Meck County commissioner-elect arrested for DWI, records show

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — A newly-elected Mecklenburg County commissioner was arrested for driving while impaired, records show.

Commissioner-Elect Yvette Townsend-Ingram was arrested on May 1 in Gaston County. She was in a parking lot in Belmont on Catawba Street. The police report says she was arrested at Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park.

According to court documents for the incident, police detected a “strong odor of alcoholic beverage” and said she had “glassy, bloodshot eyes.” They say she was unsteady on her feet, had “slurred speech,” and was “very argumentative.”

Records show Townsend-Ingram had a blood alcohol content more than two and a half times the legal limit. She blew a 0.2 for her breathalyzer test.

Channel 9′s Joe Bruno spoke with Townsend-Ingram, who called the incident a learning experience. She said she takes accountability for the arrest.

“I’m looking at this as a moment of, you know what, this is a teachable moment. You can use this to empathize with people,” Townsend-Ingram told Bruno. “Things happen, but it’s how you move forward from them that makes the difference.”

Townsend-Ingram said she had a weak moment after she lost her job at Johnson C. Smith University and was also mourning the death of her brother, who died in March.

“I had brought with me a bottle of wine. I fell asleep with the car running for the air conditioning and with the bottle of wine open,” she said. “So when the police came knocking on my door, Belmont police came and knocked on my door and arrested me because they said I had intent to drive.”

She was arrested and taken to the Gaston County jail. The warrant says she drove her car but Townsend-Ingram denies she was driving.

Townsend-Ingram said she is not hiding from her mental health issues and wants people to learn from this.

“It’s a distraction. A distraction of my own creation, but it’s a distraction,” she said.

Yvette Townsend-Ingram, a Democrat, will be sworn on to the Mecklenburg County Commission later this year. She defeated Pat Cotham in the March primary to earn the third at-large spot. No Republicans are running.

The incident won’t impact her ability to be sworn into office.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: Former Hornets’ guard James Bouknight sentenced for DWI)

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