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Woman busted in Riverside for DUI tells police she was celebrating getting license back — after earlier DUI


Erin James

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Updated: May 4, 2013 11:27PM

A Brookfield woman who was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Riverside told the police she’d been celebrating getting her driver’s license back after an earlier DUI, police in the west suburb said Saturday.

Erin James’ blood-alcohol level was .155 percent when she was stopped for speeding in the 3400 block of South Harlem Avenue shortly after 2 a.m. Friday, according to police. Anyone driving with a level of .08 percent — about half of what James tested at — is presumed under Illinois law to be driving drunk.

James, 58, was charged with felony aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol.

She failed field sobriety tests, the police said, and a check of her driver’s license showed that her license was still suspended from a DUI arrest last year in North Riverside.

“James was supposed to be operating a vehicle with a breath-alcohol ignition interlock device, which would have prevented her from driving intoxicated,” Riverside police Chief Tom Weitzel said. “The fact that she was driving a vehicle not equipped with a BAIID shows that she had every intent of drinking and getting behind the wheel. Ms. James purposely drove a car that she did not own to avoid the ignition lock device and was driving back from a Forest Park bar where she was celebrating that fact that she would finally have her driving privileges back after her 2012 conviction for DUI. Ms. James is exactly the type of motorist I want kept off the road permanently under a new proposed habitual DUI law that I will be proposing in the very near future.”

Weitzel said he wants repeat DUI offenders to lose their driving privileges for 10 years and be subject to the confiscation of their vehicle and a mandatory seven-year prison sentence.

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