State Rep. Steven Reick Arrested For Drunk Driving In Springfield

CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois State Rep. Steven Reick (R-Woodstock) was arrested for drunk driving Wednesday night in Springfield.

Officers stopped Reick at the intersection of South Grand and Eastdale Avenue shortly before midnight Wednesday night for driving 15 to 20 mph above the speed limit, and committing a turn signal violation.

He was also charged with driving under the influence, and booked into the Sangamon County Jail. He was released on bond Thursday morning, and due back in court on May 30.

Illinois State Rep. Steve Reick was arrested for drunk driving on May 1, 2019. He also was ticketed for speeding and a turn signal violation. (Credit: Sangamon County Sheriff)

In a statement, Reick said “I made a stupid and regrettable decision and accept full responsibility for my actions.”

Reick was the second lawmaker arrested for drunk driving in recent weeks.

Rep. Kambium Buckner (D-Chicago) was arrested on March 29 after police spotted him sleeping in his car, stopped for several cycles at a traffic light near the Illinois State Capitol.

Buckner told police he was just exhausted, but he allegedly failed several field sobriety tests, and declined to provide a Breathalyzer test. Buckner pleaded not guilty earlier this week.

3 charges dismissed against man acquitted in fatal crash

Two felonies and a misdemeanor were dismissed against a defendant acquitted earlier in connection with a 2017 fatal crash.

Prosecutors requested menacing by stalking and burglary, both felonies, and telecommunications harassment, a first-degree misdemeanor, be dismissed Tuesday against Kyle D. Greenwald, 24, of Wakeman. A grand jury filed a secret indictment May 30.

After nearly five hours of deliberation April 4, a Huron County Common Pleas Court jury found Greenwald “not guilty” of five charges in connection with a 2017 fatal crash. He faced two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and one charge each of vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter and operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI).

Norwalk resident Todathon E. Wagner, 69, of 2465 Ridge Road, was the victim who was killed in the Dec. 15, 2017 fatal crash. The accident happened on U.S. 20 near Wakeman Townline Road.

After two days of jury selection, there was seven days of testimony. Five state troopers and several patrol lab officials testified for the state. Greenwald didn’t take the stand. His attorney called three witnesses to the stand.

“We called an expert whose name is Robert Belloto. He gave compelling testimony about the lack of support for the state’s position with respect to certain technical issues involving back-extrapolation data to reach a blood-alcohol level at the time of the incident,” defense attorney Brent English said after the verdict was announced.

Facing OWI citation, Racine County deputy refused blood draw

OAK CREEK — A Racine County Sheriff’s deputy was cited for suspicion of operating while intoxicated just after midnight on March 19. He reportedly was wearing his Racine County deputy uniform at the time of the traffic stop and refused to have his blood drawn.

According to an incident report The Journal Times obtained via an open records request this week, Deputy Jesse Danek, 38, faces a first-offense OWI charge after he was pulled over for making multiple traffic violations in the City of Oak Creek.

Danek reportedly blew a 0.00 on a preliminary breath test, but the arresting officer reported that Danek and his vehicle smelled of alcohol, according to the incident report.

Officers later learned that Danek is prescribed with two different medications. When taken together, those medications, have led to instances of “sleep-driving,” according to the Food and Drug Administration.

According to the Oak Creek Municipal Court, a trial is scheduled; however, the date and full charges were not shared with The Journal Times. A records request was submitted Tuesday afternoon.

“Deputy Danek has a noncriminal forfeiture matter pending in Oak Creek Municipal Court and, therefore, has not been placed on leave.” Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said in a statement. “Once that matter has been adjudicated, our office will determine whether internal sanctions are appropriate.”

Danek, who lives in Oak Creek, became a Racine County deputy in May 2018, according to the Racine County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. He previously worked as a public safety officer with the South Milwaukee Police Department.

“It is not appropriate for me to elaborate further at this time as it is a pending internal personnel matter,” Schmaling said. “Deputy Danek is a military veteran and proudly serves the citizens of Racine County as a deputy sheriff.”

Schmaling said he is not at liberty to discuss whether Danek has any medical issues associated with his service to our country.

The incident

When he was pulled over at about 12:20 a.m. on March 19, Danek reportedly had glassy eyes, slurred speech and needed to lean against his vehicle for balance after stepping out of the car.

He was pulled over after an officer reported finding Danek’s vehicle stopped partway into an intersection, taking about five seconds to accelerate when the light turned green, making a left turn from a straight-only lane and driving 70 mph in a 45 mph zone.

The officer also said that, when Danek pulled over, the front-right tire of his vehicle was resting on top of the curb.

After being asked for his driver’s license, Danek reportedly provided his badge and Sheriff’s Office ID to the Oak Creek officer. He allegedly was asked twice before actually handing over his license.

While sitting in the back of an Oak Creek squad car, Danek reportedly told an officer, “A lot of people say Oak Creek (Police Department) is pretty strict, but if that’s all you know.”

Danek continued, “I like Racine County (Sheriff’s Office). We run a little looser. ‘We all got each other.’”

Police officers didn’t pursue a warrant after Danek refused a blood draw because “there is no warrant for a municipal first OWI offense,” according to Oak Creek Police Captain David Stecker. Wisconsin is the only U.S. state where first-offense OWI is a citation, not a misdemeanor or felony.

Danek also allegedly refused to answer an officer’s questions regarding drug and alcohol consumption for the police report.

A Kenosha Police sergeant, Gregory Munnelly, who has since lost his job, was also arrested by Oak Creek Police and charged with operating while intoxicated after he crashed on Nov. 6, 2017, at the intersection of Ryan Road and Howell Avenue.


