'I made one gigantic bad decision,' man says after pleading guilty to third DUI

After pleading guilty Thursday to driving drunk and resisting arrest, an Elgin man apologized to police officers, the court and his grandmother.

"I take responsibility for my actions ... I made one gigantic bad decision," said Ryan Fitzpatrick, 30, who pleaded guilty to his third DUI in exchange for a three-year prison sentence, with a recommendation for the Illinois Department of Corrections impact incarceration program, commonly known as boot camp.

"Drinking has been my Achilles' heel ... but it's no one's fault but my own," said Fitzpatrick, adding "I'm thankful I didn't kill anyone."

On June 30, police responding to a call about a car accident found Fitzpatrick standing shoeless outside the vehicle. His shoes were inside, one of them on the brake pedal, said Cook County assistant state's attorney Shilpa Patel.

Fitzpatrick refused field sobriety and Breathalyzer tests, Patel said, and he resisted officers when they tried to place him in handcuffs. Hospital tests indicated a blood alcohol content of .30 percent, nearly four times the legal threshold of .08.

"You need to do something about your alcoholism," said Cook County Judge Thomas Fecarotta. "If you want to drink yourself into oblivion, that's your business. When you get behind the wheel, it's our business."

As Cook County sheriff deputies led him from the courtroom, Fitzpatrick turned to his grandmother who was sitting in the gallery.

"I'm so sorry grandma. I love you," he said.

"I love you," she replied.

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