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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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Feb 28, 2023

She was charged with driving under the influence (DUI), which she is basically confessing to when she says that wasn’t the cause of the crash.

She isn’t charged with crashing under the influence. Why admit she was drunk driving but, it didn’t cause the crash? It’s irrelevant to the the issue of her arrest.

Why not admit to her error and promise to get help? If this is a first offense she probably will just get a slap off the wrist and be told not to do it again.

As another person commented, claiming the crash wasn’t due to intoxication implies either a medical or cognitive condition which might result in a permanent loss of driving privileges.

I think there…


She has probably been drunk and driving for many years. "Drunk" is probably her normal state of mind and body.


Feb 27, 2023



Unknown member
Feb 26, 2023

Notice she didn't claim she was not intoxicated, just that it didn't cause the accident.

I'd love to see the judges reaction to this defense.


Lying cow. A drunk, violent, no respect for the law, cow that hired an ambulance chasing attorney to represent her. She should be embarrassed, ashamed & resign immediately from office go ahead honey, dig that hole a little deeper. Police aren’t stupid. They did their job correctly you dumbass. You think your smarter then them at their job?

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