If you’re a TV reporter who did an exposé on drunk driving among first responders, and then get busted for a DUI yourself, it takes a lot of brass to turn around and try to keep your driving privileges, but that’s exactly what CBS 2’s Dave Savini is doing.
Back in 2003, the investigative journalist ran the series “Code Blue, Code Red,” which found that 250 local cops, firefighters and paramedics had committed drunk driving offenses, on WMAQ-TV. Savini won the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award for his efforts.
Things didn’t go so well for him on Saturday, January 4, when he stopped at a Naperville Taco Bell at 1:30 a.m. with two teenagers, apparently his sons, the Tribune reported yesterday. During the snack run, Savini, 47, allegedly got in a dispute in with another driver after a fender-bender in the parking lot, and shoved the man when he tried to photograph the license plate of the reporter’s SUV.
Savini then fled the scene with the teens in his car. Police said they arrested him him three-and-a-half miles from the restaurant. He reportedly failed field sobriety tests, smelled of alcohol, and had glassy, bloodshot eyes.
According to DuPage County court records, his blood-alcohol level was .134, far beyond the .08 percent legal BAC. He was charged with a misdemeanor DUI, battery, leaving the scene of an accident, and child endangerment. He was released on $3,000 bail.
Although police records suggest that Savini was guilty of the very crime he exposed among first responders, and that he was particularly reckless by putting his own sons’ lives at risk, he now has the chutzpah to try to keep his license. Yesterday his lawyer, Terry Ekl, filed a petition to rescind the Illinois statutory summary suspension that would automatically kick in 45 days after the arrest, the Trib reported.
The petition claims the police did not have probable cause to charge Savini with the DUI, and that they did not follow proper procedures when booking him and testing his BAC. Given the severity of the accusations against Savini, it would be extremely troubling if he is allowed to keep driving, potentially endangering more people. It would also be a shame if this hypocritical and irresponsible man ultimately gets off on a technicality.