Mark E. Ditka Tests Positive for Opiates in 4th DUI

Former Bears coach Mike Ditka’s son Mark E. Ditka has had his share of run-ins with the law. Last month, Ditka received his fourth DUI charge after being pulled over near his Deerfield home.

Now, prosecutors say Ditka tested positive for opiates during a pretrial screening earlier this month, the Chicago Tribune reports. Ditka insists he has a prescription for the drugs, but has yet to provide it to the court.

Deerfield police stopped Ditka for erratic driving and improper lane usage at around 3:45 a.m. October 7. Ditka was driving on a suspended license from a previous DUI arrest in September 2011.

He refused to submit to a Breathalyzer test, according to authorities. When police searched Ditka’s vehicle, they reportedly found a bottle of unmarked pills that turned out to be Hydrocodone, an opiate.

Ditka failed to provide a prescription for the pills in court on Friday. He now has until 9 a.m. on Tuesday to produce a prescription. “Obviously, you are going to have a lot of trouble with the court if you can’t provide a prescription that matches up with the opiates you tested positive for,” Judge Brian Hughes told Ditka.

While there’s no evidence that Ditka was on hydrocodone at the time of arrest, his DUI charge could be drug-related. Under Illinois’ DUI law, driving under the influence of any substance is illegal if it impairs your driving ability. That means that taking even an over-the-counter or prescription drug can get you a DUI charge if your coordination, reflexes, vision, or any other faculties are impaired as a result.

So even if you have a prescription, it doesn’t matter. If you took enough of the drug to impair your driving abilities, you can be charged with DUI, prescription or no prescription. Of course, if you don’t have a prescription, you’ll probably face possession charges as well.

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