UPDATE: Decatur City Commissioner arrested for driving under the influence
Decatur Police arrested Decatur City Commissioner and Mayor Pro Tem Kecia Cunningham on June 11 for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Cunningham said she is “embarrassed” by the arrest and said she will not contest the charges. She told Decaturish the arrest occurred in the evening after she had finished having dinner. She was driving on East College Avenue when she was pulled over for failure to maintain her lane.
Records show she was booked into jail at 2:16 a.m. on June 11 and booked out at 5:20 p.m.
The commissioner said she was treated fairly by the arresting officer.
“He was doing his job, and I was thankful for that,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham added, “I accept responsibility and intend to accept the consequences. I anticipate this will be handled as any other matter, and I am embarrassed. It’s a personal matter that I’m embarrassed by.”
As Pro Tem, Cunningham presides over City Commission meetings when the city’s mayor is absent.
According to the report provided by Decatur Police, the officer pulled Cunningham over shortly after midnight on June 11.
The officer was travelling eastbound on East College near the intersection with Sams Crossing. He noticed a 2002 Lexus traveling south on Sams Crossing. The officer said the Lexus, “Made an improper right turn onto East College Avenue and failed to maintain its lane.”
“I observed the Lexus make a wide right turn, enter into the center lane of travel, straddling the dotted white line and jerk back into the curb lane headed westbound,” the officer wrote.
The officer made a U-turn and caught up with the Lexus to observe the behavior of the driver. He saw the Lexus begin to “drift heavily within its lane.” The Lexus moved over into the center lane without using a turn signal.
“While traveling the center lane, the Lexus crossed over the double solid yellow line, began straddling the yellow line with the center of the vehicle with both driver side tires in the opposite lane of travel,” the officer wrote. “After traveling several feet, the Lexus drifted back into its own lane of travel.”
The officer turned on his lights and the Lexus pulled into the rear parking lot behind Trackside Tavern. The Lexus is a convertible and its top was down during the stop, the officer noted. He said he immediately noticed a strong odor of alcohol when he began talking to Cunningham. When the officer asked her why she didn’t maintain her lane, she explained that “Something happened near my feet.” Cunningham was not wearing any shoes at the time.
Cunningham told officers she was coming from her office on Johnson Ferry Road. The officer asked if she made any stops on the way home, and Cunningham said she’d been to the Capital City Cigar Club, 19 miles outside the Decatur City Limits. She told the officer she’d had a cigar and a glass of wine 45 minutes before the stop.
During the field sobriety test Cunningham was unsteady on her feet. She had trouble taking the walk and turn test, and at one point had to stop walking to regain her balance. Her blood alcohol level was .147. The legal limit in Georgia is .08.
Cunningham later admitted to the officer she had a vodka and cranberry in addition to a glass of wine. The officer found a bottle opener inside the Lexus and a wine cork inside the trunk.
Here is the full report provided by Decatur Police: