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UPDATE: Sportscaster charged with DUI had blood alcohol level below legal limit

WMAQ-Ch. 5 sportscaster Mike Adamle had a blood alcohol level below the 0.08 percent legal limit when Evanston police pulled him over early Monday morning and charged him with driving under the influence, police Chief Richard Eddington confirmed Friday.

The chief said he “would not dispute” reports that Adamle’s blood alcohol level was 0.04 percent. The former Chicago Bear and Northwestern University All-American was arrested at 1 a.m. Monday in the area of Main Street and Judson Avenue after allegedly disobeying a red-flashing traffic signal at Main and Sheridan, according to police.

Eddington said he was unaware whether Adamle, 61, displayed any other signs of erratic driving when police pulled him over. The officer who stopped him conducted a field sobriety test, which Adamle failed, said police Cmdr. Jay Parrott.

Adamle was taken to the police station, where he exhibited some “erratic behavior,” according to Parrott, who would not elaborate.

Eddington said it is possible to bring DUI charges against an individual whose blood alcohol level is below the legal limit, but the absence of a BAC higher than 0.08 percent makes proving the charge more difficult.

“The burden of proof falls on the state,” Eddington said, adding that alcohol affects people differently and that some people can be impaired despite consuming few drinks.

According to a 2009 Tribune column, Adamle suffers from epilepsy. Eddington did not know whether Adamle is taking medication for epilepsy, but said results from a drug screening administered to Adamle would show the presence of all types of drugs, including prescription medication.

Whether or not prescription medications can cause a DUI charge depends on the facts and circumstances of a particular case, Eddington said.

“The key is the directions a patient is given for prescription medications,” Eddington said. “Some people are warned not to drive while taking some drugs.”

Adamle, of Evanston, graduated from Northwestern in 1971. During his college career he earned All-American honors and was named Big Ten MVP in his senior season, according to his WMAQ-Ch. 5 biography.

He was a fourth-round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1971, and played for the New York Jets and Chicago Bears before retiring in 1977.

After his football career, Adamle worked as a sports reporter and anchor for a variety of stations before joining WMAQ-Ch. 5.

Adamle is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 14 in Skokie. He could not be reached for comment.

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