A Lyons man, arrested for drunk driving after leading police on a chase Christmas Eve through Riverside, North Riverside and Berwyn, was sentenced to 27 months in prison by a Cook County judge on Feb. 15.

Joshua J. Kemper, 38, reported to the Stateville Correctional Center last week to begin serving his sentence after pleading guilty to aggravated driving under the influence and aggravated fleeing and eluding.

Kemper’s blood-alcohol level was .322 – more than four times the legal limit of .08 – when police finally chased down his Cadillac in the parking lot of Walgreens on Ogden Avenue in Berwyn.

About an hour before the chase began, Kemper was kicked out of a bar in Stone Park, where he refused to pay his bar tab. He drove to 26th Street and Desplaines Avenue, driving through a red light and nearly striking a Riverside police squad car.

He then made a U-turn and sped north on Desplaines to Cermak Road, hitting another vehicle near the North Riverside Park Mall and blowing through several stoplights before racing south on Harlem Avenue. Kemper headed west on Ogden to Oak Park Avenue, where the chase finally ended when police physically restrained him.

Inside Kemper’s car, police found several open beers and a can of Four Loko, the controversial energy drink that combines alcohol with high levels of caffeine.

At the time of his arrest, Kemper was wanted on a warrant by Cook County Sheriff’s police related to another DUI, and his license had been revoked previously for DUI.

In addition, Kemper served a four-year sentence in state prison after a 1998 conviction for attempted robbery.

– Bob Uphues