Court documents revealed that the latest drunk driving charge against Michael P. Ditka was recently upgraded to a felony due to two previous DUI charges that were filed against him in Lake County. Ditka, the son of former Bears coach Mike Ditka, also had another earlier DUI arrest in Cook County when he was younger, which brings his total number of DUI charges to at least four.
With the younger Ditka's most recent DUI case, the Chicago Tribune reported that his upgraded charge of aggravated DUI means he will no longer be permitted to drive while he waits for the outcome of his case.
Ditka was arrested last month after a law enforcement officer observed him in his black Hummer, running in the parking lot of the Deerfield Village Centre Apartments, where Ditka lived. Police said he had some difficulty with a field sobriety test and was later found with a blood-alcohol content level of 0.189 percent, according to the TribLocal. In Illinois, the legal limit is .08 percent.
A passenger riding with Ditka had alleged that he was operating the Hummer when it pulled into the Deerfield Village parking lot. However, Ditka’s attorney Robert Ritacca denied the passenger’s claim and contended that his client was not driving the vehicle when police had approached him.
Instead, Ditka was supposedly sitting in the car with his friend, and the keys were allegedly not even in the ignition. Ritacca also questioned whether the Deerfield cop had any authority to enter the apartment complex’s parking lot to make the DUI arrest.
Michael Ditka is expected to return to court again on June 24, 2011.