Christiana man charged with 8th DUI on Friday, released from jail on Saturday

A Christiana man was arrested and charged with DUI number 8 in Rutherford County on Friday. To make the situation confusing, we learned that the suspect may have actually been charged with DUI 11-times in his past, but not convicted in each situation.

According to an article in the Murfreesboro Post that was written in June of 2007, Richard Bobbitt (pic. below) faced his 10th DUI charge after being named in a Rutherford County indictment - in '07.  What makes this so striking is that when he received his 10th DUI, he was already scheduled to face the courts for his 9th DUI. Keep in mind that Friday’s arrest was supposedly his 8th DUI arrest.

A Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference newsletter dated September of 2007 states, “Richard T. Bobbitt, 53, is currently serving a two year prison sentence.  Bobbitt was convicted in Rutherford County for a felony DUI in July after being arrested for his 9th offense in 2006.” We confirmed on Saturday (1/19/13) that the booking department at the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office has Friday’s arrest listed as DUI number 8, that according to public relations officer Lisa Marchesoni.

This most recent arrest of Bobbitt occurred on Friday, January 18th in Rutherford County. A booking document from the Sheriff’s Office shows that Bobbitt was released 9-hours later after posting bond on Saturday, January 19th.

Here is the real kicker… In Tennessee, the 4th DUI and any DUI after that is treated as just that, the 4th DUI. It is considered a class E felony. A class E felony requires the convicted offender to serve a minimum of 150-consecutive days in jail. There is also a mandatory fine of $3,000 to $15,000. The culprits’ vehicle can also be seized and the offenders’ driver’s license can be revoked for 5-years. The problem is that state law does not outline further differences between the 4th DUI or even the 14th DUI. In this case, according to the sheriff’s office, the 8th DUI.

The State of Tennessee clearly outlines the DUI laws involving the 4th DUI and greater on their website. The below is what is stated on TN.Gov:

4th and Subsequent DUI Offender: 

  • Class E Felony
  • 1 Year (365) days of jail time with a minimum of 150 consecutive days served
  • $3,000 to $15,000 mandatory fine
  • License revocation for 5 years/NO restricted license available
  • Subject to vehicle seizure/forfeit
  • DUI school
  • Judge could order an Ignition Interlock Device installed at your expense
  • If two (2) convictions of DUI in 5 years, Ignition Interlock Device required for 6 months after reinstatement at your expense