By Bob Uphues
A routine drunken driving arrest turned slightly strange early on Oct. 8 when it turned out that the alleged offender was driving a fully armored 2016 GMC Yukon XL, complete with bulletproof windows and outfitted with sirens.
A Riverside police officer on patrol reported observing the vehicle traveling northbound on First Avenue near Riverside-Brookfield High School at about 1:30 a.m. when it crossed the center line and into oncoming traffic four times before pulling over for police at 31st Street.
The police officer reported observing that the vehicle's windows were very thick and appeared to be bulletproof. The driver reportedly told the officer he'd bought the vehicle with bulletproof windows and then had the entire vehicle armored because, according to the report, "he did not want to get shot in these dangerous times."
The driver, a 51-year-old River Forest resident, reportedly failed field sobriety tests and submitted to a breath test that indicated his blood-alcohol level was .149, which is higher than the legal limit of .08.
While police were preparing to tow the vehicle from the scene, they reported observing that the vehicle had remote controls that operated various armor mechanisms and that it was outfitted with a siren, but no emergency lights.
Police said it was the driver's second arrest for drunken driving. The first occurred in 2003, they said.