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Ditka Convicted of Drunk Driving

November 09, 1985

Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka was convicted Friday of driving under the influence of alcohol. He was ordered to attend classes on alcohol abuse and to pay a $300 fine.

Ditka, arrested Oct. 14 after the Bears' victory over the 49ers in San Francisco, is to attend classes conducted by a state alcohol safety program during the next year, while he is under court supervision.

He was convicted in Cook County Circuit Court after the arresting officer's account of the incident, accepted by Ditka's attorney and the prosecutor as accurate, was read into the record.

Ditka entered a plea of innocent at the 20-minute hearing.

His attorney, Don Rubin, who also represents the Bears, said Ditka was not requesting a trial on the drunk-driving charge because he did not want to ask members of the Bears' team or organization to testify about the flight back from San Francisco.

Rubin told Associate Circuit Judge Earl Hoffenberg before sentencing: "We don't want any special treatment because the Bears are 9-0."

Under state law, Ditka could have been fined up to $1,000, sentenced to as much as a year in jail and had his driver's license revoked for one year.

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