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Ditka’s son tests positive for opiates as he awaits trial

Mark Ditka

Mark Ditka

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Updated: December 19, 2012 1:22PM



A son of ex-Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka, already facing DUI and drug possession charges, tested positive for a controlled substance during a routine pre-trial screening, Lake County authorities disclosed Friday.

The positive drug test by 49-year-old Mark Ditka could result in his bond being revoked and the Deerfield man being jailed while his drunk driving and drug cases proceed.

But Lake County Judge Brian Hughes delayed taking action after Ditka insisted he has a prescription for the opiates found in his body during a drug test earlier this month, though Ditka was unable to produce any documentation of that claim.

“I swear on my children’s lives I have a prescription,” said Ditka during the hearing, which was delayed for more than two hours so he could attempt to obtain proof of a prescription from his pharmacy. He blamed problems with the store’s computer system for his inability to prove he has a prescription.

Hughes continued the hearing until Tuesday, but warned Ditka he better provide documentation.

“You’re going to have a lot of trouble with the court if you can’t verify that prescription,” Hughes said.

Ditka was charged with felony drunk driving and possession of a controlled substance after a bottle of unmarked pills was found in his car following an Oct. 7 traffic stop in Deerfield. Tests indicated the pills were dihydrocodeinone, a prescription painkiller, authorities have said.

Ditka already had a misdemeanor DUI case pending at the time of that arrest.

Though he was freed on bail after his most arrest, Ditka was required to undergo routine drug screening.

A test on Nov. 2 indicated there were opiates in his system, prosecutor Ben Dillon said during the hearing.

Ditka’s scheduled arraignment on the new charges also was delayed by the prescription snafu.



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