An Elgin, Illinois man faces between 6 and 30 years in jail, without the possibility of parole after police claim he was arrested for DUI 15 times and had his license suspended 4 times–and was still caught drunk driving.
Illinois has a law which allows anyone caught for a 6th DUI to be charged with a Class X felony. That means the man, who police are unable to adequately identify because he has a litany of assumed names, will now serve a minimum of six years in state prison. Taking him off the road a for a lengthy period of time certainly seems to be an adequate response to repeat offenders.
As more and more convicted DUI offenders are continually being found on the road once again–with or without another valid license-police and legislators have sought increasingly more powerful ways to discipline them and keep them from driving again. Unfortunately for these offenders the only way that works is to keep them off the streets for an extended period of time, via a lengthy jail sentence. This amounts to setting special felony charges such as the “Class X Felony” being used in this case in Illinois, which police can use to cite these people who repeatedly put others lives at risk just so they can drive to the liquor store, or bar or wherever it is they feel the need to go when they are intoxicated.
It is still too early to know if these new penalties will be enough to prevent people from repeatedly driving under the influence of alcohol. There is nothing saying that once this Elgin man is eventually released from prison that he won’t get back into a car drunk and start driving around his community. But at least for the time being, while he is incarcerated, he is off the road, and people in his community can breathe a sigh of relief.