Impaired Driver Crashes Then Asks Mother to Claim She was the Driver

DA Charme Allen announces that prosecutors in the DUI Unit obtained a conviction against an impaired driver who wrecked his vehicle then asked his mother to tell police that she was the driver after she arrived at the scene.  Eric Austin Byrd, 39, was convicted of Driving Under the Influence, Failure to Maintain Lane, and Failure to Exercise Due Care.  Judge Hector Sanchez set the case for sentencing on July 3.

In a two-day trial, Assistant District Attorneys Mitch Eisenberg and Caleb Smothers explained to the jury that on June 18, 2022, Tennessee Highway Patrol Sgt. Ricky Powers responded to a 911 call about a single-vehicle wreck on S. Northshore Drive.  Upon arrival, Sgt. Powers noted that Byrd, the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet.  Byrd also failed field sobriety tests and refused to provide a blood sample for chemical testing.  Byrd’s mother later arrived at the wreck scene.  After she arrived, Byrd asked her to tell law enforcement that she was the person who was driving the vehicle.

“Luckily, no one was injured in this wreck, but this is another example of the dangers of impaired driving,” said DA Allen.

At sentencing, Byrd faces a sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days with a minimum of forty-eight hours in custody.  In addition to finding him guilty, the jury assessed the maximum fine of $1,500.  His license will also be revoked for 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.