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Hall County school board member-elect Mark Pettitt faces DUI charges
Previously received a BUI citation in 2017 in Forsyth County
Mark Pettitt
Mark Pettitt

A representative-elect for the Hall County Board of Education was arrested on a driving under the influence charge on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Mark Pettitt, 26, who will replace retiring board member Brian Sloan as the board’s South Hall representative in January, was stopped near the intersection of EE Butler and Jesse Jewell parkways about 2 a.m., according to arrest logs.

He was also charged with failure to maintain lane.

Pettitt was released later that day from the Hall County Jail.

“I regret to share with you that I was charged with driving under the influence this past Saturday,” Pettitt acknowledged in a Facebook post on Monday afternoon, Dec. 17. “While I plan to defend this accusation, I want to convey my respect for law enforcement and the rule of law.”

Pettitt’s attorney, Graham McKinnon, asked that his client be allowed to be “innocent until proven guilty.”

McKinnon said Pettitt has an arraignment date set for Feb. 11.

In May, The Times published a story with Pettitt acknowledging that he had received a boating under the influence, or BUI citation in Forsyth County in February 2017.  

He pleaded guilty on a misdemeanor BUI charge in the fall of 2017 and served probation until this November.

The issue became politically charged in the Republican primary for the school board post representing South Hall.

Pettitt’s opponent, Gina London Pilcher, said at the time that school board members have to be held to a higher standard, and while she didn’t “really care to comment about that because his personal life is his personal life … I do, however, think someone that represents the school board should not be in that situation.”

Pettitt said then that the incident was behind him “and it doesn’t mean I’m not the better candidate with the better ideas on how to run the school system.”

Joshua Silavent contributed.