John Doe DUI investigation a close call near 144th, Military Road

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- A bizarre afternoon incident recently involved a suspected drunk driver and it gave Douglas County Sheriff's deputies a chance to use a new tool.

The case also details a dangerously close call.

“Who are you?” is what these deputies really wanted to know when checking on a man slumped over the steering wheel.

“He was so intoxicated he could not tell us his full name. He could not tell us his last name, where he lived, or any other information and he had no identification on him. And the vehicle he was driving did not belong to him,” said Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Wayne Hudson.

Deputies used a portable fingerprinting device to identify the man.

“If you hit the Nebraska state one, then we can look through local databases, and see if we can find pictures or driver’s license and confirm their identification that way,” said Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Brian O’Malley.

So deputies got the name Jeremy Spahn to put on the blood alcohol test that registered .31 or almost four times the legal limit.

Though the suspected drunk driver had stopped at a dead-end it was still a dangerous situation because the car was still in drive and his foot on the brake.

The incident ended safely but it’s shocking. Before stopping at a gated barrier, Spahn allegedly drove about a mile on a closed section of Military Road that’s become an unofficial trail.

“There’s a lot of runners there are people on bikes they have headphones in, it’s terrifying, it definitely could have ended really badly,” said Nikki O’Connell, a runner.

John Does are usually taken to jail but learning this driver’s identity through a portable fingerprint reader made a difference.

“That allowed us to write him a citation and send him to a detox center,” Hudson said.

A suspected drunk driver who tested almost four times the legal limit drove a road well traveled by pedestrians. That's a sobering thought.

Spahn was cited for an aggravated DUI, open container, traveling on a closed road and driving under suspension.

The fingerprint system that identified him at the scene is also hooked to the federal database that contains up to 3 million fingerprints.