Kingsport DUI suspect charged with endangering child

Rain Smith • Jan 8, 2013 at 2:04 AM

A Kingsport woman faces charges of reckless endangerment after allegedly driving while under the influence with her 3-year-old daughter in the vehicle.

Court records state police observed her sitting at a stop sign for "several minutes" before continuing down a roadway and crossing the center line on three occasions — twice in blind curves.

Denise Harless, 43, of 325 Cannon St., was arrested in the Monday afternoon incident. When stopped by a Kingsport officer, according to an affidavit, Harless couldn't maintain her balance and spoke with slurred speech.

An officer allegedly observed her car stationary for "several minutes" at a stop sign at the intersection of Orebank Road and Rock City Road. The affidavit says two vehicles behind Harless passed her car due to it not moving, while there was no oncoming traffic that merited her not progressing.

Police reportedly followed Harless when she turned right onto Orebank. She allegedly swerved over the double yellow line into oncoming lanes on two occasions, with two of those instances occurring in blind curves.

During the subsequent traffic stop police spotted her daughter, 3, in back of the vehicle. Harless allegedly admitted to taking one of her prescribed Xanax pills earlier in the day and consented to field sobriety tests, performing poorly.

She was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and reckless endangerment of a child. Harless was taken to the Kingsport Justice Center for processing then detained at the Sullivan County jail in Blountville.

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