Washington County VA

Repeat driving offender now behind bars

18th driving offense

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. - A Tri-Cities man is behind bars after being arrested for the eighteenth time for driving on a revoked license.

Robert Bowlin was told in court Monday he was not allowed to operate a vehicle, words the 58-year-old Johnson City man has heard before. This is the eighteenth time he's been in court on the same charge of driving on a revoked license. "To have that many, that's about the highest I've seen," said Johnson City Police Lt. Larry Williams.

Bowlin's most recent arrest was Sunday. Johnson City Police say Bowlin was speeding 70 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone on Broadway Street. 

A traffic stop was attempted but police say Bowlin sped away. They later arrested him after he ran out of gas. "He fled because he knew he was going to jail with that many convictions for driving with a revoked or suspended license. I think he knew the outcome," said Williams.

In the courtroom Bowlin appeared confused, but officers say the law couldn't be clearer. Williams said, "If your license has been revoked, canceled or suspended, you aren't supposed to drive."

Even when a license is revoked like Bowlin's, there is only so much law enforcement can do to enforce it. "There's some people that as long as they are free, they are going to drive regardless," said Williams

For the time being, instead of being behind the wheel Bowlin's behind bars.

He is scheduled to be back in court on April 2.

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