South Bend Common Councilman Henry Davis Jr.’s court date is set after a weekend arrest. The councilman has been charged with two counts of Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated, one a class C misdemeanor and the other a class A misdemeanor (endangerment). The court date is August 11 at 8:00 a.m. in the Traffic & Misdemeanor Court.
As we reported, Davis Jr. was arrested early Saturday morning at around 3 am after driving on the wrong side of the US 31 bypass on the West Side of South Bend. According to the arresting police officer, the councilman told him that he knew that he was traveling in the wrong direction but did not know how he got there. Davis Jr. reportedly admitted to drinking earlier that evening.
“I asked Davis to exit the vehicle,” the officer said in an affidavit. “Davis did not immediately comply. He slumped forward, put his face in his hands and said, ‘I was drinking, but I’m not drunk’ and indicated that he has ‘M.S.’ I again asked him to step from the vehicle, and he sat for another minute before complying. After I asked a third time, Davis exited the vehicle.”
The officer claims that Davis Jr. failed four separate tests: the horizontal gaze test, walk and turn, the one leg stand, and finally, a Breathalyzer test. The horizontal gaze test is when a pen is held up and you are supposed to follow its movement. The walk and turn is when you are expected to follow a line, one foot after the other, while counting sequentially.
The one leg stand test is more complicated. “To complete the one-leg stand test, you must stand with one foot approximately six inches off the ground with your toe pointed. While maintaining perfect balance, you have to count by thousands (one thousand-one, one thousand-two, etc.) for thirty seconds. Meanwhile, your arms must remain at your side. Finally, you must look down at your foot. While you are completing this test, the police officer will observe you for the presence of indicators of impairment.”
The officer reported that Davis failed the Breathalyzer test with a .14 alcohol level. Indiana state law requires drivers to register less than .08 grams of alcohol in order to pass a sobriety test. Anyone with .08 or higher can be charged with an OWI class C misdemeanor, which is the charge against Davis Jr. In addition, Davis Jr. is charged with operating a vehicle in a manner that endangers other people’s lives, a class A misdemeanor.
Felony drunk driving charges require the person to have a previous conviction or to operate the vehicle with a child under the age of 18.
South Bend Voice has included the full affidavit below: