Chicago man convicted of eighth DUI gets 45 years

Chicago man convicted of eighth DUI gets 45 years

URBANA — A Chicago man convicted in Champaign County of his eighth driving under the influence charge has been sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Champaign County Judge John Kennedy convicted Carter Puckett, 48, in a stipulated bench trial in October of aggravated DUI in connection with his drunken driving in Rantoul this past summer. Kennedy sentenced Puckett on Monday.

Assistant State's Attorney Matt Banach and Assistant Public Defender Katie Jessup agreed on the facts that Kennedy considered in reaching his verdict.

On July 29, Puckett was driving east on Veterans Parkway in Rantoul at 1:50 a.m. when a Rantoul police officer saw Puckett's sport utility vehicle cross the center line and travel in the center turn lane inappropriately.

Officer Matt Bross stopped Puckett, whose eyes were watery, red and bloodshot; his speech slurred; and his breath smelling of alcohol. Puckett admitted to Bross he had drunk four beers and three shots at a bar earlier.

After showing impairment on field sobriety tests, Puckett was given a breath test, which revealed his breath alcohol concentration was 0.15 percent, almost twice the limit for a motorist to be presumed intoxicated in Illinois.

Puckett was eligible for between six and 60 years in prison based on his record.

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ROB McCOLLEY wrote on December 17, 2012 at 8:12 pm
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Am I right in think Champaign County taxpayers get to fund his stay? If so, could this be the reason other counties passed him on seven times previously?

rsp wrote on December 18, 2012 at 4:12 am

The whole state gets to pay. The other counties treat it as a minor infraction and then they come here where unless you've been a public servant...

SaintClarence27 wrote on December 18, 2012 at 8:12 am

No, you're not right. A quick review of the Champaign County Circuit Clerk records reveals that four out of the eight  DUIs were in Champaign County - for which he was sentenced to a total of 14 years.