DeKalb man charged in DUI crash with Maple Park cop car told police he had 2 beers

Driver in May 4 crash that injured Maple Park police officer accused of violating Scott’s Law

A Maple Park police car sits in the parking lot of the Maple Park Police Department, 308 Willow St., in Maple Park on Saturday, May 4, 2024.

MAPLE PARK – A DeKalb man accused of driving drunk May 3 and rear-ending a Maple Park police vehicle, injuring the officer inside, allegedly told police he had two Bud Light beers “while driving home from work,” according to court records.

Dale L. Martin, 62, made his first court appearance Tuesday in front of a judge. He’s charged with misdemeanor DUI, aggravated failure to yield to an emergency vehicle and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. The charges allege he violated Scott’s Law, which is a felony. Scott’s Law requires Illinois motorists to move over or slow down when passing an emergency vehicle on the side of the road. If convicted of the Class 4 felony, he could face up to three years in prison.

At the time of his arrest, Martin was briefly booked at the DeKalb County Jail, processed and released with a summons to appear in court on the charges. Circuit Court Judge Marcy Buick ruled Tuesday that Martin will remain free on pretrial release pending his court proceedings, DeKalb County court records show.

He is expected to be arraigned at 9:45 a.m. June 18.

Martin is represented by Sycamore defense attorney Robert Nolan.

Investigators with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office alleged the Maple Park police officer’s vehicle was “stationary, fully marked and had red, blue, and white flashing lights activated on the front, rear, driver and passenger sides of the vehicle,” when Martin allegedly crashed into it about 10:37 p.m. May 3 at Illinois Route 38 east of Hinckley Road, according to court records.

Just before the crash, the Maple Park police officer had pulled over a separate vehicle, a white Jeep Grand Cherokee, for a traffic stop, according to court records. The officer had returned to his patrol car on the side of the westbound lane of Route 38 to write a traffic citation when the police car was struck from behind by a black 2016 Ford Fiesta.

Prosecutors with the DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s Office allege Martin was impaired and behind the wheel of the Fiesta, failing to acknowledge the emergency vehicle on the side of the road, according to court records.

The Maple Park police officer was taken by paramedics to Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital in DeKalb “with suspected serious injuries,” according to court records.

Martin was evaluated by paramedics on the scene and he refused medical treatment, authorities said in court records. While speaking with Martin, a DeKalb County sheriff’s deputy reported they smelled a “strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath, his speech was slurred and he swayed while standing stationary,” according to court records.

It was then that Martin allegedly told deputies he “had 2 Bud Light beers while driving home from work,” sheriff’s deputies wrote in court records.

Martin agreed to be taken to Cortland Police Department for field sobriety tests, which allegedly showed he had a blood alcohol content level of 0.147, over the legal limit of 0.08, records show.

Martin also agreed to provide a blood and urine sample at Kishwaukee Hospital, authorities said.

The crash is stark in its similarity to the fatal one that shook the DeKalb County community March 28. That night, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Deputy Christina Musil was parked in her squad car on the side of a rural Waterman road and rear-ended by a car allegedly driven by Nathan Sweeney, of DeKalb, charged with reckless homicide and DUI drugs in the crash that killed Musil, 35, a mother of three.

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