Illinois State Rep. Kam Buckner blames exhaustion for DUI arrest

SPRINGFIELD (Illinois News Network) — An Illinois state representative charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and impeding traffic said he fell asleep at a traffic light Friday in Springfield because of exhaustion.

State Rep. Kambium Buckner, D-Chicago, said it was “simply a result of exhaustion.” He said he looks forward to addressing the citation of driving under the influence of alcohol in court.

Secretary of State Police noticed Buckner asleep in a running 2017 Land Rover at 3 a.m. March 29 at a stop light at 2nd and Adams Street in Springfield, just a block north of the Illinois State Capitol building.

The legislature was in session later that morning, but Buckner had an excused absence, according to statehouse records.

Buckner, 33, of Chicago “was found by Secretary of State Police asleep in his running vehicle,” according to a police report.

“He slept [through] four cycles” of a traffic light, according to the report. “During contact strong odor of alcoholic beverage on breath. Eyes glassy. Pupils nonreactive to light.”

Buckner either refused to submit to or failed to complete field sobriety testing, the report said. As a result, his driving privileges will be suspended for a minimum of 12 months. He was served immediate notice of summary suspension/revocation of driving privileges, records show.

Buckner was released after paying a $100 cash bond, according to Sangamon County Circuit Court records.

He is next due in court for the DUI charge on at 9 a.m. April 30.

Buckner was also cited for driving below the minimum speed limit.

“This was simply a result of exhaustion,” Buckner said in an email. “However, I respect the officers and the job they do every day as well as the process, in which I look forward to addressing the citation.”

He said he plans to enter a plea of not guilty.

Buckner was appointed to the House seat vacated by Christian Mitchell, who left the legislature to be a deputy governor under Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

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