Here are some more “family values” for you. A Republican state representative in Georgia was stopped by police on April 7 and arrested for drunk driving. It’s bad enough that anyone with a job that demands the trust of the public would be caught in such a position, but this case is far worse than that. Not only did Representative Tom Taylor endanger himself and other drivers and their passengers — he also endangered the four children he had with him by driving under the influence. And that’s not all. Taylor was also carrying a gun.
This wasn’t just a case of a guy having a beer or two, then taking his kids’ friends home and being just barely over the legal limit, either. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says that Taylor’s blood alcohol level was .225. Georgia, like other states, has a blood alcohol limit of .08, so Taylor was pretty loaded. It’s also not clear exactly who the kids were. Taylor’s official biography says that he and his wife have a 23-year-old son, and they are hosting a 17-year-old Indonesian exchange student. No news reports of the incident mention the ages of the children.
Apparently Taylor wasn’t the only thing in his car that was loaded. According to the police report, when Taylor stepped out of the vehicle he was carrying a pistol in a holster. The officer on the scene said that Taylor had a strong aroma of alcohol about him, but denied having anything to drink since having a bottle of wine the night before. A search of the vehicle produced a water bottle which police said also smelled of alcohol. Oh, did I mention that this all took place at 2:45 on a Thursday afternoon?
You might think that being pretty drunk with kids in the car and a loaded gun might bring with it a charge of “reckless endangerment.” But apparently not in Georgia. The gun was properly registered to Taylor, so there were no charges related to it. Taylor was charged with speeding, carrying an open container of alcohol and DUI.
Taylor is in a tight primary fight against fellow Republican Tom Owens, and this incident is certainly not going to help him. He issued a statement that says in part,
I profoundly regret this serious mistake. There’s no one to blame but me, and I greatly appreciate the professionalism of the officers involved. This was my first run-in with the law in my life, and it will also be my last.
It hasn’t happened yet, but will a “Hallelujah! I’ve found Jesus!!” moment be around the corner for Taylor?
Here’s a report, via WSB: