Police: California man was high, speeding while driving back from funeral

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Frank Cerveny | Cook County sheriff’s photo

A California man with prior DUI convictions was arrested in the western suburbs Sunday night after driving at nearly twice the legal speed limit while under the influence of drugs, police said.

Frank Cerveny Jr. of San Pedro, Calif., was driving south in the 3700 block of Harlem in Riverside about 10:12 p.m. Sunday when officers clocked his vehicle at 57 mph in a 30 mph zone, according to Riverside police.

When an officer tried to stop him, Cerveny, 45, drove for two more blocks before eventually pulling over, police said.

After an officer approached his window, “he could immediately smell a strong odor of burnt cannabis and alcohol emitting from [Cerveny’s] breath as he spoke to the officer,” a statement from police said.

He told police he was coming from his girlfriend’s funeral in west suburban Cicero. Police said Cerveny could “barely stand” and almost fell into the roadway in front of police, who had to help him stand against his own vehicle.

Cerveny told police he had one beer and was allowed to possess cannabis because he had a medical marijuana prescription card in California, police said. But he was not able to show officers the card, refused a field sobriety test, and was placed under arrest.

Searching his vehicle, police found a glass jar with 2.5 grams of a green, leafy substance believed to be cannabis, police said. Two 8-inch folding knives and two throwing knives were also found in the front seat and confiscated.

Cerveny told police he ingested cannabis during and after the funeral, police said.

“He said he believed he was not under the influence of alcohol or a drug because that depended on what the State of Illinois considered drugs,” police said.

A check of Cerveny’s license showed it was revoked in 2009 for two prior DUIs, police said.

Cerveny was charged with aggravated DUI, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of cannabis, and driving under the influence of drugs; and ticketed for speeding, operating a vehicle with no insurance and driving with a revoked license, police said.

His bond was set at $10,000, according to the Cook County sheriff’s website. He is scheduled to appear in court next on May 11.

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