Woman faces second DUI charge in two months

Woman faces second DUI charge in two months

URBANA — A Champaign woman was arraigned Friday for aggravated driving under the influence in connection with a drunken driving collision that happened on Christmas Day.

The arrest was the second DUI arrest in two months for Helen Vedder, 82, who listed an address in the first block of Stanford Place.

Champaign County Judge Richard Klaus ordered that as a condition of bond, Vedder wear an alcohol monitoring device. He then continued her case to Feb. 13 to accompany a separate pending aggravated driving under the influence case stemming from a November collision.

Assistant State's Attorney Elizabeth Dornik said about 5 p.m. on Dec. 25, Vedder was southbound on State Street in Champaign when she allegedly ran a red light at Springfield and ran into a car driven by Clara Jeong, 30, of Urbana. Jeong was turning south onto State Street from Springfield when her car was hit.

Vedder then kept going after the collision and was found shortly after at Elm and White streets, Dornik said.

She had a moderate odor of alcohol and told police she had consumed three vodka drinks and hit a car. She also admitted that her license to drive was revoked.

Dornik said Jeong went to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Her car was totaled.

Dornik said Vedder was taken to Carle Hospital and submitted to a blood draw that revealed her blood-alcohol content was 0.172 percent.

At the time of the collision, Vedder was free on bond after having been arrested for a Nov. 9 aggravated DUI.

In that case, Dornik said Vedder admitted that she had stopped at a liquor store after leaving church that Saturday evening, purchased the shot-size vodka bottle and drank as she drove.

Shortly after 6 p.m. she allegedly hit a parked car in the 1800 block of Peach Street in Champaign. She told police she was not supposed to be driving because her license is revoked. Police observed she had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol. In that case, her blood-alcohol content measured at 0.197 percent.

Dornik said Vedder had prior convictions for DUI from 1992 and 2011. She received conditional discharge for both.

If convicted of the more recent DUIs, Vedder faces penalties ranging from probation to three to seven years in prison and would have to serve the sentences one after the other.

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Joe American wrote on February 07, 2014 at 7:02 pm

82 and two DUI's?  Why is she driving in the first place???

worldgoesroundincircles wrote on February 07, 2014 at 8:02 pm

She tried leaving the scene of the accident in November as well. She obviously has a hugh drinking problem.  82 or not - she belongs in jail

WiltonDiary wrote on February 08, 2014 at 4:02 am

The lady obviously has behavioral health issues and the last place where she belongs is in jail!  This is 2014 not 1954.  Jail is NOT the solution for an 82 year old with substance abuse problems. 

Danno wrote on February 08, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Should Ms. Vedder have any living siblngs, children/grandchildren, etc. remaining; they, as well as 'us' in a 'progressive' society, have failed her, as well as other elderly members of our society as well.