Judge Blocks Motion to Quash Arrest in Case Against Robert Vais
Avalos, a 28-year-old former Marine and aspiring chef, was biking on the 2500 block of West Ogden in Douglas Park on the night of December 6, 2013. Vais, a 54-year-old administrator at Stroger Hospital, allegedly struck him from behind. Tests found Vais had a blood alcohol content of .118, well above the legal limit of .08. He is charged with a felony aggravated DUI and two misdemeanor DUI charges.
At Wednesday’s hearing, the defense argued that the police officers who responded to the crash did not have probable cause to arrest Vais, according to Active Transportation staffer Jason Jenkins, who has been attending the hearings. If Ford had granted the motion, the case against Vais would have been thrown out.
At the hearing, a police officer gave testimony on why he decided to arrest Vais. When the officer arrived at the crash site, Vais stepped forward from the crowd of onlookers and said he was the driver, the officer testified. He stated that Vais smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes.
According to the officer, Vais also kept repeating himself, asking several times about Avalos’ condition, and claiming that he didn’t see the cyclist, who appeared out of nowhere. The officer said he suspected alcohol was a factor in the crash, so he arrested Vais and took him to a hospital for a blood draw.