- Associated Press - Monday, June 20, 2016

CLAYTON, Ga. (AP) - A Georgia legislator pleaded guilty Monday to driving under the influence of alcohol and an open container violation.

Dunwoody State Rep. Tom Taylor was ordered to pay a $1,500 fine, placed on 12 months of probation and must complete 40 hours of community service under the plea agreement, Atlanta-area media outlets report.

Taylor was arrested in Rabun County on April 7 after he was clocked driving 72 mph in a 45 mph zone, police said. His blood-alcohol content was nearly three times the legal limit, according to a city of Clayton police report. Taylor, who also had a gun on his hip, had four exchange students in the car at the time but because they were all at least 16 years old, he escaped child endangerment charges.

Police video showed Taylor telling police he had nothing to drink that day and smelled like alcohol because he drank wine the previous night. He was originally stopped for speeding.

A group called Better Georgia sponsored a petition calling for Taylor’s resignation.

Taylor, the chairman of the joint House-Senate committee that oversees MARTA, said at the time that he had made a serious mistake but that he didn’t plan to quit and was committed to running for re-election. He is running unopposed in November to the Legislature that represents House District 79.

Taylor has said his arrest was a wake-up call that he had a drinking problem.

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