Attorney Hank Hill, After DUI Plea, Won't Have To Pick Up Litter Wearing An Orange Vest

Thursday, April 5, 2012 - by Judy Frank

Attorney Hank Hill has entered a guilty plea, but in the plea agreement he avoids having to pick up litter for three days wearing an orange vest that says "I AM A DRUNK DRIVER" as most DUI offenders have to do.

Instead his agreement allows him to provide three days of pro bono community legal service.

Those who perform the litter pickup also have to pay a $168 fee.


Attorney Hill also received a quick order granting him a restricted driving license.

There is no mention in his paperwork of having to attend DUI school - a common condition of DUI pleas.

Almost a year after a deputy sheriff found him behind the wheel of a truck stuck in a ditch on Signal Mountain and charged him with driving under the influence, the well-known local defense attorney entered a guilty plea to the misdemeanor charge.

According to records in Hamilton County Criminal Court, he was sentenced to 11 months, 29 days in the workhouse and ordered to pay $465 in fines and court costs. He must serve 48 hours at the workhouse. He is to report to the workhouse April 13 at 6 p.m. He was given seven hours jail credit for time served upon his arrest.

Exactly when and where the plea was entered is uncertain. Criminal Court records indicate attorney Hill was sentenced by Judge Don Poole, but officials in that court said Thursday – as Judge Poole himself has previously – that he long ago recused himself from hearing the case.

No one answered the phone in the office of Bradley County Judge Amy Reedy, who was appointed to serve as special judge in the case after Judge Poole withdrew, according to court documents.

Likewise, attorney Jerry Summers, who represented attorney Hill, could not be reached and reportedly was out of town.

According to testimony during a brief hearing in Hamilton County General Sessions Court last year, the charges against the attorney grew out of an incident on April 24, 2011, when his truck got stuck in a ditch along Key Hulse Road on Signal Mountain.

When the officer went to investigate, arrest records indicated, Hill smelled strongly of alcohol and there were four empty beer cans in his vehicle. 

“I asked Mr. Hiram Hill if he had been drinking and he stated yes,” the deputy reported. 

Attorney Hill was given several breathalyzer tests, he said, but none of them produced sufficient samples for testing. The suspect declined to have a blood test done at a local hospital, and was subsequently taken into custody for allegedly violating Tennessee’s implied consent law.


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