Jim Cobb

A state criminal appeals court has upheld the conviction of a former Rhea County lawmaker for driving under the influence of an intoxicant in September 2015.

The Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee at Knoxville upheld the decision of the Rhea County Circuit Court in finding former State Rep. Jim Cobb, of Spring City, guilty of driving under the influence of an intoxicant.

“Following a jury trial, the defendant, James. B. Cobb, was convicted of driving under the influence of an intoxicant, a Class A misdemeanor,” the appeals court ruling states. “He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, suspended after 48 hours of incarceration.

“On appeal, the defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction; the trial court erred in excluding a defense expert’s curriculum vitae from evidence; the State made improper closing arguments; and the trial court erred in denying the defendant’s oral request for jury instruction on character witnesses.

“After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.”

Cobb appealed the decision after being convicted in a lower court of driving under the influence after deputies with the Rhea County Sheriff’s Department witnessed him driving his truck on Rhea County Highway with a broken window and crossing into the wrong lane of traffic once he turned onto Macedonia Road.

According to the ruling, deputies said a field sobriety test was performed and Cobb performed poorly for the test, though they did add that they detected no alcohol and that Cobb may have been under the influence of his prescription medication.

Local court officials said that Cobb, who could not be reached for comment as of press time Tuesday, would likely appeal the decision to the Tennessee Supreme Court.