JEFFERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — Jefferson County Mayor Mark Potts was arrested in Bradley County late Wednesday afternoon and charged with driving under the influence, according to court documents obtained by WATE.
A Tennessee Department of Safety report states that the Tennessee Highway Patrol was initially notified that a man was lying face down on the right shoulder of I-75 near mile marker 20 just after 5 p.m. A state trooper and Bradley County EMS were dispatched to the area, but the man was nowhere to be found.
The trooper wrote that he continued to mile marker 18.6 where a vehicle with the driver’s door open and no one inside the vehicle. According to the report, the trooper found a man later identified as Potts, 65, of Dandridge, sitting upright on the side of the road, down in the ditch.
Potts reportedly told the trooper that he had been drinking and driving from Knoxville, where he had purchased beer, and pulled over to be safe.
The trooper wrote that he asked Potts to stand up, but when he did, the trooper noticed that Potts had urinated on himself and his pants fell down as he attempted to walk. The trooper asked Potts for his ID and noted that Potts “stated that he had drunk two [of] those cans of Heineken that were on the ground next to the Tahoe.”
After another trooper arrived, a field sobriety test was performed which Potts allegedly did not perform well on. The report says that Potts was then placed in custody for DUI. The report adds that troopers found six cans of Miller Lite and two cans of Heineken which were empty, and a three-pack of Natural Lite near and around his vehicle. Only one of the cans of Natural Lite was half empty, the report states.
Potts was taken to the Bradley County Jail and consented to a blood alcohol test. The trooper wrote that while they waited in the jail for EMS to arrive for the testing, Potts urinated in the backseat of his patrol vehicle. After the Potts’ blood was drawn, he was taken into the jail by Bradley County Deputies, the report said.
Court dockets say that Potts was charged with one count of driving under the influence and one open container violation. His initial appearance date was scheduled for Thursday, and the dockets listed one bond of $2,000.
WATE reached out to the Jefferson County Mayor’s Office which declined to provide a statement. Attempts have also been made to contact Potts directly for comment.
According to his official bio on the Jefferson County website, he has served as the Jefferson County mayor and County Commission chair since 2018. Potts previously served as Jefferson City mayor from 2010-2018.