Georgia rep charged with DUI after crash
May 21,2007 00:00 by UPI

ATLANTA -- A Georgia state legislator was charged with drunken driving after his car struck a utility pole near downtown Atlanta, police said.

State Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Evans and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, was charged with driving under the influence, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Harbin, 43, was taken to an area hospital after his car sheared a utility pole and stopped 40 to 50 feet down the road at about 1 a.m. Sunday, police told the Journal-Constitution.

The Republican lawmaker did not answer calls placed to his home or cell phone, the newspaper said.

A waiter in a nearby restaurant who offered help after the crash said Harbin didn't appear drunk.

"I know he's been charged with DUI, and I know he's an important guy. But he wasn't wasted," Robby Ross, who said he has been a bartender for 18 years, told the Journal-Constitution. "He wasn't slurring his speech or falling over his face. He composed himself very well."

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.