Police picked him up around 11:15 Tuesday night.
Todd is a Republican from Collierville.
According to court documents, Rep. Todd was stopped in his GMC Envoy and police say they detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle.
He allegedly failed a roadside sobriety test and refused to take a Breathalyzer test. A loaded .38-caliber gun was found in a holster stuffed between the driver seat and the center console.
A police affidavit said Todd was unsteady on his feet, “almost falling down at times.” It concluded that Todd was “obviously very impaired and not in any condition to be carrying a loaded handgun.”
Todd was later released on bond, and issued the following statement on his arrest:
“Let me begin by saying I am deeply sorry for the events of last evening. On the advice of my Las Vegas legal counsel, I have decided not to make any public comments about the situation at this time.
“Upon her return to the Capitol, I will have a conversation with Speaker Harwell to determine whether it is in the best interest of the General Assembly for me to step aside as Chairman of the State and Local Government Committee.
“On a personal note, I am incredibly grateful for the calls of support from constituents, colleagues, and friends about this incident.”
Hours before his statement was released, House Majority Leader, Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) held a brief news conference at the Capitol which was later uploaded to YouTube .
“All of us face challenges and make mistakes in our lives. My thoughts and prayers are with Rep. Todd and his family right now.
McCormick said he didn’t know much more than had been reported. But said he had spoken with Todd.
McCormick said, “We had a brief, personal conversation. We did not get into the details of what happened.”
Todd, a Republican from Shelby County, was arrested Tuesday night on DUI and gun charges. Police say when stopped near Vanderbilt University he was unsteady on his feet, his speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot. He failed a field sobriety test, and refused to take a breathalyzer. Police also say they found a loaded handgun in Todd’s car and he was in no condition to be in possession of one.
When in Shelby County, Todd lives in Collierville. His neighbors say it’s rare to see him because he spends so much time in Nashville.
When asked where Todd had been drinking, McCormick said he didn’t know.
McCormick said, “I think the police report that I saw on the AP story said he’d had two drinks and that’s really all I know.”
Todd sponsored a 2009 bill to allow people with handgun carry permits to bring their weapons into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, provided they don’t drink. The law passed despite opposition from law enforcement and district attorney groups, and easily survived a veto from former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen.
A judge later declared the law unconstitutionally vague. The Legislature passed a new version last year.
Todd, the chairman of the House State and Local Government Committee, is known for flashes of a quick temper. After Bredesen vetoed the original version of the guns in bars bill, Todd said: “I want to tell you what the governor can do with that piece of paper he just sent.”
Todd also drew national attention last year for saying in a committee hearing that illegal immigrants can “go out there like rats and multiply” after hearing that federal law requires the state to extend prenatal care to women regardless of their citizenship status because all children born in the U.S. are citizens.
Todd initially acknowledged that he used the wrong words and that he meant to say “anchor babies” — itself a term many consider offensive — but refused to apologize for the original remark.
Todd later changed course and said he would “apologize if the comment offended anyone.”