Jaime Alvarez-Merlos, 26, of West Drummond Place, Chicago, was charged with a Class 4 felony charge of aggravated driving under the influence, DUI and driving without a valid license.
Just before 3 a.m. on Aug. 19, police said an officer observed Alvarez-Merlos drive through a red light to turn left from southbound Milwaukee Avenue to eastbound Dempster. As the officer stopped the vehicle and approached, the officer observed two of the three occupants were not wearing safety belts, according to the report. Alvarez-Merlos told them he did not have a driver's license.
Police noticed the odor of alcohol on his breath, and he showed impairment on field sobriety tests. An officer also observed eight open Modelo beer cans on the front and rear floors in the passenger compartment of the vehicle.
Alvarez-Merlos was also cited for improper lighting (a tail light was out), failure to restrain passengers in safety belts, disobeying a traffic signal, and open alcohol containers. Assistant State's Attorney DiBella approved the felony charge. Alvarez-Merlos' court date is Sept. 6 in the Cook County courthouse in Skokie.
Fire On School Property Investigated
Niles police assisted Niles firefighters on Aug. 21 just after midnight as the firefighters responded to a school in the 9400 block of Milwaukee Avenue. A fire department arson investigator told police that when firefighters arrived, they saw smoke and fire coming from a corner of a mobile trailer which sits in the rear parking lot of the school.
Firefighters extinguished the fire and the investigator said there were no signs of an accelerant or incendiary device, and that the fire appeared to have been smoldering for a long time. He concluded the cause of the fire was undetermined. A police evidence technician arrived at about 1 a.m. to photograph the fire damage and collect evidence.