As of April 10, Danek had been legally prescribed two medications — zaleplon (a.k.a. Sonata) for insomnia and alprazolam (a.k.a. Xanax) for anxiety — according to the incident report.

Among zaleplon’s possible side effects are drowsiness, confusion and lethargy.

The FDA has reported that some who have taken alprazolam and other central nervous system depressants like zaleplon together have experienced “getting out of bed … and driving their cars while not fully awake, often with no memory of the event.” This symptom, known as “sleep-driving,” becomes more likely if alcohol is consumed, according to the FDA.

While searching Danek’s clothing on March 19, an officer reported finding one alprazolam (Xanax) pill “stashed” into Danek’s boot. Danek reportedly told the officer the pill “must have fallen in his boot” and wasn’t “stashed” there, as the officer thought at first.

“Deputy Danek has a noncriminal forfeiture matter pending in Oak Creek Municipal Court and, therefore, has not been placed on leave. Once that matter has been adjudicated, our office will determine whether internal sanctions are appropriate.” Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling

Commentary: Supporters of DWI legislation have lost perspective

Glass of wine

When it comes to a DWI, counting glasses of wine is a poor measure to determine dangerous behavior. Gender, weight, type of food consumed and time are all controlling and confounding factors. Rather, the standard should always be the actual level of impairment—an objective measure that uses blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels and their expected impact on driving skills.

University and government funded studies in this area provide perspective on impairment levels. According to the University of Utah, for example, driving while talking on a hands free cell phone generates equal impairment compared to driving at the current national drunk driving standard of 0.08 BAC.

Consequently, if the legal limit were lowered in the state to 0.05 BAC, a driver will be charged with a DWI and subject to imprisonment, skyrocketing insurance costs, lawyer’s fees and fines totaling $10,000 for being far less impaired than driving while on a phone call.

And the consequence for a substantially more impaired talker? In California, it’s a $20 fine.

The second reason why lowering the legal limit to 0.05 BAC fails to make sense is that the typical drunk driver is usually drinking far in excess of the current 0.08 BAC limit. What logic or science supports the idea that tightening the definition of “drunk driving” will deter those who are already violating the current law? Would dropping the speed limit by five miles per hour make sensible drivers out of those presently considered reckless?

So who or what is behind the plan to lower the legal drinking limit? There is some evidence that the .05 issue is more of an anti-alcohol rant than one based on traffic safety. Specifically, the proponents can’t seem to find the right criminal to justify the law change. In California, the proposal to move to a .05 standard was triggered by a DWI fatality involving a driver with a 0.12 BAC—50 percent higher than the current arrest threshold. Would a .05 law have made a difference?

And Michigan’s recent .05 proposal follows a similar storyline. The legislation was introduced after a drunk driver caused a fatality with a registered BAC of 0.306. That’s six times the arrest level of .05. How would moving to a new definition of DWI have made any difference?PauseCurrent Time0:00/Duration Time0:00Stream TypeLIVELoaded: 0%Progress: 0%0:00Fullscreen00:00Mute

All the current and historical government statistics show that the moderate social drinker is not central to our DWI concerns. Yet that is where this proposed law focuses. You could put the drunk driving arrest level at anything above zero and there will still be drunk drivers just as there will be many other types of crimes committed irrespective of the law.

A better idea to advance traffic safety is to enforce the laws already on the books. Having a court imposed sentence for DWI that requires an ignition interlock makes sense when people drink to excess.

That would stop the worst criminals who have had multiple arrests. Yet even Utah, the only state to have passed a .05 law, has a disappointing record of enforcing their own law on interlocks—reporting a dismal 28 percent compliance rate. California is not much better.

It’s clear we need to do a better job of policing existing law before creating new ones.

DWI fatalities invoke angry passions, as do many other senseless crimes. But the answer won’t be found in the arrest of law abiding citizens visiting a tasting room.

When we pass a DWI law that puts millions of people at risk of arrest for little more than one glass of wine, it’s evident we have lost our sense of perspective on what is dangerous behavior. The established concepts of due process and proportionality in criminal penalties is also endangered. Unless of course we’re willing to put all those drivers on cell phones in jail.

Pa. state trooper accused of 2nd DUI, this time with 2 kids in car

Corporal Eric Porpiglia, 34, of Drums, Pa., was arrested after allegedly driving under the influence with two children in his car Monday night in Luzerne County.
Corporal Eric Porpiglia, 34, of Drums, Pa., was arrested after allegedly driving under the influence with two children in his car Monday night in Luzerne County.

A Pennsylvania State trooper is facing DUI and child endangerment charges after a traffic stop Monday night. But this isn’t his first DUI.

As FOX56 reports, the trooper, identified as Corporal Eric Porpiglia, 34, of Drums, Pa., was arrested after allegedly driving under the influence with two children in his car Monday night in Luzerne County.

FOX56 cites court documents saying Porpiglia was pulled over after two people called 911 about his vehicle driving “all over the road” throughout Hazle Township.

Upon stopping him, responding troopers smelled alcohol on his breath and saw a 2- and 8-year-old in the back of the car.

In addition, Porpiglia’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot and he spoke low and very slurred, the complaint in the case states.

Upon being taken into custody, his blood alcohol level was determined to be .208, FOX56 states.

FOX56, citing court records, reports the trooper was charged with DUI back in February. There were no further details immediately available on that case.

Still, Porpiglia was released on $25,000 unsecured bail after his most recent arrest.