EXCLUSIVE: Ga. lawmaker breaks silence after DUI arrest

ATLANTA — told Channel 2 Action News that he plans to get help, but is not giving up his office.

State Rep. Tom Taylor was candid with Channel 2 political reporter Lori Geary as he talked about the arrest. Taylor said this was his wake-up call that he needs help and said he plans to get it.

He also told Geary that he has no plans to give up his office.

“I want to come right out and say this is a terrible decision on my part. I’m not trying to dodge it. I own it,” Taylor told Geary in an exclusive interview Wednesday.

Taylor is now living with the consequences of his DUI almost two week ago. Taylor was arrested by the Clayton Police Department in Rabun County.

He told Geary that he won't fight the charges.

“This is a mistake I made, I admit it. I’m not going to hire an attorney and besmirch or try to pick apart a police officer's procedure when he's just doing his job,” Taylor said.

The police report and dashcam video obtained by Channel 2 Action News shows that Taylor had a gun on his hip and four exchange students in his vehicle when he blew almost three times the legal limit of alcohol on a Breathalyzer.

Geary asked Taylor if he had any second thoughts before he got behind the wheel that day.

“I thought for a second, ‘Yeah, maybe not.’ That's where the decision point comes in. You make a bad decision. It's a couple of miles down the road, I’m dropping them off. What could happen? This is what happens,” Taylor said.

Taylor, who served in the Navy for 21 years, and was instrumental in the Dunwoody cityhood movement, is well respected under the Gold Dome.

“I've been humbled with the response from colleagues, a lot of constituents, a lot of people who said, ‘Tom, I’ve gone through this myself,’” Taylor said.

Taylor admitted that it was his wake-up call and that he has a problem.

“It's a serious issue, and I intend to get help for it. I'm going through an evaluation stage right now over the past couple of days and whatever treatment, recommendations come out of that, I’m going to jump right on it,” Taylor said. “I know I’ve disappointed a lot of people with this. I'm going to move on in a positive way. If one person, five, 10 people learn from this, that's a good thing.”

The progressive group Better Georgia has a petition calling for Taylor's resignation after the arrest.

Taylor told Geary that he's not surprised, but said he won't step down because he “has a lot more work to do here.”

Taylor has a primary challenger in the next election.

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