Man Had Open Beer While Driving Kids, Police Say

An order of protection legally barred from having contact with the children in his car, according to the report. An arrest is merely an accusation and not evidence of a conviction.


Jose Merino, 23, of North Menard Street, Chicago, was charged with violating an order of protection on Dec. 30 at about 10 p.m. A Niles police officer on patrol observed Merino's car traveling 59 mph in a 35 mph zone in the 7900 block of Dempster and stopped him, police said.

The officer determined that a 13-year-old girl and a 1-year-old baby girl in the back seat were protected persons under a valid order of protection, according to the report; that means Merino is legally forbidden to have contact with them except by texting.

Police said they smelled the odor of alcohol on Merino's breath and found an open 12-ounce bottle of Modelo beer, almost empty, on the front seat floorboard; Merino said he had not consumed any alcohol prior to driving and that the bottle was not his.

Police released the vehicle Merino was driving to its registered owner, after checking that she had a valid driver's license and her blood-alcohol results measured 0.00. When police administered field sobriety tests to Merino, they concluded he did not show an adequate degree of impairment to require action, according to the report. 

Merino was booked, processed and released on an I-bond pending his court date. Police also charged him with speeding, having an obstructed windshield and illegally transporting an open alcoholic beverage.

His court date is Feb. 5 in the Skokie branch of the Cook County courts. 

11-year-old may need care for depression

Police responded to a home inthe 9400 block of Washington Dec. 31 at 11:30 p.m. for a domestic dispute. According to the report, a 31-year-old Niles woman said her 11-year-old daughter has been increasingly more upset over a period of several months because her father passed on. The mother thought the girl could benefit from treatment for depression; Niles police completed a referral to Family Services. 

Information is taken from Niles Police Department reports.

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