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DUI crash suspect was admittedly eating grass to eliminate alcohol smell

Jeff Bobo • Oct 15, 2019 at 10:00 PM

ROGERSVILLE — A DUI suspect who crashed Saturday morning near Rogersville after nearly hitting a man who had pulled over to move a dead deer out of the road reportedly admitted to eating grass to get the smell of alcohol off his breath.

Around 12:22 a.m. Saturday, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Hunter Lamons responded to a single-vehicle crash at the 600 block of McKinney Chapel Road just south of Rogersville involving a 2012 Buick LaCross.

Lamons stated in his report that the suspect driver, Perry Kent Lawson, 71, 1815 Old Route 70-S, Rogersville, had an odor of alcohol on him, was unsteady on his feet and had glossy eyes.

A witness stated he was standing outside his vehicle trying to move a dead deer out of the roadway when Lawson's vehicle rounded the curve at a high rate of speed, struck his vehicle and nearly struck him.

Lawson's vehicle was located about 100 yards away from the crash scene in a field beside the roadway.

Lawson reportedly stated he was coming from the golf course and that he was rounding a corner when he struck a vehicle head on that was parked in the road.

“While speaking with Perry (Lawson) he was chewing on a green substance,” Lamons said. “Perry stated he was eating grass prior to my arrival to 'try to make the smell of alcohol on his breath go away.' ”

Lamons stated in his report that Lawson was unable to perform filed sobriety tests due to inability to follow instructions and lack of balance, at which time Lawson reportedly stated, “Just take me to jail or whatever you're going to do with me.”

Lawson, who was previously convicted of DUI in 2017, stated he’d had three-four beers around 4 p.m. the previous day.

Lamons said he refused to submit to a blood draw, stating he “didn't trust the system.”

Upon being arrested, Lawson allegedly began to resist and had to be restrained. A search warrant was obtained for a blood draw, but Lawson reportedly became uncooperative when the Hawkins County Memorial Hospital nurse attempted to take a sample, and he had to be restrained.

He was charged with reckless endangerment, DUI second offense, resisting arrest, speeding and violation of the implied consent law.

As of Tuesday, Lawson was being held in the Hawkins County Jail on $14,000 bond pending arraignment Wednesday in Hawkins County Sessions Court.

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