Judge's son charged with DUI after speeding past courthouse

Judge's son charged with DUI after speeding past courthouse

April 27th, 2015 by Claire Wiseman in Local Regional News

Judge Barry Steelman speaks to potential jurors during jury selection on Tuesday, Apr. 7, 2015, in Chattanooga.

Judge Barry Steelman speaks to potential jurors during...

Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.

Bryce Steelman, son of Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence Saturday afternoon.

Bryce Steelman, son of Criminal Court Judge Barry...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Bryce Steelman, son of Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence Sunday afternoon.

According to an arrest affidavit, a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper stopped Steelman, 21, just before noon after he clocked him speeding in front of the courthouse on Market Street and saw him cross the center line.

Steelman admitted to drinking 2 or 3 beers, the affidavit states, and the deputy also found two open bottles of Jack Daniels in his white Ford pickup truck. According to the affidavit, he failed to complete a field sobriety test and smelled like alcohol.

Steelman was charged with DUI, speeding, violating open container laws, financial responsibility and failure to signal a turn. He was booked into the Hamilton County Jail and was released on bond.

In a statement, Judge Barry Steelman said he doesn't believe that the children of public officials should be subjected to the public scrutiny that comes with media coverage of their arrests. 

"While we elected officials volunteer for public scrutiny of our relevant private behavior, our children do not and really shouldn't be subject to any public humiliation beyond that experienced by any other private citizen who is arrested," Steelman said in a statement.

"That being said Bryce was 11 years old when I decided to run for office. Up to this point he has as a young teenager and young adult conducted himself in an exemplary manner and our family continues to love and support him during this difficult time. We ask for the prayers of our friends," Steelman wrote. 

Bryce Steelman is scheduled to appear before General Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes May 18.

Contact staff writer Claire Wiseman at cwiseman@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6347.


This story was corrected at 12:28 to reflect that Steelman was arrested on Sunday, not Saturday as originally written.


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