Man arrested on 8th DUI charge

By Abby Morris
Star Staff

   A Hampton man was arrested Monday evening after a high-speed chase and charged with multiple offenses, including his eighth offense for driving under the influence.
   Frank Ira Stout, 42, 108 Swimming Pool Rd., Hampton, was arrested shortly after 7:30 Monday night by Carter County Sheriff's Department Eric Buck and charged with violation of the Habitual Motor Offender law, eighth offense DUI, sixth offense driving on a revoked license, running a stop light, felony evading arrest, violation of the vehicle registration law and violation of the implied consent law.
   According to reports, at approximately 7:40 p.m., Buck was on routine patrol when he saw a maroon-colored Ford Thunderbird driving recklessly on Riverbottom Road, in the Valley Forge community. Buck said in his report that the vehicle, which did not have a registration tag displayed, failed to stop for the stop sign at the intersection of Riverbottom Road and U.S. Highway 19E.
   "I then activated my emergency equipment. The vehicle accelerated instead of stopping," Buck said. "The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed in excess of 100 miles per hour."
   Buck said that, while he was pursuing the vehicle, which was traveling south on 19E, he saw a cloud of smoke coming from the car. "The vehicle then turned onto Simerly Creek Road, coming to a stop due to vehicle mechanical failure," he said.
   Buck talked to Stout and said he "could smell a strong alcoholic beverage smell about his person and his eyes were blood shot and (his) speech was slurred."
   While conducting a check on the status of Stout's driver's license, Buck learned that Stout had been declared an habitual motor offender. "Also this would be his eighth offense driving under the influence and sixth offense driving on a revoked license."
   Stout passed out at the scene and was transported to Sycamore Shoals Hospital. At the hospital, after Stout had regained consciousness and was alert, Buck asked Stout to submit to a chemical test to determine his level of intoxication but Stout refused. He was additionally charged with violation of the implied consent law.
   According to state law, a person who has been declared an habitual motor offender is not allowed to operate a motor vehicle on the highways in Tennessee and must surrender any and all driver's licenses to the state. If a person is found operating a motor vehicle while declared an habitual motor offender, it is a Class E felony offense.
   State law also stipulates that a fourth offense charge of DUI, and any subsequent charges after that, are considered a felony. The penalty laid out for a fourth offense DUI in state law consists of a fine between $3,000 and $15,000, a jail sentence of not less than 150 days and a suspended driver's license for a period of five years. State law does not lay out specific penalties for DUI offenses higher than a fourth offense.
   Stout is currently being held in the Carter County Jail with a bond set at $61,750. He is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on April 12.