Prosecutors Drop DUI Charge Against Former WPD CopEdit Module
A former Woodstock Police officer arrested on a drunk-driving charge will not be prosecuted for driving under the influence of alcohol after the village of Round Lake Beach dropped the case.
Michael E. 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.
He resigned from the Woodstock Police Department March 22.
Round Lake Beach police alleged in a report that Niedzwiecki seemed intoxicated when they arrived on the scene, but Niedzwiecki told responding officers he crashed his truck because he forgot about a sharp curve in the road, the report said.
Niedzwiecki did not submit to a Breathalyzer or take a field sobriety test during the arrest, according to police.
Prosecutors dropped the DUI charge against Niedzwiecki April 20, court documents show. Niedzwiecki pleaded guilty to a related traffic charge of failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.
Village prosecutors oversee misdemeanor DUI charges in Round Lake Beach. Attorney Gerald Dietz handled the prosecution.
“There weren’t many facts to go on with the DUI,” Dietz said, citing the lack of a blood-alcohol test or other evidence.
Niedzwiecki will pay a $1,000 fine and perform 50 hours of community service as a result of the traffic citation, Dietz said.
“I think we were probably harder on him [for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident] than we would have been because he’s a police officer,” he said.
Prior to Niedzwiecki’s resignation, he was on paid leave from the Woodstock Police Department beginning Feb. 23. Immediately following his arrest, he used “allocated benefit time” rather than returning to duty, according to WPD Chief John Lieb.
Lieb declined to comment on Niedzwiecki’s case. Niedzwiecki’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment.