By Mark F. Gray
AFRO Staff Writer

Maryland State Delegate Jay Walker (D- 26th District) was charged with driving under the influence after leaving a cigar bar in Charles County during the early morning hours on March 1.

According to multiple reports, Walker was stopped after leaving the Tinder Box in Waldorf around 1 a.m. Walker was apparently stopped by Charles County Police officers after pulling in front of a marked law enforcement vehicle that was forced to take evasive maneuvers.

Delegate Jay Walker (D- Fort Washington), vice-chair of the Alcoholic Beverages Subcommittee, was charged with a DUI on March 1. (Courtesy Photo)

In their statement Charles County Police claim an officer in a marked police car was headed north on Crain Highway (Route 301) when the driver of a black Ford F-150 exited a parking lot and “failed to yield the right of way, causing the officer to take evasive action to avoid being struck.”   Once the officer pulled the vehicle over, Walker, 48, was found behind the wheel of a truck with Maryland State House of Representative license plates on it.

 The 26th District representative was detained and given a field sobriety test. According to charging documents, the officer claims Walker’s eyes were red and there was the smell of alcohol on his breath. He also is accused of refusing to take a breathalyzer test. The officer also reportedly claims Walker was asked to perform field sobriety evaluation and found that he was “unable to perform divided attention tests.” 

After failing the test, he was processed and posted bond at the Charles County Detention Center before getting released on his own recognizance. Walker has reportedly retained the service of fellow delegate C.T. Wilson (D-Charles County) as his attorney.

Less than 36 hours after the incident, Walker temporarily relinquished his position as vice chair of the powerful Alcoholic Beverages Subcommittee, according to a statement that was released by House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County). The speaker said drunk driving is an intolerable offense by anyone driving in the state, but also praised Walker as a “valued member of the House” and an “important voice for Prince George’s County.”

“Over the past several years, the Maryland General Assembly has tried to send a strong and clear message that driving while intoxicated by anyone is unacceptable in this state,” Jones said in her statement.

Walker, of Fort Washington, has been a member of the House of Delegates since 2007. He attended Howard University and played in the NFL for the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings. He has been working as the lead sports analyst for ESPN on its HBCU football coverage.  

He has been a leader in the fight for Maryland’s HBCUs to get proper funding and a staunch supporter of athletics in the County as well. Walker has been on the front lines of helping to refurbish Prince George’s County athletic fields and was a powerful voice in the redevelopment of the National Harbor area that includes the MGM Hotel and Casino and the Gaylord Convention Center.

Walker represents a part of southern Prince George’s County that encompasses portions of Fort Washington and Oxon Hill. He is also a member of the Economic Matters Committee. In 2019 the Fort Washington resident served as vice chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.