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Georgia lawmaker found guilty of DUI,
despite immunity plea

A Georgia state lawmaker has been convicted on a drunken driving charge despite his attempt to claim legislative immunity.

State Court Judge Irma Glover found Rep. David Graves, R-Macon, guilty of driving under the influence Nov. 2.

Glover said she would hold off on sentencing Graves until after a trial slated to start later this month on another DUI charge against the representative from last year in Cobb County.

The lawmaker was stopped Feb. 15 at a roadblock in Vinings, GA. He acknowledged that he had four glasses of wine during a dinner meeting with other legislators, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Graves claimed that his legislative immunity should have trumped his arrest. The provision stipulates that lawmakers cannot be arrested during sessions of the General Assembly or its committees, or while traveling to either one.

Exceptions apply, but the law was written to prevent politicians from ordering the arrests of their rivals.

According to the newspaper, during the stop Graves told police: “I’m playing every card I got in the deck,” referring to the provision.

Glover ruled that even though the Legislature was in session on the day of his arrest, there was no evidence that the dinner he was driving to when stopped was either a committee meeting or part of any legislative session.

Graves resigned in September as chairman of the House Regulated Industries Committee. The panel handles liquor industry legislation.
 
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