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Article updated: 6/19/2013 12:24 PM

Deal doesn't include prison for police chief's son

By Lee Filas

The son of a Lake County police chief has until Friday to decide whether to accept a plea deal on drunken driving charges that would keep him out of prison.

The proposed deal offered to Robert Roth, 24, of Venetian Village in unincorporated Lake County, would force him to complete 30 days of periodic imprisonment at the Lake County jail, then put him on electronic home monitoring for the following five months.

After being taken off home confinement, Roth would be on probation for an additional six months, Lake County Judge Brian Hughes said.

"The state appears to have a very strong case against you," Hughes told Roth following a closed-door meeting with attorneys Wednesday morning. "I suggest you strongly consider any negotiation that keeps you out of the (Illinois Department of Corrections)."

Roth, the son of Lake Villa Police Chief Ron Roth, is facing six counts of aggravated driving under the influence causing great bodily harm alleging he was drunk in the early morning hours of June 14, 2012, when he slammed his 2006 Chevy TrailBlazer into a tree at the corner of Cedar Road and Route 83 in Lake Villa.

Four people -- including Roth -- were taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville after the crash and later released. Hughes said Wednesday the three passengers suffered from a variety of nonlife threatening injuries including a broken shoulder, broken ribs and a broken nose.

Authorities said Roth initially had a blood alcohol content of .098 after the crash. However, Hughes said in court, a blood draw at the hospital upped Roth's blood alcohol content to .168, more than twice the legal limit of .08.

Roth initially was charged with misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving, but those charges were upgraded to felonies in August.

If convicted after a trial, Roth could be sentenced up to 12 years in prison and fined as much as $25,000. He could also be sentenced up to 30 months probation.

He remains free on bond after posting 10 percent of $10,000 bail. Hughes said Roth has no prior convictions in Illinois and has been receiving treatment for substance abuse while out on bond.

Prosecutors say Roth indicated he was "the police chief's son" when interviewed by officers at the scene after the crash.

Police Chief Ron Roth has said he immediately delegated handling of the case to other officers in his department to avoid any conflict of interest.

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