Limo driver taking Oswego students to prom charged with DUI - FOX 32 News Chicago

Limo driver taking Oswego students to prom charged with DUI

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Richard L. Madison (Cook County Sheriff's office) Richard L. Madison (Cook County Sheriff's office)
OSWEGO, Ill. (FOX 32 News) -

The limousine driver who allegedly drove drunk when he took Oswego East High School students to their prom Saturday night said he is innocent, and credited his erratic driving to mechanical issues with the vehicle.

Police said Tuesday that Madison's blood alcohol level was nearly three-times the legal limit.

Prom is supposed to be one of the most memorable nights for any high-schooler. That was an understatement for the 23 students and their dates on Saturday night.

"It was a little sketchy from the beginning, but no one thought anything of it, until he pulled out of the subdivision," prom-goer Kelly Dano said.

Dano was asked to Oswego East's prom, but she wasn't expecting what would happen when their party bus took off.

"He hopped over a median and cut off 3 cars and then...he took us to the wrong hotel, he took us to the Hyatt hotel instead of Abbington Place so we had 5 more miles to go," Dano added.

Red flags went up for the students. Authorities said some called their parents. Two off duty Oswego police officers handled the situation at the Abbington Distinctive Banquets until deputies arrived.

The DuPage County Sheriff's deputies arrested the bus driver, 54-year-old Richard Madison for driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless conduct.

The Palos Hills resident was charged with drunken driving and reckless conduct.

Parents, like Lori Dano were a bit shaken as they aimed to keep their kids safe on prom night.

"That's why us parents provide limos so that they're safe and don't have to worry about them driving an hour away by themselves and then this happens," Dano added.

The limo company, Limos Alive did not return FOX 32's phone calls or emails seeking comment Sunday night.

Parents said they will warn others to do more investigating before they allow their kids to hop on a party bus.

Madison said he plans to plead innocent and fight the case.

"You know, if I was guilty, I would still be in jail," Madison told the Chicago Sun-Times on Sunday. "That's my thought. I would not be at home right now."

Authorities said Madison posted bail on Saturday night.

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