An off-duty Carol Stream police sergeant has been charged with driving under the influence in connection with a May 5 traffic accident in Hanover Park in which he and two others were injured, authorities said Tuesday.
Bryan R. Pece, 43, formally was charged Friday with one misdemeanor count of DUI, according to Paul Darrah, a spokesman with the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office.
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Darrah said it's not uncommon for charges to be filed weeks after an accident if the person has been hospitalized and "after a thorough investigation has been completed."
Preliminary police reports indicate Pece's vehicle struck a sport-utility vehicle that was stopped at the intersection of Army Trail and County Farm roads about 7 p.m. May 5. The SUV proceeded from Army Trail into the intersection where it collided with two other vehicles.
Pece and the two occupants in the SUV were hospitalized with injuries described as nonlife threatening. It was unclear Tuesday if Pece is still hospitalized.
Hanover Park Deputy Police Chief Tom Cortese said his department is still investigating the crash.
A formal police accident report was not yet publicly available.
When reached by phone Tuesday, Pece declined to discuss the accident or the DUI charge.
Carol Stream Village Manager Joe Breinig said he has not seen a copy of the criminal complaint, but the DUI charge against Pece is "obviously a very serious allegation and has to be looked into."
Carol Stream Village President Frank Saverino said this is the first time he can recall a Carol Stream police officer being charged with DUI.
He described Pece as a veteran member of the police department who worked his way up from the position of patrol officer to become a sergeant.
Saverino said village officials, including Breinig and police Chief Kevin Orr, will gather facts about the situation and then handle any potential disciplinary action.
But right now, Saverino said, "it doesn't look good."
Orr has the authority to suspend or discharge sergeants, but they can appeal any disciplinary action to either the village's board of fire and police commissioners or an arbitrator, according to the six-member Carol Stream police sergeants union collective bargaining agreement.
The three-member fire and police commission, appointed by Saverino, meets as needed, but has not handled a disciplinary matter in some time, Breinig said.
"There are potential implications for this, but first and foremost you have to have a driver's license to work," said Breinig, who added there is no discipline currently pending against Pece.
Breinig declined to say whether there's been past disciplinary matters involving Pece.
If convicted, Pece faces up to a year in county jail. A court date has not been set.