Police charged Del. Jay Walker of Prince George’s County on Sunday with drunken driving outside a cigar bar, according to authorities in neighboring Charles County.
The sheriff’s department said Walker, 48, of Fort Washington, was driving just before 1 a.m. in the 2700 block of Crain Highway in Waldorf when he exited a parking lot “and failed to yield right of way, causing the officer to take evasion action to avoid being struck.”
After conducting field sobriety tests, police arrested Walker and charged him with driving under the influence. Court documents show he left from the Timber Box, a cigar lounge in Waldorf.
Meanwhile, Walker attended the regularly scheduled legislative session Monday night in Annapolis and gave a brief statement to reporters.
“I just want to start off by thanking all my family, my friends and my supporters and my colleagues for their support during it all,” he said after the House of Delegates adjourned. “I think everybody knows I’ve been a huge supporter of law enforcement over the years. That won’t change. Public safety has always been my number one issue. That being said, however, it is unfortunate the incident that happened. I look forward to proving my innocence.”
Walker confirmed he temporarily stepped down earlier Monday from his vice chair position on the alcohol subcommittee.
“No need for distractions,” he said.
House Speaker Adrienne Jones called the initial reports about Walker “concerning,” but still supports his work.
“The Maryland General Assembly has tried to send a strong and clear message that driving while intoxicated by anyone is unacceptable in this state,” she said in a statement. “Delegate Walker is a valued member of the House and is an important voice for Prince George’s County.”
A popular lawmaker who’s served in the Maryland General Assembly since 2007, Walker has pushed for financial literacy in public schools since 2012.
A standout quarterback at Howard University who played about four years in the NFL, Walker is a color commentator for ESPN and is one of the leading experts on Black college football. His legislation to limit tackle football in youth and high school sports statewide to between August and December could go before the House for a vote Tuesday.
Walker backs Maryland’s four historically Black colleges and universities in their ongoing fight for additional funding from the state.
He’s married to County Councilwoman Monique Anderson Walker (D-District 8). The couple recently hosted a town hall in Oxon Hill on various topics such as the 2020 census, Route 210 and illegal dumping.