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Ditka’s Son May Have Beaten DUI Charge

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Michael P. Ditka

Michael P. Ditka

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WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) — It’s not official yet, but one of the sons of former Bears Coach Mike Ditka appears to have beaten a drunk driving charge.

Iron Mike’s 49-year-old son, Michael P. Ditka, was sitting in a black Hummer in the parking lot of his Deerfield housing complex last Apr. 20 when police asked him to step from the vehicle. The officer said he smelled alcohol, and a preliminary breath test found a concentration of .189 — more than twice the limit of .08.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

Lake County Circuit Court Judge Brian Hughes ruled that police had no reason to suspect Ditka when walking up to the sport-utility vehicle, said Ditka never consented to a search and found that Ditka’s arrest was not constitutionally reasonable. As a result, any evidence gathered after the arrest cannot be used at trial.

Ditka is still set to go to trial Feb. 27, but prosecutors must decide whether to go forward. They will let Judge Hughes know at a status hearing Feb. 24.

Defense attorney Robert Ritacca told WBBM Newsradio that his client “continues to be cautious” in his optimism.

Ditka’s brother, Mark, also a Deerfield resident, has a Feb. 22 court date on a separate DUI charge, related to a September traffic stop.

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