Legislative Immunity

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A state lawmaker under fire for employing a seldom-used legislative immunity doctrine to fight a drunken driving charge says he is dropping that defense and resigning as chairman of the committee that handles liquor industry legislation.

David Graves, a Republican from Macon, says in a statement Friday he has made poor choices in his personal and public life.

Earlier this week, a state court judge in Marietta ruled that the provision Graves sought to employ - which stipulates that state lawmakers cannot be arrested during sessions of the General Assembly or its committees or while traveling to either one - did not apply in his case.

Graves was stopped February 15 after leaving a dinner meeting with other legislators away from the Capitol.

Top Republican Eric Johnson of Savannah said Graves' defense was embarrassing other lawmakers.