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updated: 6/21/2013 12:18 PM

Lake Villa chief's son avoids prison, gets jail time, home monitoring

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  • Robert Roth, 24, of Venetian Village

    Robert Roth, 24, of Venetian Village


The son of Lake Villa Police Chief Ron Roth was remanded to the Lake County jail early Friday after pleading guilty to a charge of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol stemming from a crash last year that injured his three passengers.

Robert Roth, 24, was chastised harshly in court by Lake County Judge Brian Hughes for adversely affecting the lives of his own family, as well as the three people injured when his vehicle struck a tree while he was driving drunk.

"I don't want to see or hear from you again unless it's something positive," Hughes told Roth, saying the Venetian Village resident's actions embarrassed his family, specifically his father because of his job as police chief. "I hope that you can carry on the rest of your life and never be in this situation again."

Roth welled up with tears during Hughes' speech.

Under the plea deal he agreed to Friday, Roth will spend 30 days in periodic imprisonment at the county jail, then five months on electronic home monitoring. An additional six months of jail time is being stayed and Roth will not have to serve it if he stays out of trouble while on electronic home monitoring.

He must spend 30 months on felony probation, during which time he is not allowed to use drugs or alcohol and will adhere to a 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. curfew.

Roth also must pay more that $5,500 in fines, perform 100 hours of community service, surrender his firearm owner identification card, and is not allowed to operate a vehicle without a driver's license.

If he violates probation, Hughes warned, Roth could be sentenced to up to 12 years in prison and fined as much as $25,000.

Roth initially was charged with 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 his 2006 Chevy TrailBlazer slammed into a tree at the corner of Cedar Road and Route 83 in Lake Villa.

An investigation showed that Roth was traveling at between 40 and 45 mph in a 25 mph zone when he lost control of the SUV due to some train tracks, authorities said.

Four people -- including Roth -- were taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville and later released after suffering from nonlife threatening injuries that included a broken shoulder, ribs and a broken nose, authorities said.

Authorities initially said Roth had a blood alcohol level of .098, but Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Jason Humke said a blood draw at the hospital upped Roth's level to .168, more than twice the legal limit of .08.

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.

Hughes said he accepted the deal because Roth has no prior convictions in Illinois, has been receiving treatment for substance abuse while out on bond, and the "character and attitude of defendant shows that he will not commit another crime."

"The court has also considered the likelihood that he will comply with probation," Hughes said.

Defense attorney Jason Mercure did not comment after the plea agreement.

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