Geneva man sent to prison for third DUI conviction

By on October 2, 2010

Offender has extensive history of criminal acts
Geneva—A Geneva man with an extensive criminal history has been sent to prison for his third DUI, which he acquired with two minors in the car.

James E. Hughes, 44, of the 100 block of Kane Street, Geneva, was sentenced by Associate Judge Allen M. Anderson to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Hughes, who waived his right to a jury trial, was convicted Aug. 4 by Anderson of two counts of aggravated DUI, each a Class 2 felony, and one count of driving on a suspended/revoked license, a Class 4 felony.

At about 1:30 a.m. May 23, 2009, Geneva police officers were conducting a traffic stop in the vicinity of East State Street (Route 38) and Briar Lane, when they observed Hughes drive his vehicle onto the curb. Officers pursued Hughes a short distance east on East State Street and stopped him. The officers reported that Hughes’ speech was slurred, that he had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, that he had trouble walking and swayed while attempting to stand. Hughes refused to submit to field sobriety tests and a breath test. In the vehicle with Hughes were two minors, one 17 years old and one 14 years old.

During sentencing, Anderson cited Hughes’ extensive criminal history, which includes numerous burglaries, a 1995 battery conviction and a 2001 aggravated battery conviction in which he stabbed the victim four times, and a 2008 conviction for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, in which Hughes threw an underage drinking party at his place of work. In addition, Hughes has convictions for a 1985 DUI and a 1990 DUI, both in Kane County.

Illinois law states that because of the two prior DUI convictions, the DUI in the case was a Class 2 felony. In addition, because Hughes had two prior Class 2 felony convictions, he faced a minimum of six years in IDOC.

In addition to the prison sentence, because a minor was in the car with Hughes at the time of the DUI stop, Hughes must pay a mandatory $25,000 fine and upon completion of his prison term, Hughes must complete 25 days of community service with an organization that benefits youths.

Anderson recommended that Hughes seek substance abuse treatment while in the custody of IDOC.

Based on Illinois law, Hughes was given day-for-day sentencing. Hughes also was given credit for 489 days served in the Kane County jail.