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Article updated: 1/10/2013 5:30 PM

Probation for teen in Elgin DUI chase, crash

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A 17-year-old from Bartlett who led Elgin police on a chase last August while driving on a learner's permit has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DUI.

Caitlin M. Hill accepted the reduced charges in adult court last month. She was sentenced to 12 months of probation and ordered to attend a DUI victim impact panel. She also was fined $2.920, required to undergo alcohol treatment and wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet for 90 days, according to court records.

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Kane County Judge Clint Hull accepted the plea, under which prosecutors dropped a host of charges, including felony aggravated DUI and aggravated fleeing and eluding.

Her defense attorney, J. Brick van der Snick, credited the state's attorney's office for reducing the charges to a misdemeanor.

"We're glad we were able to work it out," he said.

He said his client was not a repeat DUI offender, which often triggers felony charges, but rather a teen who made a mistake and has been seeking help for substance abuse problems.

Van der Snick said that on the night of her arrest, Hill got a call to help a friend but was late for her curfew. She also was beset by family problems.

"She freaked out, had a couple of drinks and was late for curfew," van der Snick said. "When the officer clocked her, she panicked."

According to police, Hill was eastbound on Route 20 in Elgin at 1:13 a.m. Aug. 23 and in an attempt to shed police, ran three stop signs and crashed her mother's 2012 Mazda 3 into a mailbox, utility box and utility pole. After the crash, she fled on foot but was arrested on the 500 block of Lucille Avenue.

Police found less than a gram of marijuana in her vehicle, along with an open bottle of watermelon vodka, reports said. She admitted to smoking pot, while her blood alcohol level was .113, according to police reports. The legal limit in Illinois is .08.

The teen must wear the monitoring bracelet until mid-March. She also attended counseling sessions while her case was pending, records show.

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