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Restaurant Owner Accused Of Drunken Driving, Texting In Fatal Accident

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David Maish (Lake County Sheriff)

David Maish (Lake County Sheriff)

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WAUKEGAN, Ill. (STMW) – A noted Lake County restaurateur took the wheel of his GMC Hummer while he was drunk and taking prescription painkillers, then texted on his cell phone as he drove, authorities said.

That drive ended in the death of a pedestrian, 40-year-old Santiago Balderas, allegedly run down in north suburban Antioch, Lake County authorities said Friday, a day after the chef owner of David’s Bistro was hit with felony DUI charges stemming from the Feb. 6 collision.

The 9 p.m. crash instantly killed Balderas as he walked along Route 59 in Antioch — the suburb where longtime restaurateur David Maish has run his newest upscale restaurant since 2009.

Tests after the collision showed Maish’s blood-alcohol level was 0.14, nearly twice the .08 legal limit, Lake County prosecutor Suzanne Willett said.

Blood and urine tests also showed Maish had taken hydrocodone, a painkiller typically found in the prescription drug Vicodin.

Maish at the time of the crash was using his cellular phone — but not for a call.

“He was using his phone during that time, surfing the web or texting,” Willett said, citing phone records scrutinized by investigators during their two-month review of the collision. A reckless homicide count filed against Maish specifically alleges he was using his phone to “compose, send or receive” an electronic message when he allegedly hit Balderas.

Maish could face up to 14 years in prison if convicted of the felony DUI and reckless homicide charges. He was released from custody Thursday after posting a $25,000 cash bond.

Maish had run a previous restaurant in Des Plaines for about 10 years until shuttering the business in 2008, a year later opening opening David’s Bistro. Attempts to reach Maish for comment Friday were unsuccessful.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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