An Oak Lawn man was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and possession of cannabis with intent to deliver after the police stopped his car claiming that he was driving erratically.
The police claim that Devonta Pettus was driving at a speed of 65 mph in a Pontiac Grand Prix at almost 1 a.m. on 95th Street this December 18th when he passed a marked squad. The squad accelerated in pursuit of Pettus who allegedly made an abrupt u-turn and began heading eastbound.
The officer followed Pettus and alleges that Pettus made six lane changes without signaling in violation of the Illinois Vehicle Code. The officer reported that the lane changes were in close proximity to other vehicles and described them as abrupt. He also noted that Pettus had trouble maintaining lane control and the proper speed allegedly fluctuating between 20 mph and 65 mph.
When the officer stopped Pettus, he had an explanation for the driving. He said he was on the phone “arguing with his girlfriend”. “Driving While Arguing” is not a a violation of the Illinois Vehicle Code but using a phone to do so may result in a ticket being issued.
The Police Officers alleged that they could smell a strong odor of alcohol on the driver’s breath. Police officers on the scene didn’t accept the Driving While Arguing (DWA) defense and asked Pettus to step out of the vehicle. When he did, the officer said Pettus used the vehicle as a crutch for balance.
The police alleged that Pettus failed the field sobriety test and asked him to take a breathalyzer to determine if he drank alcohol prior to driving. Pettus allegedly failed the breathalyzer with a score of .158 BAC, which is slightly less than twice the .08 legal limit for alcohol consumption prior to driving. A second test found a lower but still illegal amount of alcohol in his system, according to the police.
Pettus was taken into custody and a search of his coat resulted in the police finding what they alleged was cannabis. A large quantity of small plastic bags, that are often used to package drugs, a scale and two opened packages of cigarillos were found in the car.
Pettus, a 26 year old black male, with an Oak Lawn address, was charged with driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, aggravated speeding, failing to signal when required, using a cell phone while driving, possession of cannabis and possession of cannabis with intent to deliver. He was released after posting bond.