The rail crossing at Harlem Avenue near East Burlington in Riverside. | Google Maps

Chicago man found asleep at the wheel in Riverside, charged with DUI: police

SHARE Chicago man found asleep at the wheel in Riverside, charged with DUI: police
SHARE Chicago man found asleep at the wheel in Riverside, charged with DUI: police

A Riverside police officer opened a vehicle door during a Monday morning traffic stop in the west suburb and was met with the driver napping and a beer can tumbling out, according to police.

At 2:49 a.m., the officer spotted a 2013 Ford passenger car stopped before a railroad crossing at Harlem Avenue near East Burlington, Riverside police said in a Thursday press release. Two people appeared to be dozing while “slumped over the wheel” of the running car.

The officer opened the Ford’s front door, and out fell a can of Modelo beer, police said. He then breathed in “a strong odor of alcohol” as he shook the driver and his passenger awake.

The driver, 28-year-oldMateo Hernandez-Hernandez, came to and tried to put his car in drive to escape, police said. But officers reached inside, cut the engine and took the keys.

Hernandez-Hernandez failed all roadside field sobriety tests and was arrested, police said. Once booked, he blew a blood-alcohol concentration that was over twice the legal limit, anda vehicle search yielded further open alcohol containers sitting inside the Ford.

A resident of Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood,Hernandez-Hernandez faces two DUI charges as well as citations for illegal parking on a road, transporting open containers of alcohol and other traffic violations, police said.

The freight trains at the railroad crossing of the traffic stop take about 12 minutes to clear Harlem Avenue, police said, suggesting Hernandez-Hernandez fell into his slumber during that time.

“Fortunately, he was taken into custody and arrested before he could have continued to drive and seriously injure or kill himself or other motorists,” Riverside police chief Tom Weitzel said in a statement.

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