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Ditka Pleads Not Guilty to DUI Charge

Prosecutors claim Michael Ditka broke court ordered curfew.

In court Friday, pleaded not guilty to DUI charges during an arraignment hearing.

The 49-year-old son of former Bears coach Mike Ditka was originally arrested on April 20. Police say they spotted his Hummer leaving the Deerfield Village Center around 11:45 p.m. and drive into the rear parking lot of the West Deerfield Township Building.  When officers approached the parked car, officers claim Ditka had “red blood shot eyes and slurred words.” 

But according to Ditka’s lawyer Robert Ritacca, Ditka wasn’t actually driving but instead sitting in a parked car.

Court records show this is Ditka’s third time being charged with drunk driving.

On Friday, a judge notified the Deerfield resident that the charge is a class 2 felony. If convicted he could face 3-to-7 years behind bars and a $25,000 fine.

During arraignment proceedings prosecutors notified the judge that Ditka has allegedly violated a pre-trial bond services curfew instated by the court after his arrest. Ditka was originally placed under a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew which was later changed to 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. because of work conflicts. 

“If the defendant is going to flaunt the order of the court I think he needs to be aware of the consequences of his actions,” the prosecutor stated in reference to three apparent violations. “He is in violation of court order.”

The judge took note of the alleged violations and scheduled a status of discovery hearing for July 28.       

Clark Kent July 08, 2011 at 04:43 PM
Attorney Ritacca might help Ditka's case if he can establish that passenger Ditka's driver was actually one of the invisible people regularly riding the Niles "Free Bus." It's really quite simple...the invisible bus rider became the invisible Hummer driver. See? Life's not complicated! Mr. Ritacca should contact Mr. Van Geem to begin interviewing the nearly quarter of a million possible witnesses.
Michael Simkin July 09, 2011 at 12:52 PM
Was the key in the ignition? Was he in the drivers seat? If so his defense may have a big problem under Illinois case law.

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