By Joe Johnson
An Athens-Clarke County commissioner was arrested for DUI Monday night after she crashed her car into a utility pole.
The incident marks the second time a county commissioner has been arrested for DUI in about a year and a half.
According to Athens-Clarke County police, District 9 Commissioner Ovita Thornton was driving a 2011 Hyundai Sonata on West Hancock Avenue at about 6:40 p.m. when it left the roadway near North Harris Street, striking a curb and a utility pole.
“As a result of the crash investigation, the driver of the Sonata, Ovita Thornton, was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol,” said Lt. Shaun Barnett, ACCPD’s public information officer.
He said that Thornton allegedly resisted arrest, though she was not charged for that.
In an email to Classic City News, Barnett quoted from what an officer wrote in the arrest report:
“I informed Thornton to put her hands behind her back for driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Thornton actively resisted officer's commands to place her hands behind her back and continued to say "I won't, I won't".
“When Thornton was able to be put into handcuffs, approximately 3-4 minutes later, she refused to walk back to the patrol car. She had to be escorted by two officers while she continued to refuse getting into the patrol vehicle. Once I got Thornton into the back seat of my patrol car, I read her Georgia's Implied Consent.”
Thornton was booked into the Clarke County Jail and later released upon posting $1,850 bail.
She did not respond to a request seeking comment.
Her arrest comes about a year and a half after ACC District 1 Commissioner Patrick Davenport was arrested for DUI.
According to reports, Davenport was arrested on Sept. 16, 2021, after he was found lying in the back of his disabled SUV, which had two flattened tires.
He was subsequently sentenced to serve 12 months of unsupervised probation, during which time he must pay fines and court fees totaling over $1,000, submit to toxicological screens, perform 40 hours of community service, and attend DUI school.