Knox County District Attorney General - Charme P. Allen

Driver Impaired by Alcohol, Marijuana, and Bath Salts

Posted: 06/04/2019

Prosecutors in DA Charme Allen’s DUI Unit obtained a conviction against an impaired driver who had alcohol, marijuana, and bath salts in his system.  John Arthur Bury, 36, was convicted of Driving Under the Influence.  Judge Scott Green set the case for sentencing on July 26.

In a two-day trial, Assistant District Attorneys Heather Good and Greg Eshbaugh explained to the jury that on September 27, 2015, around 1:30 A.M., Tennessee Highway Patrol Sergeant Jeff Appleba stopped Bury on Interstate 40 for driving seventy-seven miles per hour in a fifty-five mile per hour zone.  Sgt. Appleba noticed that Bury smelled like alcohol and had dilated pupils and slow, slurred speech.  Bury stated he smoked marijuana an hour and a half before the traffic stop.  After Bury failed field sobriety tests, Sgt. Appleba contacted the DA’s Office for assistance obtaining a search warrant to determine the alcohol content of Bury’s blood.  Analysis by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation revealed Bury’s blood alcohol content to be 0.08 nearly three hours after the traffic stop.  Testing also showed that Bury had marijuana and ethylone, commonly known as bath salts, in his system.

“We aggressively enforce DUI laws because impaired driving can have such a devastating effect,” said DA Allen.  “That danger is only magnified when drivers combine both alcohol and drugs.”

Driving Under the Influence is a Class A Misdemeanor that carries a maximum punishment up to eleven months and twenty-nine days in jail.  The mandatory minimum for a DUI First Offense is forty-eight hours in custody, DUI School, a $350 fine, and a license revocation of one year.  Prosecutors will seek an enhanced sentence because Bury has a prior DUI out of North Carolina that occurred in 2003.  Under Tennessee law, today’s conviction is treated as a first offense because Bury’s prior conviction is over ten years old.

If you have any questions, please contact Sean McDermott at 865-215-2515 or sean.mcdermott@knoxcounty.org.  For more information about the District Attorney’s Office, visit our website at www.knoxcounty.org/dag and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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City County Building 400 Main Street
Suite 168
Knoxville, TN 37902