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ACC Commissioner Thornton: intoxication 'not a factor' in car wreck for which she was arrested

By Joe Johnson

Athens Clarke County Commissioner Ovita Thornton is claiming that intoxication was “not a factor” in a car accident this week that resulted in her arrest for DUI.

According to Athens-Clarke County police, the District 9 commissioner was driving a 2011 Hyundai Sonata on West Hancock Avenue at about 6:40 p.m. on Monday 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.

On Friday night, Classic City News received an email from Thornton in which the 71-year-old commissioner made her first comments since the incident:

“On Monday February 20, 2023 I was involved in an accident on Hancock Ave. While I respect the officers who arrived on the scene, intoxication was not a factor in this accident. I am working with my attorney Doug Lenhardt, to correct the DUI charge.

I truly appreciate the outpour of community support that I received this week. I still support the Athens Clarke County Police Department. And I will continue to do the necessary work in the community.”

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