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Alleged drunken driver spared from accident by arrest

When motorists make the poor decision to drive after drinking, all too frequently disaster occurs when they collide with others on the road. Other drivers, passengers and pedestrians are all at risk of injuries or death resulting from collisions with impaired motorists.

The quick reactions of a Riverside policewoman may have averted disaster recently. Last Sunday, at approximately 12:22 a.m., a police officer observed a Palantine man weaving between the lanes and speeding in the western suburb.

According to police, when the law enforcement officer tried to initiate a traffic stop, the 61-year-old man behind the wheel then drove his vehicle up on the sidewalk of Lyons' West Ogden Avenue. The driver told the cops that the reason he was driving with his passenger, a 45-year-old woman who is also a resident of Palantine, was that as the designated driver, he was the "most sober" one.

The woman was so drunk that she was nearly unable to stand up. She had to be taken to MacNeal Hospital in nearby Berwyn to get treated for alcohol poisoning, police reported. The driver was charged with drunken driving, causing him to harass the arresting officer.

He attempted to kick out the police cruiser's windows. At the station, he refused a Breathalyzer test, vomited into a trash receptacle and created a disturbance while being booked at the police station. His mug shot captured him with head back and mouth wide open as he thrashed about.

The driver was also cited for driving on the sidewalk, failing to wear his seat belt, speeding, improper lane usage, improperly using his turn signal and failing to signal.

Those hurt in wrecks with intoxicated drivers can pursue civil justice through the Illinois courts no matter what the disposition is of any criminal charges.

Source: CBS Chicago, "Man Charged With DUI After Driving On Sidewalk In Riverside," May 17, 2016

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