A man has been charged with DUI after he was found passed out at the wheel of a taxi Friday evening in west suburban Riverside.
Officers were called shortly after 6 p.m. for reports of a person slumped over the wheel of a vehicle on Parkview Road just east of First Avenue, according to a statement from Riverside police. They found 52-year-old Alexander Zubchenko passed out behind the wheel of a blue taxi cab, which was parked along the road and still running.
The responding officer smelled alcohol on Zubchenko’s breath and had to wake the driver up to get him out of the cab, police said. He failed all field sobriety tests administered by the officer, but refused to take a breathalyzer test on the road or at the police station. A half-empty bottle of vodka was found in the cab’s glove compartment.
Zubchenko, who lives in River Grove, was charged with DUI, illegal parking on a roadway and transportation of open alcohol, police said.
While being interviewed, he told investigators he had just dropped off kids at a school in Lombard and he then “drank one beer and consumed vodka,” police said. He thought he was actually in Brookfield when he pulled over in Riverside because “he wanted to take a short nap before returning to pick up the children.”
The cab was impounded and investigators have contacted the taxi company to determine if there were actually passengers or children inside it before Zubchenko’s arrest, police said.
“There are enhanced charges for drunk driving while transporting passengers,” Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said in the statement. “However, since passengers were not in the cab at the time of the arrest, it will require us to further investigate to see if other charges warranted.”