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DUI Charges Dropped Against Ditka’s Son

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Michael Ditka, 50, the son of former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, was arrested for drunk driving in April 2011 in Deerfield, but a judge quashed the arrest in February 2012 and prosecutors must decide whether to go forward with the case. (Credit: Deerfield Police)

Michael Ditka, 50, the son of former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, was arrested for drunk driving in April 2011 in Deerfield, but a judge quashed the arrest in February 2012 and prosecutors must decide whether to go forward with the case. (Credit: Deerfield Police)

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WAUKEGAN, Ill. (STMW) — Lake County prosecutors Friday dropped felony DUI charges against a son of former Bears Coach Mike Ditka, the Lake County News-Sun is reporting.

Michael Ditka, 50, of Deerfield, was charged with felony DUI for driving drunk on April 20, 2011, authorities said. The charge was a felony because he had two prior DUI arrests.

But Lake County Associate Judge Brian Hughes earlier this month granted a motion from defense attorneys Robert Ritacca and Charles Schneider quashing Ditka’s arrest and suppressing evidence from the arrest.

Ditka’s Hummer was parked in a Deerfield strip mall and no keys were in the ignition when a police officer approached the SUV, according to court testimony, Hughes said Friday, noting, the officer “was targeting a specific vehicle.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Money asked Hughes to reconsider his ruling, saying the police officer observed that Ditka appeared to be drunk.

Hughes denied the request, maintaining there was no reasonable suspicion to charge Ditka. Money then dropped the charges.

Ditka faced as much as seven years in prison had he been convicted of felony DUI.

His brother Mark Ditka also has a DUI case pending in Lake County. Mark, also of Deerfield, was charged with DUI for having a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit and is due back in court March 7, police said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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