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Article updated: 9/28/2012 8:12 PM

Lake Villa police chief's son pleads not guilty to aggravated DUI stemming from crash

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The son of the Lake Villa police chief pleaded not guilty Friday to charges he was drunk when he injured three passengers after slamming his SUV into a tree in Lake Villa in June.

Robert Roth, 23, of the 20000 block of San Rem Avenue in Venetian Village, could spend up to 12 years behind bars if found guilty on any of the six charges of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol that caused great bodily harm.

The son of Lake Villa Police Chief Ron Roth could also be sentenced up to 30 months' supervision or could face a fine of up to $25,000, Lake County circuit court Judge Brian Hughes said Friday.

Attorney Steven Simonian, who represents Roth, did not comment about the charges after Roth's not guilty plea. Roth remains free on bond after posting 10 percent of $10,000 bail.

Roth is accused of being intoxicated while driving when he lost control of his 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer and struck a tree at 12:51 a.m. June 14. Police found four people in the vehicle -- including Roth -- complaining of various injuries. All four were taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville and later released.

Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Kenneth LaRue said Roth had a blood alcohol content of .098 after the crash on Route 83. LaRue also said Robert Roth indicated he was "the police chief's son" when interviewed by officers at the scene.

Roth was initially charged with misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving following the accident. Those charges were upgraded in August.

Ron Roth said he had immediately delegated the handling of the case to other officers in his department to ensure no conflict of interest

Robert Roth is due back in court on Nov. 14 for a pretrial conference. The trial is expected to take place on Dec. 17.

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