briley wrote. “I was suffering from a broken elbow, which when straightened, placed me in extreme pain.

When the officer handcuffed me, this obviously caused me a tremendous amount of pain and contributed to my actions after I was handcuffed.”

In the agreement signed by Wilson County Judge John D. Wootten, Jr., Briley must abide by nine obligations for the next two years in order for his charges not to be reinstated.

For the DUI, Briley will serve 10 days in Wilson County jail over a period of five consecutive weekends starting in January.

Filed under: City News
By: snookster on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Having had a favorite aunt killed by a drunk driver, I have little or no sympathy for anyone who endangers the life of others without any regard. Isn't one of the steps in any rehab program to stop justifying and take responsibility? Abuse as a child caused the drinking problem, trying to get to rehab caused the accident and his elbow caused the behavior on the video. It is all so pathetic and I hope his constituents don't buy into it if he runs again. I'd be curious to know if any of those nine obligations include regular or random alcohol/drug testing or do the courts assume now that he has been publicly humiliated he is cured? Briley is lucky he's only humiliated and not on the hook for vehicular homicide (which would be someone else's fault of course).

By: evilj on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Is he sure he wasn't on his way to an orphanage to feed starving children? Or maybe to an oil spill to help clean baby seals?What a loser.

By: girliegirl on 12/31/69 at 6:00

You have to admit, it's the most ironic story of 2007. Guess we owe Briley a "thank you" for that one~ You'd have expected this behavior from Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, not a member of the State House.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

my sentiments exactly, evilj.

By: Time for Truth on 12/31/69 at 6:00

So, let's see, he was cruising around a remote area of Wilson County looking for a rehab center with an available bed? He was 'whaling in pain'? I didn't know whaling was an option in Tennessee. That's right, he was looking for Moby Dick, that's the ticket.Is it just me, or does this seem like a light sentence. If it were you or me, we'd be buried UNDER the jail.

By: mccullochd on 12/31/69 at 6:00


By: Cowboy84 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I believe Briley, just like I believe smacman Jones was going to have dinner at that strip club, like everyone else does, before he went to see the NFL commissioner last April.

By: Vandy1975 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

"...was trying to drive to rehab when police finally stopped him on the day of his September arrest..."I'm speechless.This is pretty much a textbook example of a person with poor judgment (take your pick: the silly excuse, the fact that he thinks we'll buy it, and that he decides to drive himself to rehab plastered). But, since he's a Democrat, a simple apology and a trip to rehab is all he needs to rejoin the pack.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

vandy, why do you think the Democrats buy his apology? That's a heck of an assumption.

By: Vandy1975 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Ted Kennedy ("the conscience of the Senate") and Patrick Kennedy come to mind; both are guilty of similar escapades, yet serve proudly to this day.Back in Tennessee, have any Democrats stepped forward to ask Briley to resign? Maybe I missed it.

By: telracs on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Isn't Wilson county EAST of Nashville? Hard to get to Cumberland Heights on the west side when you're going the wrong way - but, then again, I guess that's the point. I, too, have lost a relative to drunk driving, and this is the biggest crock of you know what I've read in a long time. Sorry for your problems, Briley, but don't insult me, my family, and everyone else who's lost a relative or friend to drunk driving with a pathetic line like this.

By: MJB on 12/31/69 at 6:00

“[W]haling in pain”? Had he harpooned himself? Where did he find whales in the midstate? I thought drunks saw pink elephants, not whales.Girlie, considering how stupid most voting Tennesseans are, Paris Hilton or Britney Spears could easily win a seat in the General Assembly.As for Briley, one must just say, what a screwed up sad sack. I hope that he shuts up, sobers up, & gets treatment for his huge flying ego.Vandy, many people come to mind here: the young Ted Kennedy, true. Also, the middle-aged George W. Bush; his lovely wife Laura, who killed a man w/ a car yet has remained out of jail; Larry Craig (who keeps claiming, truthfully, that he’s not gay, because--he conveniently omits saying--he’s bi-sexual); Dick Armey; & let’s not forget Mark Foley, who used the booze & abuse excuse.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

vandy, many dems have shown outrage. actually, some of them posted here previously. guess you missed it.

By: Vandy1975 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

There's a world of difference between people in positions of power within the party speaking out and Democrat voters who post here. Our opinions pretty much count for nothing as far as the power players are concerned.