Memphis, TN-A 26 year-old Tennessee sheriff’s deputy has been fired after he caused a drunken driving collision with his son in his patrol car. WMCA Action News Five reports that Nathan Williamson has been fired from Tipton County Sheriff’s Office following the incident.
Williamson was arrested Wednesday after two officers witnessed him collide with another car in the northbound lanes of Highway 51 South. After arriving at the scene police noticed one of the vehicles was a Tipton County Sheriff’s Department vehicle, and closer inspection revealed that the driver was drunk and has his 6 year-old son in the vehicle, who was unrestrained.
Police took Williamson to jail and after serving a mandatory six hours, he was released on bond. Child protective services were called.
He was charged with driving under the influence, child endangerment, failing to restrain a child, failing to take due care and possession of a firearm while intoxicated.
Williamson was hired as a sheriff’s deputy in June of 2014 and was still under a probations He was fired soon after his arrest. Pancho Chumley, Tipton County Sheriff said he was “disappointed at the total disrespect of safety for the citizens of Tipton County,” according to Action News 5.
A DUI charge is a seriousness charge on its own, but certain circumstances, such as driving under the influence with a child in the car, call for tougher penalties and an assertive DUI defense.
Statistic from 2011, the latest data available, show that 16 percent of traffic fatalities involving children under the age of 14 were caused by intoxicated drivers. What’s more intoxicated drivers often fail to properly restrain their children putting them at greater risk of being harmed or killed. According to MADD, only an average of 18 percent of impaired adults restrain their children.
In Tennessee driving under the influence with a minor child in the car requires the offender also be charged with child endangerment. A convicted offender faces up to 30 days in jail if the accident involved no injuries. If the DUI accident involved injury to the child a convicted offender faces 2 to 12 years in jail and 3 to 15 years if the accident was fatal. A conviction also requires the offender install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
When you are facing a DUI with any enhanced charges, you need to enlist an experienced Tennessee DUI attorney. A DUI is not a frivolous charge and can have long-term consequences for an offender. As this incident shows, a DUI arrest or conviction can cost a person their livelihoods and put their career on jeopardy.
Tennessee courts take DUI with a child in the car seriously, and the person facing such charges should speak with a Tennessee DUI attorney before making any decisions about how to handle their charges. With help, you may be able to avoid conviction or at least negate the more dire consequences of a DUI.