Illinois Teen Charged with Aggravated DUI
Kevin Schuh, 17, has just been charged with aggravated drunk driving resulting in death, reckless homicide and leaving the scene of an accident after running over and killing Monika Skrzypkowski, 15.
Defendant Admits to Drunk Driving Hours Later
On Dec. 6, 2008, Schuh had been at a gathering where, as he admits, he drank eight alcoholic beverages. At about 11 p.m. that evening, Schuh was headed home in his minivan when he hit and killed Skrzypkowski, who was walking across the street at the time of the accident.
After hitting Skrzypkowski, Schuh continued home and then called the police, claiming that someone had vandalized his car. Shortly after, however, Schuh admitted to hitting Skrzypkowski.
When Schuh was taken into custody four hours later, his blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.063, which is below the legal limit of 0.08. If convicted of all counts, Schuh could face up to a 9-year prison sentence and over $7,000 in restitution fees.
A DUI Charge Despite a BAC Lower than the Legal Limit
In most cases of DUI, a person has to have a BAC of at least 0.08 to be charged and convicted of driving under the influence. However, Illinois prosecutors are able to charge Schuh with aggravated DUI for a few reasons:
- Prosecutors can legally charge someone with a DUI, regardless of their age, if an injury (or death) occurred and they can prove, in some way, that the individual driving had been drinking prior to operating his vehicle.
- Individuals at the party Schuh attended have stated that Schuh was too drunk to be driving that night.
- Schuh admitted to drinking eight alcoholic drinks before driving home that night.
- Schuh is under the legal drinking age and, therefore, is subject to Illinois’ “zero tolerance” law, which allows authorities to bring DUI charges on any underage individual who has alcohol in his system when driving.
A trial date has yet to be set for this case.
(Source: Chicago Tribune)
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