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Chicago Ridge cops say drunk driver foiled weekend checkpoint


A roadside safety check over the weekend by Chicago Ridge Police turned out to be anything but safe — and a lot shorter than planned.

The checkpoint, set up for four hours, lasted only 30 minutes before a drunken driver slammed into a flashing warning sign late Saturday night — sending officers scrambling. They had to enter the pickup truck to stop it, police said.

Lawrence Maderak, 67, of Bridgeview, was charged with drunken driving, failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident, disobeying a traffic signal and having no insurance, according to police.

They said Maderak’s Dodge Ram truck was northbound in the 10500 block of Harlem Avenue about 11:30 p.m. when it ran into the sign with a flashing arrow directing drivers off the road and into the checkpoint area.

The truck continued at a slow speed toward officers at the checkpoint, and Maderak ignored their orders to stop, police said. They said an officer was able to open a door and stop the truck by putting the gearshift in park.

Police said Maderak was intoxicated and asked officers, “What’s going on?” He refused a blood-alcohol test and was taken to a hospital for observation, according to police.

The warning sign, valued at more than $8,000, was heavily damaged, so police called off the safety check, police said.

Thomas Finn

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