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State senator cited for intoxication while in parked car

South Carolina Senator-Citation - Tom Davis
Jeffrey Collins/AP
/
AP
FILE - South Carolina Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, begins a debate on legalizing medical marijuana in the state on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. Davis said he was cited for public intoxication early Jan. 1, 2023, while sitting in a parked car after realizing he was too intoxicated to drive in Lexington, S.C. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins, File)

A South Carolina state senator said he was cited for public intoxication early New Year's Day while sitting in his parked car after realizing he drank too much and shouldn't be driving.

Republican Sen. Tom Davis said he had been sitting in his parked car for over an hour Sunday when a Lexington Police officer approached him and eventually issued a ticket for public intoxication.

"Moments after leaving a social gathering where alcohol was consumed, Senator Davis recognized he should not be driving. In an effort to be safe and responsible, he pulled his vehicle into a nearby parking lot, disengaged it and sat in it," the law firm retained by Davis said in a statement.

Lexington Police didn't respond to an email Monday seeking a copy of the public intoxication ticket or other information. Town offices, including municipal court, were closed Monday for the New Year's holiday.

Davis said he cooperated immediately and fully with the officer, and his statement emphasized he was not charged with driving while intoxicated.

"I look forward to the opportunity to prove to my family and my constituents that I have learned from this mistake," Davis said.

Davis, 62, entered politics by running former Gov. Mark Sanford's campaigns in 2002 and 2006 and also serving as Sanford's legislative liaison and chief of staff. He has served in the state Senate since 2009 and is chair of the Senate Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee.