Driver Rear Ends Police Car, Charged With DUI

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A Lake Bluff Police officer was sent to the hospital today after his squad car was struck from the rear by a driver who was later arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol by Lake Forest Police on southbound Waukegan Road, according to reports from both departments.

The officer was released later today from Lake Forest hospital with minor injuries, according Deputy Lake Bluff Police Chief Dave Belmonte. Belmonte said the name of the officer is not being released at this time. The officer has been with the department 12 years.

Sarah Soto, 32, of Great Lakes, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, endangering the life of a child and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, according to the Lake Forest release.

Both the Lake Forest and Lake Bluff Police Department received a report from the Lake County Sheriff’s Department a grey Ford SUV hit a pole near the intersection of Route 137 and Waukegan Road, according to the Lake Bluff release. As officers from both departments were patrolling the area, the reported SUV hit the officer’s squad car at Carriage Park Lane and fled.

Lake Forest Police eventually stopped Soto. The officer who stopped her witnessed the crash, according to the Lake Forest release. During the investigation, police learned she had a blood alcohol level of .248 and left her children, 4 and 10, alone in a North Chicago motel.

North Chicago Police recovered the children who were unharmed, according to the Lake Forest release. They were turned over to the Department of Children and Family Services which began an investigation.

Soto was released on bond and is scheduled to appear in Lake County Court at 9 a.m. Jan. 14 in Waukegan.

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