According to alleged court papers by state police, 50-year-old Dean Leroy Johnson who was driving intoxicated on Interstate 180, allowed a 12-year-old boy to sit on his lap in a clear attempt to allow the youngster to drive on the four-lane highway.
Police said that Johnson, of Nisbet, had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.17 when the incident happened about 1:30 p.m. on May 19.
In addition to the boy, there was an 8-year-old girl in the 2004 Ford pickup truck and an open can of beer in the center console, according to the police.
Johnson was stopped at the Lycoming Mall off-ramp by a state trooper who saw a boy sitting on Johnson’s lap as he was heading towards east on the interstate.
In the inside support was an open jar of lager, police said.
Through their investigation, police discovered that Johnson at first had urged the girl to drive, but the boy “volunteered over her” so she wouldn’t have to drive, according to an affidavit.
The girl told police she “didn’t know how to drive and would have probably crashed,” a trooper wrote in the affidavit.
In the vehicle, police found a firearm, but Johnson did not have a permit to own one, police said.
After his arraignment on Wednesday before District Judge Jon E. Kemp on charges of driving under the influence of a intoxicants, recklessly endangering, endangering the welfare of children, corrupting the morals of minor, carrying a firearm without a license, disorderly conduct, careless driving and reckless driving, Johnson was released on $35,000 bail.