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DUI charges for Georgia representative

A state representative from a northern suburb of Atlanta was charged with speeding, DUI and possession of an open container on April 7. He was pulled over because he was going 72 mph in Rabun County, 27 mph over the speed limit, and he reportedly blew .225 in a breath test. He was also legally carrying a gun.

Not long after the incident, he made a public statement of regret for the situation. On May 3, he pleaded not guilty. He also waived his right to be formally arraigned. His trial is on June 20. Prior to that, on May 24, he will face a challenger in the primary.

He has said that he does not plan to fight the charges. The prosecutor says that a person may plead not guilty initially and change the plea once in court. The prosecutor also says that there may be negotiations around the plea on June 20.

Drunk driving charges can have serious implications for a person's career as well as legal consequences. As in this case, there may be an opportunity to negotiate. For example, a person might plead guilty in exchange for lesser charges or a reduced sentence. In other cases, an attorney might examine results from a breath or blood alcohol test to ensure that the tests were conducted accurately. An attorney may question an officer's account of how an incident unfolded or the behavior of the person facing charges. There could also be an assertion that there was no probable cause to make the traffic stop. All of these might lead to evidence being excluded or the charge being dropped.

Source: Reporter Newspapers, "State Rep. Tom Taylor enters 'not guilty' plea in court waiver," Dyana Bagby, May 6, 2016

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