An Illinois bicyclist who claims to have an autoimmune disease that requires him to drink beer got a Groveland police officer to stop and let him have one while on the way to jail last week.
At around 6:15 p.m. Friday, officers responded to a report of a man in a white shirt and black shorts bothering customers at the Publix store at 7975 State Road 50 in Groveland. They found a man matching that description near the neighboring Burger King, according to the police report.
The man was identified by his Illinois driver’s license as Patrick J. McClain, 64, of Bourbonnais, Ill. McClain was obviously impaired, with the odor of alcohol on his breath and thick, slurred and sometimes incoherent speech. McClain told the investigating officer he was riding his bicycle from Crystal River to Titusville. He said he had been drinking since the previous day and did not feel he was intoxicated, the report said.
The officer asked McClain to perform field sobriety exercises based on his signs of impairment and the fact that the bicycle was his only form of transportation. McClain said he wasn’t going to participate in the exercises because he’d fail. He said he uses alcohol and garlic to cleanse himself. The officer determined McClain’s normal faculties were impaired and it was unsafe for him to operate any form of transportation, including a bicycle, according to the report.
McClain was placed under arrest and taken to the Groveland Police station, where he provided two breathalyzer samples that returned readings of .267 and .273 – more than three times the legal limit. McClain was charged with DUI (bicycle) and taken to the Lake County Jail, the report said.
While on the way to jail, McClain told the officer he has an autoimmune disease that requires beer to relieve the symptoms. He requested that they stop, and the officer allowed him to drink a beer to alleviate his body pain, according to the report.
McClain is currently being held on $2,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Lake County Court on Nov. 29.