Georgia Rep. Tom Taylor charged with DUI in Rabun County

Georgia state Rep. Tom Taylor was arrested last week and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Rabun County.

Taylor, 54, a Dunwoody Republican, had a blood-alcohol content of .225, nearly three times the legal limit of .08, according to a Clayton Police Department incident report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Taylor’s arrest was first reported Thursday by The Clayton Tribune.

Taylor, who was first elected in 2010, said in a statement to the AJC that “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.”

Taylor said he will work to regain the trust of the people of his district and will seek re-election.

Taylor was stopped at 2:45 p.m. on April 7 for driving 72 mph in a 45 mph zone with four juveniles in his SUV, according to the police report. Officer Michael Bennett reported that Taylor exited his vehicle and was legally carrying a gun on his hip. Bennett said Taylor had “an overwhelming odor of alcohol,” but denied that he had anything to drink.

The officer said in his report that Taylor’s face “was very red and eyes were bloodshot.”

After Taylor gave permission to search his car, officers found an empty water bottle “which smelled of alcoholic beverage,” according to the police report. After Taylor refused to comply with instructions for a field sobriety test, he was arrested and charged with DUI, possession of an open container of alcohol and speeding, the report said.

Taylor, chairman of the joint House-Senate committee that oversees MARTA, faces Tom Owens in the May 24 Republican primary for House District 79.