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Athens man's truck hits Waffle House, he denies he was drunk


By Joe Johnson

An Athens man was arrested for DUI on Sunday after he reportedly struck a Waffle House with his pickup truck.

According to Athens-Clarke County police, an officer was working an extra duty job at the Waffle House on Oconee Street at about 3:20 a.m. when he was alerted to a vehicle that had been driven into the back of the building.

The officer then found a Toyota Tacoma with its front end against the restaurant and the driver’s leg propped between the truck’s open door and frame, police said, and the driver, 21-year-old Byron Hopkins, appeared to be unconscious but he responded when the officer shook him.

With bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, he admitted to having had “a couple” of drinks while denying that he was drunk, according to a police incident report.

When the officer went inside Waffle House to inform staff about the incident, a couple told him they believed Hopkins’ truck was the same one that had been driving aggressively in front of them on Oconee Street, police said, but that information was not confirmed.

When the officer went back outside Hopkins demanded that the restaurant’s surveillance video be reviewed to prove that his truck did not hit the building.

“I told him I did not need the video footage because his vehicle was still physically touching the building,” the officer wrote in his report.

After Hopkins declined to take a breath test, police said he was taken to the hospital to have a bloods sample drawn.

He was booked into the county jail on charges of DUI and improper driving; As of Wednesday morning, he had yet to post the $3,000 bail that had been set for his release.

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