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Georgia lawmaker who sponsored welfare drug testing bill busted for DUI

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, January 16, 2012 17:40 EDT
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A Georgia Republican who co-sponsored legislation that would require random drug testing of welfare recipients was arrested on early Friday morning and charged with DUI, according to Channel 2 Action News.

Rep. Kip Smith was pulled over after a police officer witnessed him run through a red light. The officer said he could smell the odor of alcohol coming from Smith’s car and had the lawmaker take a breathalyzer test, which he failed.

Smith has co-sponsored legislation in the Georgia General Assembly that would require random drug testing for recipients of certain public assistance.

In response to the bill, Democratic Georgia state Rep. Scott Holcomb has introduced legislation that would require lawmakers to pass a drug test before taking office.

“This bill is really very simple,” Holcomb said in December. “If the General Assembly is going to pass laws requiring struggling, jobless Georgians to pay for drug tests as a precondition to receiving state benefits, then members of the General Assembly should lead by example and take the tests first.”

Republican state lawmakers across the country this year have pushed for laws to require drug tests for welfare recipients.

Florida and Missouri have both approved laws requiring low-income parents seeking federal cash assistance to pass a drug test. In October, Florida’s drug testing law was halted by District Court Judge Mary Scriven.

Michigan previously tried to implement a welfare drug testing law, but it was struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 2003.

U.S. District Court Judge Victoria Roberts held that testing welfare recipients “could be used for testing the parents of all children who received Medicaid, State Emergency Relief, educational grants or loans, public education or any other benefit from that State.”

[H/T: Judd Legum]

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
 
 
 
 
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