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updated: 8/23/2013 3:15 PM

Repeat South Elgin DUI offender sentenced to prison

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  • Eric Barth

    Eric Barth


Eric Barth was spared a five-year prison term for severely injuring an elderly Hampshire couple in a December 2010 drunken crash when corrections officials accepted him into boot camp.

But the 24-year-old from South Elgin got 2 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to aggravated DUI in a Dec. 25, 2012, drunken driving arrest.

Barth, who has been in the Kane County jail since then, faced a maximum three-year prison term.

Kane County Judge Thomas Stanfa accepted the plea, according to court records.

Barth, of the 1300 block of Sandhurst Lane, also must pay $450 in court fees.

Barth had a blood alcohol concentration of .27 percent -- more than twice the legal threshold -- when he veered into oncoming traffic and crashed head-on into Robert and Heike Wehrle Dec. 29, 2010.

Robert Wehrle suffered a broken leg and neck; his wife had broken ribs, a broken wrist, collapsed lung and internal injuries that required multiple surgeries.

Barth pleaded guilty and faced up to 12 years in prison. He received five years from Judge David Akemann, who also recommended that state officials consider Barth for a boot camp program.

Barth completed that program but was arrested and charged with aggravated DUI and driving while his license was suspended after a traffic stop by Kane County Sheriff's Deputies.

After being pulled over, Barth moved from the driver's seat to the passenger seat, prosecutors said. He also refused field sobriety tests and a breath test, although he reeked of alcohol and an open case of beer was found in the vehicle, prosecutors said.

A message left with Barth's defense attorney, William Gibbs, was not immediately returned.

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