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The DUI case of Kingston Councilman Kevin McClure was bound over to the June grand jury after his preliminary hearing Monday.
McClure was found unresponsive in his vehicle, which sat with the engine running, on Ladd Wright Road on May 22, 2012.
“When I first opened the door, once the air came out I smelled an odor commonly associated with an alcoholic beverage,” Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Self testified.
Self said he also found what appeared to be a partially emptied vodka bottle in a bag in the back seat and that McClure failed field sobriety tests.
“I had to repeat the instructions for most of the tests several times,” Self said.
McClure could not follow detailed instructions, but Self said he was able to confirm with one-word answers that he was not having a medical emergency.
McClure’s test results found his blood alcohol level at .21. The legal limit is .08.
McClure’s attorney, Tom McFarland, argued McClure’s blood results should be suppressed, but Cumberland County General Sessions Judge Larry Warner denied his motion.
Blood draws can be taken against a person’s will if the deputy has probable cause to believe the driver has a previous DUI conviction.
However, McFarland pointed to a statute he believes shows a person cannot be convicted of a second offense and be a multiple offender if “the prime offense occurred 10 or more years before the date of the present alleged violation.”
McFarland contended the blood draw, which McClure objected to, was wrongfully obtained based on that statute.
McFarland also argued that McClure’s 1989 conviction was not DUI, but DWI.
Warner, however, looked at the sentencing for the previous conviction of DWI and ruled it was in fact DUI because of the length of sentence.
He pointed out that acronyms DWI and DUI are frequently used interchangeably in courts.
When the prosecution first began to question Self about the test results, McFarland took issue.
“You said you weren’t going to use that,” he said to assistant district attorney Kristin Kelley.
McFarland asked if Self was aware McClure had been diagnosed as diabetic just weeks before the arrest and also suffered from macular degeneration and problems with his legs.
Self admitted that other medical issues could have similar symptoms, but he did not think the evidence pointed to that.
“I was with him several hours after that, and he got very much better,” Self added.
McFarland also took Self to task for not calling an ambulance for medical treatment.
Others who testified included the men that first saw McClure’s vehicle in the road and contacted 911 after being unable to rouse him.
A number of delays have caused several hearings to be rescheduled.
One reason was that Warner was appointed by the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts after Judges Dennis Humphreys and Jeff Wicks recused themselves.
McClure also was admitted to a Florida rehab in August, according to court records.