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#HeadlineHooshe: OUI suspect claims he was drinking on doctor's orders...

OUI suspect claims he was drinking on doctor's orders before running down pedestrian in Springfield sidewalk, records show


A motorist charged with running down an elderly Springfield man in a crosswalk had a blood alcohol level three times above the legal limit, according to the arrest report.

The motorist, Clinton Taylor, also had an excuse, the report said: He told police he was drinking on doctor's orders and offered to provide a note to prove it.

Taylor, 49, of Springfield, pleaded not guilty in Springfield District Court last week to operating under the influence of liquor, second offense, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, negligent driving, driving with an open container in his vehicle and a crosswalk violation.

The charges were filed after police found a 69-year-old man face down in the crosswalk at State and Oak streets around 9 p.m. on Aug. 5, according to the arrest report.

Police administered first aid to the victim, who had a large laceration on his face and serious injuries to his upper body. After paramedics arrived, Taylor drove up in a vehicle with front end damage, a smashed windshield, a broken mirror and a round imprint on its side, the report said.

Taylor said he struck something in the crosswalk minutes before, and returned to see what it was. "He was unsure what he hit, but it was a large object," he told police, according to the report.


Police said Christiana Haramut was holding a vodka bottle when she took a swing at the driver of the SUV she crashed into.


His speech was slurred and he admitted drinking a couple of 25-ounce beers earlier in the day. Four Natty Daddy beer bottles, two of them empty, were in his vehicle, along with a 12-ounce bottle of Michelob beer, the report said.

Arrested at the scene, Taylor was transported to police headquarters, where he  submitted to a Breathalyzer test. His blood alcohol level was measured at .28, or more than three times the legal limit of .08, the report said.

At that point, Taylor explained that his doctor had told him to drink alcohol to avoid withdrawal symptoms. "He went on to say that he can get his doctor to provide a note stating this," the report said.

Following his arraignment in Springfield District Court, Taylor's bail was set at $5,000 and he was ordered to abstain from alcohol while the charges are pending.

He is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on Sept. 11.

Based on his blood alcohol test, Taylor's license was suspended for 180 days.


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