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Mike Ditka’s son tests positive for opiates as he awaits trial for alleged DUI

Mark Ditka

Mark Ditka

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Updated: November 16, 2012 4:34PM



Already facing DUI and drug charges, a son of ex-Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka tested positive for a controlled substance during a routine pre-trial screening, Lake County authorities disclosed Friday.

The positive drug test by 49-year-old Mark Ditka could result in his bond being revoked and the Deerfield man being jailed while his criminal cases proceed.

But Lake County Judge Brian Hughes delayed taking action after Ditka insisted he has a prescription for the opiates found in his body by a drug test earlier this month, though Ditka was unable to produce any documentation of that claim.

“I swear on my children’s lives I have a prescription,” said Ditka during the hearing, which was delayed for more than two hours so he could attempt to obtain proof from his pharmacy. Returning empty-handed, he blamed problems with the store’s computer system for his inability to prove he has a prescription.

Hughes continued the hearing until Tuesday but warned Ditka—who at the time of his arrest already was fighting a separate DUI charge—that he better provide documentation.

“You’re going to have a lot of trouble with the court if you can’t verify that prescription,” Hughes said.

Ditka was charged with felony drunk driving and possession of a controlled substance after a bottle of unmarked pills was found in his car following an Oct. 7 traffic stop in Deerfield. Tests indicated the pills were hydrocodone, a prescription painkiller, authorities have said.

Ditka already had a misdemeanor DUI case pending following a 2011 arrest, also in Deerfield.

He was arrested in 2005 for DUI but the charge later was reduced to reckless driving and he paid a $2,600 fine. Ditka was acquitted following a 1997 drunk-driving arrest.

Though he was freed on bail after his most recent arrest, Ditka was required to undergo routine drug screening.

A test on Nov. 2 indicated there were opiates in his system, prosecutor Ben Dillon said during Friday’s hearing.

Ditka’s scheduled arraignment on the new charges also was delayed by the prescription snafu.



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