Lake in the Hills woman gets sober but must pay for past DUIs

Updated 10/19/2017 4:25 PM
  • Tiara M. Norris can have her four-year prison sentence cut in half for good behavior.

    Tiara M. Norris can have her four-year prison sentence cut in half for good behavior.

A Lake in the Hills woman who was arrested three times in 19 days on DUI charges was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison.

Kane County Judge David Kliment said he admired all of the actions Tiara M. Norris, 34, had taken since her last DUI arrest on July 29, 2013, to get sober and turn her life around.

Norris pleaded guilty earlier this year to the charge of felony aggravated DUI and driving while her license was suspended.

She had previous DUI arrests in 2010 and 2012, and Kliment ruled Thursday there was enough evidence presented from DUI arrests on July 10 and 23, 2013, to conclude those were DUI offenses under the law.

"I can't create a legal fiction that the past conduct did not occur," Kliment said.

The determination that there were five DUI offenses triggered a mandatory prison term, with the maximum being 15 years. Kliment gave a tearful Norris the minimum four-year term, which also includes a $5,000 fine and two years of parole after her release.

Norris was reeling from her husband's numerous affairs when she turned to alcohol July 2013. Kliment ruled Thursday that taken as a whole, enough evidence existed from the July 10 and 23 arrests to be considered offenses.

In the July 10 arrest, a breath test registered a .32 blood-alcohol concentration.

In the July 23 arrest, she was found slumped over the steering wheel with the engine running in a ditch in Gilberts and a half-full vodka bottle in the front seat.

A video from a squad car showed her almost falling down when getting out of the car and using it for balance while talking to police.

Since her final arrest on July 29 in which, according to authorities, Norris drove onto a lawn and tried to get into a house that was not hers, she has gone to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, earned two college degrees, regained custody of her daughter and got remarried.

Norris has had no violations in more than four years and her husband, aunt and AA sponsor testified this week as to the positive changes Norris made in her life.

Norris can have her prison term cut in half for good behavior.

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