At about 4:15 p.m. on Friday January 5th, an alert 911 caller tipped the police off claiming there was a reckless driver on Southwest Highway near Kilbourn Avenue, allegedly driving westbound in the eastbound lanes of Southwest Highway.
The caller informed dispatch that the driver of a Nissan had struck and was dragging a large orange construction barrel down the roadway.
When the Oak Lawn Police responded, the officer reported seeing a Nissan swerving in and out of its lane several times and stopped the car. When the officer approached the car, the driver, Otho Harris, was already out of the car.
Apparently dragging the barrel was not the only accident because the officer reported that the man’s pants, shoes and jacket were “wet”. Harris allegedly admitted to the police that he had urinated in his pants.
When asked if he had been drinking, the police officer claimed that Harris admitted to drinking two beers but only drinking half of each beer. The officer claimed that Harris had bloodshot eyes and a strong odor of alcohol emanated from his breath.
The officer administered the field sobriety tests. Specifically he asked Harris to touch each fingertip to his thumb while counting from one to four and then four to one. The officer claimed that Harris was unable to complete the test due to counting out of order and missing the fingertips with his thumb. At the scene, the officer reported that Harris was unable to provide a preliminary breath test sample. However, at the police station, Harris allegedly complied with the breath test and blew a 0.166, which is twice the legal limit in Illinois.
According to the police, Harris admitted that he was driving on Southwest Highway and struck the orange construction barrel and then may have gone in the wrong lane. He allegedly admitted he felt “buzzed” while driving but only consumed half a beer.
When the officer asked Harris why he struck the construction barrel, Harris allegedly stated, “because the motherf….. was in the road.”
Harris was charged with improper lane usage, driving under the influence, having a blood alcohol content over .o8, and operating a vehicle without insurance. Harris is a 58 year old black male with a Chicago address.