The deputy commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is facing DUI charges and, along with a Madison woman, is also under investigation for moonshine after 14 bottles were found in a Corvette driven by Deputy Commissioner Walter Rabon, Jr.
According to Georgia State Patrol reports, Rabon, 48, of Mansfield, allegedly crashed a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette on Georgia 11 in Jasper County on Sunday, Nov. 19 at approximately 8:40 p.m.
According to a story first published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Rabon allegedly “reeked of alcohol” and was “very sluggish” and struggled to keep his balance. The report says he blew a .146 on a breathalyzer test, nearly twice the state’s legal limit of .08.
According to William Gaston, Georgia Department of Revenue spokesperson, five broken bottles of suspected moonshine and nine bottles of intact moonshine were located in the vehicle.
Jasper County Sheriff’s Office reports list both Rabon and Jen Parker Hammonds, 50, Madison as an “offender” on charges of possession of alcohol on which taxes have not been paid. The Corvette, reports state, was owned by Patrick Hammonds, Madison.
Gaston said the incident is currently under investigation but no charges have been filed. Jen Parker Hammonds was not charged at the scene of the incident.
According to published reports, Rabon has been placed on administrative leave the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Rabon was appointed deputy commissioner of the DNR in 2015 after serving 22 years with the agency, initially as a conservation ranger.
Georgia State Patrol reports state that the Corvette failed to negotiate a turn, overcorrected and left the roadway, striking an embankment. Reports state that Rabon told a trooper he had swerved to miss a deer.
Rabin was charged with failure to maintain lane and DUI. He was also given a warning for driving too fast for conditions. Rabon was transported to the Jasper County Detention Center. Jen Parker Hammonds, reports state, suffered a non–fatal injury and was transported to Clearview Regional Medical Center by Jasper County Emergency Medical Services.
In the AJC report Rabon allegedly told officials that he knew the moonshine was in the vehicle but that it did not belong to him.