Champaign man sentenced to 8 years for 5th DUI

Champaign man sentenced to 8 years for 5th DUI

URBANA — A Champaign man convicted for the fifth time of driving under the influence is headed to prison for eight years.

Timothy H. Nelson, 52, of the 1300 block of Queens Way pleaded guilty Tuesday before Champaign County Judge Richard Klaus to aggravated driving under the influence.

Because of his prior convictions, a prison sentence was mandated.

He could have received up to 15 years, but in a negotiated plea agreement, he admitted to the charge in exchange for the eight-year sentence and a mandatory minimum fine of $6,000.

On May 26, a Champaign County sheriff's deputy saw Nelson make an improper turn near Curtis Road and Mattis Avenue in south Champaign, Assistant State's Attorney Elizabeth Dornik said.

The deputy could tell that Nelson smelled strongly of alcohol and had trouble performing field sobriety tests. Nelson admitted that he had been drinking beer and submitted to a breath test.

Dornik said Nelson's blood alcohol concentration was 0.21 — almost three times the limit for an Illinois motorist to be presumed intoxicated.

Nelson had three prior DUI convictions out of Texas in 1989, 1996 and 1997, and one from Champaign County in 2006, Dornik said.

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