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posted: 4/2/2013 6:10 PM

Naperville driver who hit house pleads guilty to DUI

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  • Witnesses told police Joseph Wheeler was driving at least 70 mph last summer when his vehicle careened through a front yard and struck a Naperville home.

      Witnesses told police Joseph Wheeler was driving at least 70 mph last summer when his vehicle careened through a front yard and struck a Naperville home.
    Courtesy of Naperville police

  • No one was injured last summer when Joseph Wheeler drove this car through the dining room window of a Naperville home.

      No one was injured last summer when Joseph Wheeler drove this car through the dining room window of a Naperville home.
    Courtesy of Naperville police

  • Joseph Wheeler

      Joseph Wheeler

 

A Naperville man who blacked out and plowed into the dining room of an occupied house last summer will serve two years of conditional discharge for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Joesph Wheeler, 18, of the 300 block of Prairie Knoll Drive, pleaded guilty Tuesday to the misdemeanor charge.

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DuPage County Judge James Konetski sentenced Wheeler to conditional discharge and 100 hours of public service work. The teen also must get counseling, pay a $1,500 fine, and wear a device that will alert authorities if he consumes alcohol while serving his sentence.

The crash happened about 9:30 p.m. July 30 when Wheeler's Volkswagen Jetta went off the road, into a yard and through the dining room window of a house on the 400 block of Robin Hill Drive in Naperville's West Highlands neighborhood.

City Prosecutor Mike DiSanto said a man and woman were in different rooms of the house at the time and weren't injured. Wheeler, who also wasn't hurt, registered a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.15, or nearly twice the legal threshold of 0.08, DiSanto said.

Witnesses told police Wheeler was driving at least 70 mph. The crash happened after he "blacked out," according to defense attorney Terry Ekl, who said his client immediately sought alcohol treatment and counseling.

"He's doing just a wonderful job turning his life around," Ekl said. "I don't think any young man has done as much to show his remorse for what he did and try to better himself than Joe Wheeler."

Eight residents of the West Highlands neighborhood were in court Tuesday for Wheeler's appearance, authorities said. DiSanto said Wheeler's license has been suspended for a year.

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