Legislative Immunity Denied

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State Rep. David Graves, charged with drunken driving for a second time, was denied by a judge Tuesday in his contention that his position as lawmaker means he cannot break the law while the Legislature is at work.

Graves, a Republican from Macon, Georgia, tried to use a centuries-old provision in the state constitution to argue that he should not be prosecuted for a DUI he received in Cobb County in February. The arrest was made during Georgia's 2005 session of the General Assembly.

Cobb State Court Judge Irma B. Glover denied Graves' request to use the "legislative immunity" defense. Graves' attorney, William C. "Bubba" Head, immediately filed a motion to appeal the decision to the Georgia Supreme Court.

Graves, chairman of the House committee overseeing laws governing the alcohol industry, has said that on February 15, he and other committee chairmen went from the Capitol to a dinner meeting, where they conferred about the status of legislation and plans for the next legislative day.

His lawyer argued that Graves should have been granted immunity from arrest because he was leaving a gathering that was tantamount to a committee meeting, according to legal filings.