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Drunken driver found sleeping in middle of cornfield, Portage police say
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Drunken driver found sleeping in middle of cornfield, Portage police say

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Austin Harnish

Austin Harnish

PORTAGE — A 24-year-old driver, whose vehicle had driven through a snowbank and 30 yards of foot-deep snow into a cornfield, was found to be nearly two and a half times the legal limit for drinking and driving, police said.

A Portage police officer said when he approached the vehicle south of County Road 700 North shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday, he found it still running, in reverse gear and with the windows steamed up on the inside.

The driver, Austin Harnish, of Chesterton, was reclined in the driver's seat and appeared to be awakened when the officer tapped on the window, according to the incident report.

"What brings you to the center of this corn field?" the officer asked.

Harnish replied, "I tried to turn."

Police said Harish had difficulty leaving the vehicle and smelled of alcohol. He claimed to have consumed one and a half beers at a friend's house.

He was later found to have a blood-alcohol content of 0.196%, which exceeds the legal limit of 0.08%, police said.

Harnish faces numerous drunken driving charges.

Gallery: Recent arrests booked into Porter County Jail

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.

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