Crime

Mistake allows former U.S. attorney to drive while DUI case is prosecuted, reports say

Dashboard footage of Steve Wigginton’s DUI arrest

Police have released dashboard footage of Steve Wiggninton's DUI arrest. The video shows him failing a sobriety test and refusing a breathalyzer test before being arrested.
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Police have released dashboard footage of Steve Wiggninton's DUI arrest. The video shows him failing a sobriety test and refusing a breathalyzer test before being arrested.

Former U.S. Attorney Steve Wigginton, who is facing a New Year’s Eve DUI charge, has retained his driver’s license because of a mistake made by the Madison County Circuit Clerk’s office, according to media reports.

Wigginton, 55, was supposed to have a hearing regarding his driver’s license within 30 days of his arrest but the circuit clerk’s office did not schedule a hearing by the deadline, the Alton Telegraph has reported.

Circuit Clerk Mark Von Nida told the newspaper he will make changes to prevent such an oversight from happening again.

The Judiciary Committee of the Madison County Board has scheduled a meeting for 6:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss Wigginton’s case, a spokeswoman for the board said.

Radio station WBGZ reported that Von Nida said that similar scheduling errors occurred in six other cases.

Wigginton could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Around 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, Wigginton’s ex-wife called police to tell them he was highly intoxicated and that he’d struck her friend’s car with his silver Jeep earlier, stated an Edwardsville Police Department report obtained by the News-Democrat through a Freedom of Information Act request.

An officer located Wigginton’s car in the parking lot of a Sonic restaurant near the intersection of Plummer Drive and Commerce Drive, the arrest report stated. The officer pulled the Jeep over as it left the parking lot.

A police video shows Wigginton attempting to stand with one foot off the ground, at one point almost falling over toward the officer.

Wigginton was issued citations for driving under the influence and improper traffic lane usage.

His case will be handled by a special prosecutor, Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons has said.

This is Wigginton’s second DUI charge in two years. He pleaded guilty to a May 2017 incident where his car crashed through a fence off Interstate 55-70.

Wigginton resigned as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois in November 2015.

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