The DUI Shuffle: Why was ex-Bears star and 4-time offender Dan Hampton still driving?

Dan Hampton in 2008. Photo: Mike Shadle via Wikipedia
Dan Hampton in 2008. Photo: Mike Shadle via Wikipedia

In a just world, if you’ve previously committed three DUIs, you wouldn’t even have the opportunity to rack up a fourth one, even if you are a former member of the Super Bowl-winning 1985 Chicago Bears team.

According to a NWI.com report, Dan Hampton, 67, who played defensive tackle for the Bears between 1979 to 1990 and currently co-hosts “The Hamp & O’B Show” on WGN Radio, was arrested November 20, at 11:59 p.m. near his home in Winfield, northwest Indiana, for driving while intoxicated. Police said he was taken to Lake County Jail, where bail was set at $25,000, and he later posted bond. The Lake County prosecutor’s office is pressing charges.

CNN previously reported that Hampton was arrested for driving while intoxicated in 1996 and 1997, and then committed a third offense in January 2002, the same year he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, that was punished with a week in jail, a $1,000 fine, and a requirement to go to alcohol education classes. During that arrest Hampton reportedly failed a field sobriety test, declined to take a Breathalyzer test, and begged a state trooper not to arrest him.

“According to reports, it is Hampton’s 4th DUI,” said a commenter on a post by Chicago media reporter Robert Feder that mentioned the arrest. “Why is he still driving?

“I trust you are being sarcastic,” answered another reader. “I think we all know why Mr. Hampton, a former member of the Super Bowl winning 1985 Bears and now a radio celebrity was still driving. Would you or I be still driving after 4 DUI’s? I think not.”

While it’s not clear there actually was any legal impropriety in Hampton’s treatment, it’s certainly messed up that the former football hero still had a license after three DUIs. Hopefully he’ll get the help he needs before he kills innocent people, or himself.

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