NBC4’s Leon Harris says he was ‘in worse shape’ than he thought after DUI crash

NBC Washington anchor Leon Harris sat down for an interview at the station Monday to discuss his struggles with sobriety — months after he caused a car crash while driving under the influence of alcohol in Montgomery County, Maryland, back in January.

During the interview, Harris told Doreen Gentzler he was lucky he did not kill someone because he had become so used to driving while impaired.

“In my condition, I could have killed somebody,” Harris said. “I was actually more impaired than I thought I was. I thought that, you know, after having about four glasses of wine, I was good. I wasn’t, and nobody’s going to be good after that.”

Watch a portion of the interview below.

Harris, who spent 10 days in jail, is currently serving a three-year supervised probation and has an ignition interlock device installed on his vehicle. Ignition interlocks are breathalyzers that prevent drivers from starting their vehicles if the device senses the driver’s blood alcohol levels is above a certain limit, according to D.C.’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

Harris will anchor Tuesday, according to NBC Washington, which is a WTOP news partner.

Harris expressed his commitment to his marriage and recovery from alcoholism, saying he attends three hours of therapy a day.

“I wanted to repair, before even repairing myself … my marriage,” Harris said.

Harris wrapped up the interview saying that he’s going to go beyond words and that for the rest of his life he’s going to work on staying sober.

“But I will try to show you that I just, I deserve a shot at earning your trust and respect again. And the only way I can do that is through patterns, not promises,” Harris said

Hugh Garbrick

Hugh graduated from the University of Maryland’s journalism college in 2020. While studying, he interned at the Queen Anne & Magnolia News, a local paper in Seattle, and reported for the school’s Capital News Service. Hugh is a lifelong MoCo resident, and has listened to the local radio quite a bit.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up