Dunwoody rep who sponsored cityhood bill arrested for DUIState Rep. Tom Taylor. File photo obtained via Reporter Newspapers.
State Rep. Tom Taylor, R-Dunwoody, was arrested for driving under the influence in the city of Clayton, Ga. on the afternoon of Thursday, April 7. He was carrying a gun and had four juveniles in his SUV when he was pulled over. His blood alcohol level was .225 percent. The legal limit in Georgia is .08.
The Dunwoody Republican sponsored a bill that would’ve created a new city of LaVista Hills in DeKalb County, but he doesn’t live within the boundaries of the proposed city. That bill passed the Legislature in 2015, but was narrowly defeated in a November referendum.
Taylor is also up for reelection this year, according to Reporter Newspapers, facing Tom Owens in the May 24 Republican primary.
According to the police report, Taylor was pulled over after officers clocked him driving 72 miles per hour in a 45-miles-per-hour zone.
“Officer Bennett caught up to the vehicle and activated his emergency equipment initiating a traffic stop on Georgia 15 North bound at Playhouse Drive,” the police report says. “The vehicle ran over a curb and instead of pulling into the parking lot of a business, it pulled over right on the fog line.”
“Officer Bennett approached the vehicle on the driver side and instructed the driver to pull into the parking lot of Sutton’s towing. Prior to Officer Bennett approaching the vehicle, the driver exited his vehicle. Officer Bennett instructed the driver to return to his vehicle; he stated that he would stay where he was. Officer Bennett instructed him to return to his vehicle again; he complied.”
Taylor told the officer he was carrying a weapon and the officer told him to exit the vehicle with his hands up. The officer removed the weapon and told Taylor to stay at the rear of the vehicle.
“Officer Bennett could smell an overwhelming odor of alcohol while speaking with Mr. Taylor,” the report says. “Officer Bennett informed Mr. Taylor that he could smell the presence of an alcoholic beverage. Officer Bennett asked how much Mr. Taylor had to drink. Mr. Taylor told Officer Bennett that he had ‘none at all.'”
The officer noted that, “Mr. Taylor`s face was very red and his eyes were bloodshot.” Officers also found an empty water bottle “which smelled of alcoholic beverage.”
According to the report, as Taylor spoke to officers he gradually conceded to having had a glass of wine the previous evening. He then said “he drank a lot last night and he might still be hung over, but not drunk” according to the report. He later said he’d drank an entire bottle of wine the night before.
After finding the water bottle, “Sergeant Grist spoke with Mr. Taylor and asked him to tell the truth and asked when the last time he had drank was. Mr. Taylor stated that it was the previous night. Sergeant Grist checked Mr. Taylor with a hand held alco-check instrument. Mr.Taylor blew positive for a high concentration of alcohol on his breath, (.225). Sergeant Grist attempted to perform field sobriety with Mr. Taylor, but he failed to comply with Sergeant Grist’s instructions. Sergeant Grist instructed Officer Bennett to go ahead and place Mr. Taylor under arrest.”
Here is the full report, provided by the Clayton Police Department.