A Naperville woman offered $350 to a state police trooper in a failed attempt to avoid her second drunken-driving arrest since May, authorities said Wednesday.
Tareya Rhone, 38, of the 1600 block of Kiowa Drive, is accused of offering the bribe during a July 21 traffic stop on westbound I-88, according to an indictment handed up Tuesday in DuPage County.
Police said Rhone was stopped at 6:15 a.m. for driving 81 mph in a 55-mph zone near Oak Brook. At the time, she had a blood alcohol content of 0.201, more than twice the legal threshold of 0.08, according to court records.
During the traffic stop, Rhone offered $350 to a state trooper in exchange for letting her go, police said. The trooper refused the money and instead cited her for driving on a suspended license, speeding and improper lane use. Rhone also was charged with DUI and felony bribery.
State's Attorney Bob Berlin, a 26-year prosecutor, said cases involving offers of police bribery are "extremely rare."
"This may be the first case I recall where we've charged someone with bribing a police officer," he said Wednesday. "I think the overwhelming majority of people who live in this county have a tremendous amount of respect for the police and would never even consider doing such a thing."
Berlin said it was no surprise the officer "did the right thing."
"I think 99.99 percent of police officers in this county would have done the same," he said.
Court records show Rhone's license was suspended in May after she was charged with misdemeanor DUI in Naperville. In that case, police said she was driving her 2013 Volkswagen at 57 mph in a 40-mph zone on Washington Street.
In the earlier arrest, police said Rhone refused a Breathalyzer but failed a field sobriety test and had other indicators of intoxication, including bloodshot eyes, an odor of alcohol and slurred speech. In both cases, she admitted drinking before getting behind the wheel, authorities said.
Rhone remained jailed on $50,000 bail and is scheduled for arraignment Monday in front of Judge George Bakalis.