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New Year's Beers Land Driver in the Slammer: Blotter

A 47-year-old Chicago Heights man faces multiple charges following a New Year's Day arrest.

A Chicago Heights man is off to a tough start for the new year.

Mark Southall, 47, of the 200 block of Eddy in Chicago Heights, received multiple charges, including a DUI, after police pulled him over in the 19200 block of Halsted Street just before 6:30 p.m. on New Year’s Day, according to reports.

Homewood police say an officer began following Southall after he noticed him driving in the middle of the lanes during snowy road conditions while headed southbound in the 18800 block of Halsted Street. The officer pulled him over after running his plate and learning he was driving with a suspended license.

Cops say Southall got out of his car “in an aggressive manner” and immediately started walking over to the squad car. The responding officer said his breath smelled of alcohol, and that he was slurring his speech and having a hard time balancing, according to reports.

Southall initially denied drinking any alcohol, but then later admitted to “drinking a few,” police say. He also told police that he was a precinct captain and that he worked in Chicago Heights. When that didn’t work, Southall tried to bargain his way out of the arrest by claiming he is friends with police officers, according to reports.

Since it was snowing outside, the responding officer could only administer one field test, which Southall failed, reports say. He was arrested for his suspended license and taken to the Homewood Police Department for more sobriety testing. 

Once back at the station, police put Southall through four field sobriety tests—all of which he failed, according to reports. While Southall denied taking a chemical breath test, police say he claimed to have drank "two beers" prior to getting on the road.

Southall was charged with driving with a suspended license, operating an uninsured vehicle and driving under the influence of alcohol.

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