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6th DUI nets 7-year prison sentence

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

6th DUI nets 7-year prison sentence

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
February 17, 2010

A six-time DUI offender was sentenced yesterday to seven years in state prison.

According to the Northwest Herald article today Kevin M. O'Reilly, 48, was convicted by jury in September of drunk driving in Wonder Lake in June 2006.

It took three years to get to a jury trial and another five months to the sentencing. Anyone else see a problem here with our legal system? Although O'Reilly was led away to begin serving his sentence, notice of appeal was given and an appellate public defender was appointed.

Wouldn't it be a real reader service for the Northwest Herald to provide details of previous DUI convictions of O'Reilly? How about...

1. dates of arrest
2. charges and BAC
3. Trial or plea dates
4. Dates of conviction and sentences

O'Reilly was said to be ineligible for probation in this case, because he had previously received probation in a drunk-driving case in lake County and was supposed to obtain treatment.

What if jail sentences started sooner - possibly upon the first DUI conviction, as they do in some countries? Then, instead of a seven-year sentence for the first incarceration, a driver might get two weeks in jail for the first DUI; four weeks for the second; eight weeks for the third; 16 weeks for the fourth.

Maybe a driver who drives impaired or drunk would start to get the message sooner...

The following press release was received after the above article was published:


FEBRUARY 16, 2010



Louis A. Bianchi, McHenry County State’s Attorney, is pleased to announce that Kevin M. O’Reilly was sentenced to 7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections as a result of his sixth DUI violation. The defendant was previously found guilty by a McHenry County Jury following a three day trial. Testimony at the trial revealed that a McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy was traveling southbound on East Wonder Lake Road in Wonder Lake when he observed the defendant’s truck weaving and traveling northbound in his lane of traffic. The squad car was forced off the highway in order to avoid a collision. O’Reilly refused to submit to field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer. During a search of the Defendant’s vehicle, police discovered a water bottle that smelled of alcohol.

During the sentencing hearing, Assistant State’s Attorney Ryan Blackney introduced evidence of a 2005 DUI arrest showing that the defendant was involved in a crash resulting in an injured passenger. Evidence at the hearing also demonstrated that the defendant had never spent any time in jail as a result of his prior DUI offenses. Mr. Blackney asked that the defendant be sentenced to between 10 – 15 years in the Department of Corrections. Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Combs also assisted in the Jury Trial.

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