VALPARAISO — A Crown Point firefighter/paramedic who has been placed on indefinite suspension pleaded not guilty to driving while intoxicated Thursday.
Cory M. Neises, 40, of Crown Point, was arrested on the evening of Feb. 6 after allegedly striking a utility pole while drunk, police said.
Neises is facing a level 6 felony of operating while intoxicated with prior conviction within seven years, as well as four misdemeanor charges, court records show.
According to online court records, this is Neises' second operating while intoxicated offense since 2015.
Neises told police he was the driver of the pickup truck that crashed into a NIPSCO pole on Feb. 6 and admitted "to drinking three to four 'beers' at a friend's house prior to the incident (crash)," records state.
After snapping the pole in half, Neises drove across a street, through a ditch and a small field, before traveling across County Line Road onto 157th Avenue and again driving into a ditch and becoming stuck, police said.
Neises failed three field sobriety tests, had bloodshot eyes and was swaying before he submitted to a chemical test on the scene, where it was determined he had a blood alcohol level of 0.155, records state.
No one was injured in the incident, and Neises was medically cleared at the hospital before being taken into custody.
The state requested Neises' license be suspended Thursday.
When Porter County Superior Court 4 Judge Christopher Buckley asked Neises if he understood he was not permitted to operate a motor vehicle, Neises replied yes.
An omnibus hearing for the case was scheduled for 1:30 p.m July 22.