Springfield Township police have come across plenty of high blood alcohol levels from drunk drivers-- two or three times over the legal limit -- but the case of driver found to be more than five times the limit was hard to believe and extremely dangerous.
Body camera footage, obtained by News 5, captured officers attempting to wake up Ernest Primarano Jr. on the evening of Jan. 8.
Primarano, 56, was found slumped over in a Honda Civic on Overlook Drive near Canton Road. The car was in drive, but the man's foot was still on the brake.
"The door was opened up cautiously, so as to not startle him because then we could have had another disaster on our hands, but we went ahead and put the vehicle into park," Sgt. Eric East said.
Police found two bottles of Vodka in the vehicle. One of them was empty.
Officers initially thought Primarano had suffered a medical condition. He eventually regained consciousness in an ambulance and was taken to an Akron hospital where blood was drawn.
Testing later revealed Primarano's stunning blood alcohol level of .455 -- more than five and a half times over the legal limit.
"My reaction was I haven't seen that high of a BAC in my 20-plus years of law enforcement," East said.
Primarano, who weighs 180 pounds, was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence. He pleaded not guilty to the charge Thursday. His next court date is scheduled for Feb. 7.
Substance abuse charts indicate four drinks in an hour would typically put a man Primarano's size over the limit. Fifteen drinks over the same time period could result in a BAC three times over the limit.
East said Primarano was lucky he lived that night.
"Death can occur at that high of a concentration."