Police: Drunk driver blew five red lights in front of Riverside cop

            Erik Quiroz | photo from Riverside police

(RIVERSIDE) A Berwyn man is charged with DUI after he allegedly drove past a marked police car and through five consecutive red lights early Tuesday in west suburban Riverside.

An officer was on patrol in the 3200 block of Harlem Avenue at 3:18 a.m. when he saw a 2009 Nissan pass his police vehicle and fail to stop at five consecutive red lights, including a railroad crossing, according to a statement from Riverside police.

The officer pulled the car over and smelled alcohol from the car and on the driver’s breath, police said.

The driver, 30-year-old Erik Quiroz, failed a field sobriety test and was arrested for DUI, police said. He was also asked to do a Breathalyzer test, which showed his blood alcohol content as 0.183, more than twice the legal limit.

Quiroz, of the 2700 block of South Harvey in Berwyn, told officers he had been drinking at three separate bars and was on his way home when he was pulled over, police said. He also said he had been drinking beer while driving, and police found multiple open beer bottles in the driver’s seat.

Several passengers in the car were also intoxicated and were driven to their home in Berwyn by Riverside police.

“The fact that this defendant drove past a fully marked SUV police vehicle and blew five consecutive red lights in a row is just really indicative of how much alcohol he had in his system,” Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said in the statement. “If he had not been stopped, he could have killed himself, the passengers in his car or an innocent motorist or pedestrian on their way to their early morning job.”

Quiroz is charged with two counts of DUI, five counts of disobeying a traffic control light, driving without insurance and possession of open alcohol by a driver, police said. After he was bonded out of the Riverside Police Department, he was transported to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn for medical treatment.

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