Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Georgia Republican Who Supports Random Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients Arrested for DUI

 A Georgia Republican who supports legislation requiring random drug tests for all welfare recipients is apparently not following substance laws himself. State Representative Kip Smith failed a breathalyzer test on Friday morning, leading police officers to charge him with a DUI. According to the Atlanta Constitution:
Smith, whose given name is John Andrew Smith, first told the officer he had not consumed any alcoholic beverages.
“I asked him again, and he stated he had consumed a single beer at Hal’s. I noticed also that Mr. Smith’s eyes were watery, and I asked him to exit the vehicle, which he did,” Kramer said in the report.
Smith told the officer he’d had the beer 45 minutes earlier, and the officer asked him to blow into a hand-held “intoximeter”. The officer said the lawmaker refused, stating he would prefer to go to a clinic or the hospital to get tested.
The officer said Smith finally agreed to blow into the device. The report stated that Smith blew a .091., which is above the legal limit of .08.
Smith is a a co-sponsor of Georgia House Bill 464, which would require random drug testing for people receiving public assistance, and kick them out of programs if their urine comes up dirty.  Dunk driving, however, is much more likely to place other civilians at risk than, say, smoking pot. Adding to the hypocrisy evidenced in Smith's arrest is that state representatives are not required to complete drug tests themselves. The ACLU is challenging the constitutionality of a similar law in Florida, and faces a good shot at winning. 

By Kristen Gwynne 

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