South Suburban DUI Arrests, Oct. 21
Accused drunk driver hits bus head-on, asks cops 'Did I kill anyone?'; texting while drunk, driving; driver rear-ends a car, and more in this week's roundup of Southland drunken driving arrests.
Oct. 12: Jeffrey Erikson, 37, of Mokena, was charged with driving under the influence and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident after he rear-ended a northbound car on Cedar Road, police said.
According to the report, Erikson's vehicle hit the rear of a car stopped and waiting to turn left from Cedar Road onto Route 30. Erikson then left the scene and drove home, police said. Having heard details of the the call in New Lenox, Mokena police tracked Erikson down at his home.
Police determined he appeared to have been drinking and brought him to the Mokena Police Department. New Lenox police arrived shortly thereafter and issued tickets.
Because Erikson was cited for DUI and his car was involved in a hit and run accident, it was towed, police said. He was not ticketed for the hit and run violation.
Oct. 12: A Chicago man faces charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving without insurance, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and more, after he struck a school bus filled with 20 people Oct. 12.
Benjamin Reyes, 25, of the 5700 block of S. Sacramento Avenue was charged after the pickup truck he was driving struck a school bus in the 5200 block of 147th Street at 2:40 a.m.
At the scene, officers found Reyes laying on the ground near a Ford pickup truck, with one Hispanic male passenger in the truck and one sitting on a tire near the truck. Officers observed severe front-end damage to the truck and bus, with the bus in the roadway, while the truck was off the roadway with its tail end in a shallow ditch.
Officers spoke with one of the Hispanic males, who said all he recalled was Reyes, his uncle, driving the truck and swerving in the roadway. Police spoke with the bus driver, who said she saw the truck swerve into the westbound lanes from the eastbound lanes. The driver said she completely stopped the bus, at which point the Ford struck the bus head-on.
Paramedics arrived on the scene, taking Reyes to Palos Community Hospital for treatment. All bus passengers the bus driver and Reyes' two nephews refused medical treatment.
Reyes underwent blood and urine testing at the hospital. When questioned by police, Reyes asked if he killed anyone, which officers told him he did not. He told officers he did not remember the crash.
Reyes was treated and taken to the Oak Forest Police Department where he was charged and released on $3,000 bond with a court date of Dec. 5, at the Bridgeview Court House.
Sept. 30: Police pulled over a car after seeing it swerve and cross lane lines on 82nd Avenue, south of 135th Street around 3:45 a.m. The driver’s breath smelled like alcohol, she admitted to texting while driving and failed field sobriety tests, police said. Alana M. Alkema, 37, of the 8000 block of Bob O Link Road in Orland Park, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol level of .08, improper lane use and texting while driving.
Sept. 29: Police were called about a possibly intoxicated driver near Southwest Highway and Wolf Road around 5:55 a.m. The caller said the vehicle was swerving and going into oncoming traffic, according to the report. Police saw a car matching the description heading north on Wolf Road, and pulled it over after seeing it cross into the oncoming traffic lanes, and turning right onto 159th Street from the center straight-only lane on Wolf Road, police said. The driver’s breath smelled like alcohol and she failed field sobriety tests, police said. Kristen M. Holmes, 27, of the 1300 block of Balmoral Avenue in Calumet City, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, improper turning and improper lane use.
Oct. 4: Brian K. Jackson, 38, of the 14300 block of South Clearview in Orland Park, was charged with Improper Lane Usage and two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol, according to a report. Police said they stopped Jackson's vehicle at about 2:04 a.m. near 11900 S. Harlem Ave., during which he took and failed field sobriety tests. Jackson's bond was set at $1,000.
Oct. 9: James K. Ohara, 57, of the 17100 block of Whittier Street in Hazel Crest, was charged with driving under influence, driving under the combined influence of alcohol, other drugs or intoxicating compounds, improper lane use, driving without insurance and illegal transport of alcohol after a traffic stop near 183rd Street and Harlem Avenue.
Police received a drunken driving complaint around 2:06 p.m., and the responding officer saw a Chevrolet Malibu driving erratically, northbound on Harlem Avenue from 179th Street, the police report stated. The officer pulled over the car, which was driven by Ohara, in the 18300 block of Harlem, the report continued.
When the officer asked how much the driver had to drink, Ohara mumbled he hadn't been drinking, the report stated. The officer then saw medication in the car's center console and asked Ohara if he had taken any medicine or if he had a medical condition, the report continued. Ohara said he had eye problems (he later said he had cataracts and was blind in one eye), was on methadone and had taken a Xanax the night before. The report did not indicate what type of medication was in the console.
During a series of field sobriety tests, Ohara admitted to having had two beers around 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m. that day, the report stated. He then was asked to take a portable breath test but told the officer he wouldn’t be able to pass it, saying he had a shot of white wine around 11 a.m., according to the report.
Ohara was arrested, and after he was handcuffed, the officer found a third of a bottle of Wild Irish Rose wine in plain view behind the front passenger seat, the report stated. A search of the car also found two straws that both had one end melted and white residue inside, the report continued. Ohara told the police that he is a recovered heroin addict, the report stated.
A breath test taken at the police station indicated Ohara had .019 blood-alcohol content, the report stated. Ohara, however, would not submit to a blood and urine test and told police he was diabetic but that he would be fine until he needed his medication in several hours, the report continued. Ohara told police he was celebrating being clean for 24 hours, saying he was a recovering heroin addict and had just taken a Xanax, the report stated.
Ohara was released on $1,000 bond. No court date was listed in the report.
Police report information is provided by local police departments. Charges are not evidence of guilt. They are a record of police actions on a given day, and persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. If you or a family member are charged or cited and the case is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to notify the editor. We will verify and report the outcome.