Woman gets 7th drunk driving charge, has 6 prior convictions

Alcohol is well-known for allowing people to shed their inhibitions. When taken to an extreme and practiced daily, the loss of inhibitions can become a way of life that signals a breakdown of the person's normal mental health processes. In Illinois, the specter of unbridled alcoholism can be seen sometimes in the arrest of drunk driving suspects.

In Riverside, Illinois, recently, the police chief reported the arrest of what he called the "worst DUI offender" in the United States. He reported that the arrest occurred on April 2, when the 41-year-old woman was found passed out with the engine running at a gas station. She reportedly had tried to fill her tank with kerosene.

Police reported observing all the signs of impairment, i.e., blood shot eyes, smell of alcohol and the appearance of intoxication. She also allegedly had a bottle of Crown Royal on the seat next to her. Police allege that she was shoeless and that her clothing was falling off. She reportedly told police that she was looking for her 11 children and could not find them. Witnesses, however, stated that there had been no one else in the car.

She allegedly refused field sobriety testing and was arrested for aggravated drunk driving, misdemeanor drunk driving, revoked license due to DUI, no insurance and an open alcohol container while driving. Although she allegedly gave a false name, police say that they obtained her identity from fingerprints. Her identity revealed a home in Minnesota, various aliases and nine separate Social Security numbers, authorities say.

The woman apparently has six prior drunk driving convictions in six states, along with outstanding warrants from several others. Police confirmed that she has 11 children, but they were removed by social service workers because of her chronic alcoholism. The Illinois State's Attorney's Office for Cook County reportedly advised the Riverside Police to hold her for immediate social service intervention and medical attention. If those reports are true, they comprise her only sensible response to the charges, based on her need for substantial medical and social intervention. Medical and therapeutic services could give some hope for a recovery, whereas a prison term would likely exacerbate her condition.

Source: La Grange, IL Patch, "'Worst DUI Offender In Country' Arrested In Riverside: Chief", Andrea Earnest, April 6, 2018

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