A Knox County jury convicted a “repeat drunk driver” who caused a 2020 crash in Farragut, authorities said Wednesday.
Ted Dustin Hamilton, 44, of Lenoir City, was found guilty of a slew of crimes including DUI (Second Offense), reckless endangerment, driving on a revoked license, and violating the implied consent law.
Jurors voted unanimously to convict him after a one-day trial before Criminal Court Judge Steve Sword, who scheduled Hamilton’s sentencing hearing for January 6.
Hamilton was arrested on October 6, 2020, after State Trooper Marcus Pyle was dispatched to a crash at the roundabout on Concord Road and Northshore Drive about 3:45 p.m., court records show.
“Upon arrival, Trooper Pyle learned that Hamilton had sideswiped another vehicle in the roundabout. Hamilton had bloodshot, watery eyes and had an odor of alcohol on his breath,” explained Assistant DA Sean McDermott.
“Hamilton failed field sobriety tests and refused to submit to a blood draw to determine the amount of alcohol in his system,” McDermott continued. “Despite his refusal, the jury found him to be impaired and convicted him. After the jury returned this verdict, they could then hear testimony that Hamilton had previously been convicted of DUI in Loudon County in 2018, making this a DUI Second Offense.”
Reckless endangerment is a low-level felony that carries a one- to two-year sentence, while a second DUI is a misdemeanor that carries a minimum sentence of 45 days in jail.
“At sentencing, prosecutors will seek additional jail time because Hamilton has two additional convictions for DUI offenses that were outside the ten-year window allowed to enhance this offense,” said McDermott.
DA Charme Allen said that her office prioritizes DUI cases because of the harm that impaired driving can cause.
“We will continue to aggressively prosecute DUI cases because impaired driving can have such a devastating effect,” said Allen. “You cannot avoid accountability by refusing to submit to a blood draw.”
Published on November 17, 2022.