Woman faces aggravated DUI charges in fatal crash

Woman faces aggravated DUI charges in fatal crash

URBANA — A Danville woman whose alleged drunken driving caused the death of a Minnesota man last month has been criminally charged.

Assistant State's Attorney Elizabeth Dornik said she filed two counts of felony aggravated driving under the influence against Jessica L. Young, 32, of the 0-100 block of Bates Drive, on Wednesday.

Young was scheduled to appear in court for arraignment Friday morning.

The counts allege that Young was under the influence of alcohol on May 20 when her car ran into the back of a pickup truck on Interstate 74.

The driver, Frank Patchen, 85, of Isanti, Minn., was headed east about 9:30 p.m. and was driving slowly when Young hit him. He was not wearing a seat belt but remained in the truck, according to an initial report.

Both his pickup truck and Young's car, a Camry, went off the road. Young was also injured.

Dornik said preliminary reports suggest Young's blood-alcohol level was 0.11 percent but she is still waiting for medical records.

The prosecutor said Young told Illinois State Police that she had consumed three mixed drinks containing vodka at a downtown Champaign bar that evening before heading back to Danville.

Young had a female passenger in her car but Dornik said the report did not say if that woman was injured.

Dornik also said there was nothing in the report to suggest why Mr. Patchen was driving slowly. He was alone.

If convicted of either of the counts, Young faces penalties ranging from probation to three and 14 years in prison. She is supposed to appear before Judge Richard Klaus.

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Local Yocal wrote on June 19, 2014 at 1:06 pm
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Assuming that a primary circumstance causing DUI's is impaired drivers returning home after a night at the bars, here below could be a use of our tax dollars at PREVENTING drunk drivers from ever driving. 

 1) All Class A liquor license holders would be provided a breathalyzer and the training to use it, as part of their licensing agreement with the government to sell alcohol. 2) A county-wide ordinance would require all customers who drove a vehicle to a bar must hand over their car keys to a bartender BEFORE the patron can be served alcohol. Like cigarette smokers must smoke outside, drivers must forfeit the keys before getting a drink.  3) When a patron wishes to leave the bar, they will be required to first blow into the bar's breathalyzer to determine if they qualify to get their keys back. Blowing anything over .08 would prevent the patron from getting their car keys, and instead, a 48-hour free parking sticker would be applied to their car and an MTD shuttle would be summoned to drive the person directly home.  The citizenry would probably resist this proposal, preferring the current system of "taking their chances" on their ability to drive over the state standard for alcohol impairment, and would prefer to keep "their freedom" of having control over their car. Bar owners might find the added responsibility of securing someone's car keys too labor intensive. Likewise, law enforcement would denounce this idea for the tax dollars are not directed toward their services but would rather go to the MTD shuttle, personnel who train bar staff and maintain the breathalyzers, and the breathalzyer company providing the equipment.