Impaired Driver Convicted of DUI

DA Charme Allen announces that prosecutors in the DUI Unit obtained a conviction against an impaired driver who fell asleep in her running car at a stop sign.  Stephanie Goforth, 48, was convicted of Driving Under the Influence.  Judge Hector Sanchez set the case for sentencing on May 31.

In a two-day trial, Assistant District Attorneys Caleb Smothers and Mitch Eisenberg explained to the jury that on July 19, 2020, shortly after 1:00 AM, Knox County Sheriff’s Office Officer Gunes Akyildiz responded to a report of a vehicle at the intersection of Gettysvue Drive and Westland Drive.  Upon arrival, Ofc. Akyildiz found Goforth asleep in the driver’s seat of the running vehicle.  When officers asked Goforth to turn off the car and exit the vehicle, she repeatedly pressed the cruise control button.  Officers had to explain how to turn off the vehicle and how to open the car door.  Goforth did not know that she was in Knoxville, or the time, date, or day of the week.  Officers administered field sobriety tests which Goforth failed.  Even though Goforth refused to submit to a blood draw for chemical testing, the jury convicted her after deliberating for less than ten minutes.  The jury also assessed the maximum fine of $1500.

“We aggressively prosecute DUI cases because impaired drivers create a danger for everyone on the road,” said DA Allen.

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 with additional conditions including DUI School and a license revocation of one year.  Assistant Victim Witness Coordinator Brittany Wilhelmson aided in the prosecution of this case.

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