POLITICS
01/16/2012 08:15 pm ET Updated Jan 16, 2012

Kip Smith, Sponsor Of Georgia Bill Requiring Drug Testing For Welfare Recipients, Arrested For DUI

Kip Smith, a Republican state congressman from Georgia and sponsor of a bill that would have submitted all welfare recipients to random drug testing, was arrested Friday night for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Smith was pulled over after running a red light on his way home from a restaurant, Atlanta's Channel 2 Action News reports:

The officer said when he walked up to Smith's car he could smell the odor of alcohol coming from the car and then started asking Smith some questions.

Smith told the officer he was at Hal's restaurant where he [had] a single beer and it had been 45 minutes since he had the last drink.

The officer said Smith first refused to take a breathalyzer test, but once it was explained to him that he would be arrested he started the sobriety test, which he had trouble completing.

According to a police report, Smith first blew a .091, and later a .100 and a .099, all above the legal limit of .08. He also failed a "walk-and-turn" test and a "one-leg-stand" field sobriety test.

As Think Progress points out, Smith is a sponsor of a bill that would implement random yearly drug testing for welfare recipients. According to the bill, anyone who failed such test would be cut off from public assistance. In response to this proposal, Democratic state Rep. Scott Holcomb submitted legislation that would instead require all state lawmakers to undergo random drug testing.

Smith said over the weekend that he made a poor decision.

"Mistakes were made and I take full responsibility for them," Smith said, according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. "I understand there are consequences, and there's no excuse."

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston said in a statement to Channel 2 Action News that he would be examining the incident.

"This is the first the Speaker has heard of this deeply troubling situation involving Rep. Kip Smith," the statement read. "DUI is a very serious charge. The Speaker will look into the matter and gather the facts before offering any further comment on this situation."

Video report below, via the Channel 2 Action News:

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