Son of famous football coach faces fourth arrest for DUI
Along with fame and notoriety also comes the constant scrutiny of the media. This is generally true any time a celebrity, or a family member of a celebrity, comes in contact with the law, especially when criminal charges are involved.
This has certainly been the story for the sons of Mike Ditka, the football legend who led his team to multiple Super Bowl wins, both as a player and a coach. Both of his sons have been in the news for driving under the influence charges.
Most recently, Mark Ditka is facing his fourth DUI arrest. This time Mark is also facing drug crime charges, as the police allege that they found a prescription opiate, Hydrocodone, in his vehicle after they searched his car. Together these are very serious charges.
At the time of this most recent arrest, Mark refused to take a blood or breath test. This means that the prosecution will have to prove that Ditka was drunk driving, and that the police had probable cause to pull him over. They will have to prove this despite the lack of physical evidence that Mark was drunk.
Thankfully, Mark has successfully defended against DUI charges in the past, and he has not yet been convicted. Instead, the charges he had previously faced were lessened so he does not have a conviction on his record. This means that if he were convicted on this latest DUI charge, this would be a first DUI offense.
This would be an important distinction in New Jersey because second or more DUI convictions carry with them more severe consequences and penalties than first-time offenses.
Source: Huffington Post, "Mark Ditka DUI: Son Of Former Chicago Bears Coach Faces Drunk Driving Charge," Oct. 10, 2012