‘Habitual offender’ in court on 12th DUI

'Habitual offender' in court on 12th DUI (Image 1)

A Nashville man who has twice been convicted of being a habitual drunk driver is on the way to being guilty of his third such offense.

Anthony McGowan made headlines last week when he was arrested for his 12th DUI since 1989.

Police records indicate the 58-year-old Nashville man told his arresting officer that he “had just dropped off a child” at a Metro school.”

Monday morning McGowan appeared in a Metro courtroom agreeing to what is called a criminal information.

It means prosecutors made an offer that McGowan accepted, however it must be approved by a Metro Criminal Court Judge.

The offer is that McGowan serve five years in jail, but with a possibility for a probation work release program after doing 45% of the sentence.

Records from the Department of Public Safety show McGowan was convicted of habitual drunk driving in 1996 and 2006.

This is in addition to eight DUI convictions dating back to April of 1989.

Prosecutors in the case said they did not have enough evidence to pursue the DUI charge that McGowan also received when he was stopped on February 19, nor could they verify his story about dropping a child off at school.

McGowan remains in the Metro jail on a $70,000 bond as he awaits the Criminal Court Judge's decision on the criminal information.

Tom Kimball who trains DUI prosecutors and proposes drunk living laws for the District Attorneys General Conference, which oversees Das, told Nashville's News 2 last week that he hopes state lawmakers will eventually consider more monitoring of habitual offenders like McGowan, and more alcohol treatment.

Other prosecutors have privately expressed for years that habitual offenders will always find a way to drive unless they are in prison.

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