Crime & Courts

Prosecutor drops DUI charge against former Woodstock cop

Michael E. Niedzwiecki, 29, of Lake Villa, was charged Feb. 15 with driving under the influence of alcohol and cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident a few days after he crashed his pickup truck into a telephone pole on Hainesville Road.
According to Lake County court documents, prosecutors dismissed the DUI charge on April 20. Niedzwiecki instead pleaded guilty to the failure to reduce speed citation. He will be required to pay a $1,000 fine and complete 50 hours of community service, according to court documents.
Michael E. Niedzwiecki, 29, of Lake Villa, was charged Feb. 15 with driving under the influence of alcohol and cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident a few days after he crashed his pickup truck into a telephone pole on Hainesville Road. According to Lake County court documents, prosecutors dismissed the DUI charge on April 20. Niedzwiecki instead pleaded guilty to the failure to reduce speed citation. He will be required to pay a $1,000 fine and complete 50 hours of community service, according to court documents.

WOODSTOCK – An ex-Woodstock police officer arrested on a drunken driving charge no longer faces prosecution after the village of Round Lake Beach dropped the case.

Michael E. Niedzwiecki, 29, of Lake Villa was charged Feb. 15 with driving under the influence of alcohol and cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident a few days after he crashed his pickup truck into a telephone pole on Hainesville Road.

Prosecutors dismissed the DUI charge last month, according to Lake County court documents. Niedzwiecki instead pleaded guilty to a failure to reduce speed citation. He will have to pay a $1,000 fine and complete 50 hours of community service, according to court documents.

Village prosecutors oversee misdemeanor DUI charges in Round Lake Beach. Attorney Gerald Dietz handled the prosecution.

Dietz said the DUI charge ultimately was dismissed because there was “no evidence whatsoever” to support the charge, specifically pointing to the lack of field sobriety test or Breathalyzer.

Niedzwiecki resigned from the Woodstock Police Department on March 22, about one month after he was placed on administrative leave.

Niedzwiecki told police officers who arrived on the scene that he was driving north on Hainesville Road approaching Rollins Road with his wife and he “forgot” that Hainesville Road curved sharply to the left.

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

Police said Niedzwiecki was slurring his words, and officers noted they could smell a “strong odor of an alcoholic beverage,” according to the report. His eyes also were glassy and bloodshot, and he identified himself as a police officer by displaying his badge. Niedzwiecki and his wife both declined medical attention at the scene.

Niedzwiecki refused field sobriety tests and did not submit to a Breathalyzer, police have said.

Preliminary investigations indicated that Niedzwiecki was driving faster than the posted 30 mph speed limit and at a speed faster than necessary to maintain control of the vehicle on the curve, according to the report.

DOCUMENTS: Round Lake Beach Police arrest report for Michael E. Niedzwiecki.

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