By Dave Pearce
A 52-year-old Vincennes man was arrested early Thursday morning on charges of speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol near a Posey County elementary school.
Jeffery Alan Harper faces preliminarily charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a prior, a class D felony, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a Class A misdemeanor.
“We have been working all the school zone hard this week trying to get traffic adjusted to the beginning of the new school year and the fact that school zone speed limits are now back in effect,” Posey County Sheriff Greg Oeth said.
Indiana State Police and the Posey County Sheriff’s Department arrested Harper around 7:44 a.m. Thursday after he was clocked at driving 83 mph through the school zone in front of Marrs Elementary School, an Indiana State Police news release said.
Posey County Deputy Dan Montgomery was patrolling S.R. 62 near the school when he observed Harper’s Dodge Avenger traveling eastbound at a high rate of speed and passing other vehicles. According to the release, the vehicle was stopped and the driver identified himself.
While talking to Harper, the release stated a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage was detected and Harper’s speech was slurred. When officers asked him to exit the vehicle, they observed a beer can between the driver’s seat and the center console, the release said. Further investigation revealed he was legally intoxicated.
Ironically, After Officer Montgomery had Harper in custody for the traffic offenses, information was received that his vehicle matched the description of a vehicle wanted in connection with a theft at the Huck’s Store in Mount Vernon.
“The theft information has been forwarded to the Prosecutor, and Harper must deal with that situation as well” according to Oeth.
Harper is currently being held on bond in the Posey County Jail.