Woman arrested for DUI after allegedly hitting teen, leaving scene

Woman arrested for DUI after allegedly hitting teen, leaving scene

UPDATED 10 p.m.  Monday

ST. JOSEPH — A St. Joseph teen was treated and released from Carle Foundation Hospital Sunday after being struck by an alleged drunken driver as he walked on a county road.

Champaign County sheriff's Sgt. Brian Mennenga said the driver did not stop after hitting the youth but was later arrested by an observant deputy.

Mennenga said about 2 a.m. Sunday, two 15-year-old boys, whom he declined to identify, were walking east on County Road 1700 N near 2200 E when one of them was struck by a vehicle that kept going. The impact of the collision bounced that youth into his friend and both of them fell in the ditch.

They didn't report the accident until later when one of the boys was being treated for a broken ankle and abrasions at Carle.

Mennenga said after interviewing the youth, Deputy Chad Beasley returned to where he was hit and found pieces broken off a vehicle.

Mennenga said Beasley drove to a nearby small subdivision and found a Dodge Durango that was missing the pieces he had recovered. About 5 a.m., he made contact with the resident of the home where the damaged sport utility vehicle was.

He arrested Julie Rahn, 45, of the 2200 block of Jeffery Drive, St. Joseph, for aggravated driving under the influence, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Mennenga said Beasley could smell alcohol on her and noted she had glazed, bloodshot, watery eyes. Chemical testing revealed she had a blood-alcohol level of 0.15 percent, almost twice the 0.08 limit under which Illinois motorists are presumed intoxicated.

Rahn was released from the county jail later Sunday after posting $2,500 cash.

On Monday Rahn pleaded innocent to two counts of aggravated driving under the influence, one count of driving under the influence, one count of failure to report an accident involving an injury and one count of failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. Her next court appearance was set for May 3.

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GeneralLeePeeved wrote on March 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Hope that they're both OK, but did the deputy also arrest the two 15-yr olds for violating curfew?  

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm

I understand your point.  I, also, wonder why they were out walking at that hour.  However, does the county have a curfew?  Maybe; they were on their way to milk cows, or delivery the NG?  I am sure that they had questions asked by the hospital, deputy, and parents.

jerrysbear wrote on March 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm

I hope the officer did not. If officers arrest/ticket people for minor infractions when witnessing or being a victim of a crime, they will not be willing to coorporate in bringing the more serious offender to justice. This is why the university police state that they will not arrest rape victims who were drinking illegally. They don't want to scare away potential witnesses and victims.

tomemtrn wrote on March 11, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Seriously, the potential curfew violation is going to be your focus? And does it even apply that far out of the village? 

GeneralLeePeeved wrote on March 12, 2012 at 10:03 am

It's the safety factor that I'm concerned with.  Why are two 15-yr olds out at 2am walking on a county road?   Absolutely NOTHING good can possibly come from that scenario....and there is no valid excuse for them to be there at that time of day.  Granted, a drunk driver can be out and about at any time of day.....but, I guarantee you that the odds of finding a drunk driver are a lot higher at 2am than they are at 2pm (spare me the line about providing proof).  I don't know what kind of parenting skills you have, but I can tell you that as a father of two teenage boys, I would NEVER allow my kids to do that, and I know for a fact that they never have.....Yes, I always know where mine are....it's called good parenting!

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Just to address the curfew law, and not to make judgement; the answer is IL. Law 720 ILCS 555/1.  Basically; youth below the age of 17 are violating the state curfew law unless they are accompanied by a responsible individual of 18 years of age or older, or conducting business or an occupation allowed for youth less than 17 years of age.  Maybe; they were working, or maybe not.  Either way, one of them was injured in a hit-and-run accident.  I don't know about the rest of you; but I definitely snuck around with my buddies without my parents knowing about it.  My parents were good parents; but I was adolescent looking for fun at that age.  Parties, music, cold beer, and girls were on my mind at that age.  I know that my grandson is a good boy though; and listens to Grampa Sid's warning about having too much fun. 

inkle74 wrote on March 22, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Wow - several of the comments above show exactly what's wrong with America; pass the blame.

Placing significant blame (if any) on the 2 minors (by law they are minors....period), and/or their parents, is just puzzling to  me.  They are considered minors by law for a reason.  We have all been minors and made poor judgements and decisions.  Had these 2 boys gunned down an innocent human being for fun, that is one thing.  They were walking down a country road at 2am; if that's the worst they were doing, big deal.  Not near as bad as all the kids that got busted for drugs at the high school several years ago.  Funny how in that instance I remember so fondly of people saying , "they're good kids that just made a bad decision".

However, the FOURTY FIVE year old driver (a legal adult for 27 years), wife, mother of 2 kids herself, is the only one that should be held accountable for driving home hammered at 2am and not even realizing she hit something/someone.  What kind of parent is she to behave like that with two children and a husband that depend on her?  To think she still tested over the legal limit at 5am?  The fact her bond was so low disgusts me.

How can any of you possibly ignore the above and look to blame the two minors?  If the minors were walking along the road at 8pm and got hit by a drunk driver THEN it's ok to blame the drunk driver?

To the father of the two teens - something tells me you would have a WAY different look on this if it was one of your kids and please don't say my kids would never be out at 2am.  You would want this woman thrown to the wolves.  All parents like to think they know where their child is every minute - complete BS.  All of us have lied to our parents about where we have been; don't be that naive and don't use the my kid has a cell phone argument.  I would love to think my kids are exactly where they say they will be but sometimes, it's out of my control and you just pray they are making the right decisions and choices.

The laws this grown adult broke are ten times more severe than a silly curfew law the 2 minors may have broken.  Stop making childish excuses for the irresponsible behavior of a grown adult woman.  I hope she gets whatever is allowed by the law, no more, no less.  Inexcusable.