Country Singer Sam Hunt Arrested For DUI In Nashville — What We Know, Including Details From The 911 Call

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Why Was Sam Hunt Arrested? Country Singer Apologizes Fo DUI On Twitter

Country singer Sam Hunt is in a lot of trouble after getting picked up for being drunk behind the wheel this week.

The "Body Like A Backroad" singer was booked on DUI charges and released on bail in the early hours of November 21. He will go before a judge on this charge in January 2020.

And now, audio of the 911 call reveals Hunt wasn't simply pulled over for erratic driving, but rather that a concerned driver called authorities after Hunt's black SUV almost hit her head-on as he traveled down the highway in the wrong direction.

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Hunt started his career as a songwriter, penning tunes for Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Billy Currington and Reba McEntire. His career really took off when he released his first solo album. Since then he has released a series of singles, including the recent "Kinfolk," and he has plans for a new album in 2020.

Now Hunt is looking at serious consequences for his actions.

In newly released audio of the 911 call that led to Hunt's arrest, the caller can be heard saying, "I'm just calling because I was driving on 31 east and there's a car going in the wrong direction on the highway ... It was driving like there was nothing wrong, and it almost hit me head on."

Why was Sam Hunt arrested? Read on for all the details.

1. Who is Sam Hunt?

Hunt, 34, was born in Georgia and grew up playing football. He was a standout player at the high school level and was named 2002 Co-Offensive Player of the Year. He went on to Middle Tennessee University where he was on the team but didn't see any playing time until his second year, when he played quarterback in six games. He transferred to the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2005 and redshirted for a year before playing for the next two seasons.

UAB was also where he started playing guitar, more as a whim than anything else.

He told Rolling Stone in 2015, "I never saw myself as a musician or having any musical talent ... I was just killing time that summer, and a buddy had recently bought a guitar. I picked it up one day and on a whim thought, 'You know, I think I want to buy a guitar.'"

After an unsuccessful tryout for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008, he shocked his family and friends when he decided to move to Nashville and pursue a music career. He arrived in Nashville with a friend, some food. two mattresses and his mom's minivan. He started out writing songs for other artists. Eventually, he started putting out music under his own name. He blew up on the country scene in 2014 with the album Montevallo.

2. Is he married?

The title of his breakout album is a tribute to his now-wife Hannah Lee Fowler. Montevallo is the name of Fowler's hometown.

"I didn't actually live in that town. I had never visited Montevallo," he says, "but right before I left to go to Nashville I met a girl from there. A lot of the experiences I had with her and the relationship I had with her, that inspired a lot of the songwriting on the album."

He and Fowler started an off-again, on-again relationship in 2008 and he never gave up on the idea of spending his life with her. She moved to Hawaii and he spent months trying to convince her to get back with him.

“I think last summer I went out [to Hawaii] about seven times in about three months,” Hunt said in 2017. “Trying to talk to her about coming back. And the seventh trip I convinced her.”

She finally agreed and the couple got married in 2017.

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3. What's he been doing since his last album?

While Hunt hasn't put out a new full-length record since Montevallo, he has released a string of singles, including "Body Like A Backroad" in 2017 and "Downtown's Dead" in 2018.

Meanwhile, he's been performing live, including touring on the What Makes You Country Tour with Luke Bryan.

4. Why was Sam Hunt arrested?

TV station WKRN says that police received reports of a car driving the wrong way down a Nashville street around 6:30 am on November 21. When cops tracked down the car, they found it going southbound in northbound lanes and visibly swerving so they pulled over the driver.

Sam Hunt was the only person in the car and arresting officers said he smelled like alcohol, his eyes were bloodshot and he admitted to drinking "recently."

He even had trouble getting his license out for the cops. He tried to give them a credit card and his passport before finally getting it right.

The officers also spotted empty beer cans in the car. They did a field sobriety test on the singer and a test indicated that he had a blood alcohol content of .173.

He was taken in on DUI charges and later released on a $2,500 bond.

5. What could happen to him?

Tennessee doesn't mess around with DUI arrests, according to FindLaw. Even on your first offense, you'll have to spend at least 48 hours in jail.

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The minimum time behind bars jumps to seven days if you blow more than .20 on the breathalyzer, which Hunt narrowly escaped with his .173 level. And that's just the minimum penalty: you could get up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, a $350-$1,500 fine and lose your license for up to a year. You'll also have to attend an alcohol and drug treatment program.

If it turns out Hunt has had DUIs in his past, the penalties get even harsher. A second offense carries a minimum of 45 days in jail along with higher fines and a two-year suspension of your license.

A third DUI offense comes with a minimum of 120 days behind bars, more fines, and losing your license for 6-10 years.

6. Will this affect his new album?

Hunt has been teasing a new album for ages and even premiered a new song called "Sinning With You" from the album at a show in Canada this fall.

In September, the singer said that the new album was coming and it was the result of a year of a deliberate effort to write a cohesive album.

“About a year ago, I decided over the next 12 months, I’m going to write a record. Whatever comes of it, I’m going to put out. That has come and gone. As of the first of this month, that’s when I would’ve said that.”

Billboard reported that he was planning to turn the album into his label in January. Now he also has a court date that same month.

On Friday, November 22, he apologized to fans via Twitter, stating, "Wednesday night I decided to drive myself home after drinking at a friend’s show in downtown Nashville. It was a poor and selfish decision and I apologize to everyone who was unknowingly put at risk and let down by it. It won’t happen again."

Let's hope he keeps that promise.

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.