URBANA — A Savoy man who seriously injured a bicyclist while driving drunk, then fled without stopping to help him, will spend three weeks in the county jail and 30 months on probation.
And after Mitchell J. Snodgrass spends his first three weeks in jail, he will spend another 159 days on electronic home detention. He was ordered to begin his jail sentence Oct. 1.
When he’s released, he will also have to wear a SCRAM device that can detect if he consumes any alcohol, which would be a violation of his probation.
Snodgrass, 23, was sentenced Friday by Judge Adam Dill under the terms of a plea agreement worked out between Assistant State’s Attorney William Lynch and his attorney, Mark Lipton of Champaign.
He pleaded guilty to aggravated driving under the influence, admitting that about 8:10 p.m. April 22, while driving in the 1600 block of High Cross Road in Urbana, he hit Jonathon Parrish.
Parrish, 28, was the last in a line of three southbound bicyclists riding single file on High Cross Road.
Rather than stopping, Snodgrass sped off and was located later that night at his home in Savoy. He told Illinois State Police that he “panicked” after the crash and took off.
Lynch said that Snodgrass’ blood-alcohol level was measured later at 0.14, well above the 0.08 limit under which an Illinois motorist is presumed intoxicated.
Parrish read aloud for the judge a statement outlining the impact of the crash on him and expressing his satisfaction with the resolution of the case. He said he did not think Snodgrass needed to go to prison.
Parrish was hospitalized for three weeks with injuries that included separated shoulders, a broken nose, several broken teeth and other damage to his face and scalp. He said he continues to suffer chronic back pain, has to wear braces on his teeth and is unable to participate in some activities he used to be able to before being injured, such as pickup basketball.
Parrish told Snodgrass that he hopes the next time Snodgrass considers drinking, “I hope you think and say: ‘Last time was a disaster.’”
Even though Lipton and Lynch worked out the plea agreement, which meant the more serious felony count of leaving the scene of an injury accident and another count of aggravated DUI were dismissed, Lipton presented the judge with 56 mitigation exhibits.
Most of those were letters of support for Snodgrass, a letter of apology from him, and certificates showing he has taken part in a victim impact panel, completed alcohol-risk education, done public service and participated in counseling.
Lipton said his client works two jobs and his employers are willing to allow him back after he finishes his jail sentence. He had no prior convictions.
As a condition of his probation, Snodgrass was also ordered to perform 200 hours of public service and pay fines, fees and costs amounting to just over $5,400.