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Officer Charged with DUI Resigns From Force

Former WPD patrol officer was arrested in Round Lake Beach

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A Woodstock Police officer arrested in February for allegedly driving drunk while off duty has quit the force.Michael E. Niedzwiecki

Michael E. Niedzwiecki, who was a WPD patrol officer at the time of his arrest, “thought it was best for himself and the city of Woodstock if he pursued other career interests,” Woodstock Police Chief John Lieb said in an email.

Niedzwiecki, who was hired by the department in 2012, tendered his resignation March 22.

“The city wishes the best for him and his family as they begin the next chapter of their lives,” Lieb added.

Niedzwiecki, 29, of Lake Villa, was arrested in Round Lake Beach Feb. 11 and later charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after crashing his pickup truck into a utility pole on Hainesville Road, according to a Round Lake Beach Police Department report. He also was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Niedzwiecki told responding officers he forgot about a sharp curve in the road, which caused him to crash. 

“I knew that curve was there, I just forgot about that curve,” Niedzwiecki said, according to the report.

Round Lake Beach officers wrote Niedzwiecki slurred his speech, smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes and an unsteady gait when they arrived on the scene, with one officer alleging Niedzwiecki was “extremely intoxicated.” 
The report said the former Woodstock police officer showed his WPD badge to other officers during the incident.

Niedzwiecki refused to submit to a Breathalyzer, take a field sobriety test or give a statement about the crash, the report said. 

Niedzwiecki was placed on paid administrative leave from the WPD Feb. 23 after having used “allocated benefit time” following his arrest, Lieb said.

Niedzwiecki’s next court date is April 20.