A judge sentenced a Spring Grove man to eight years in prison after he pleaded guilty to his eighth DUI at a time when he was also driving on a suspended license for the 14th time.
McHenry County sheriff’s deputies conducted a traffic stop around 6:50 p.m. on January 7 on Mark E. Friske, 64, of Spring Grove.
They stopped a 1999 Ford pickup truck near Route 31 and Dakota Drive in Ringwood, court records show.
The Ford had reportedly crossed the fog line several times.
Friske told deputies he had just left a bar after drinking, according to a police report.
Friske’s license was revoked at the time of the stop and he admitted that he had too much to drink, the report said.
Deputies could smell alcohol on his breath and noticed his eyes were bloodshot.
A grand jury indicted Friske in April on charges of six counts of aggravated driving under the influence and one count of driving on a revoked or suspended license.
An indictment filed in McHenry County Circuit Court said Friske had seven prior driving under the influence violations in Illinois.
The indictment also said Friske has 13 prior convictions for driving on a revoked or suspended license, dating back to 1986. They all occurred in Cook, McHenry, Lake and McLean counties.
Prosecutors said his license has been revoked since 1985.
Friske was initially charged with misdemeanors following his arrest. The charges were upgraded to felonies by the grand jury.
The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office arrested Friske on a warrant carrying a $150,000 bond in early May.
After the end of cash bail under the SAFE-T Act went into effect last month, Friske, who was unable to post 10% of the cash bond, filed a motion for pre-trial release.
Prosecutors subsequently filed a petition to detain Friske pre-trial without the ability to post a cash bond or be released on conditions.
A hearing was later held in front of McHenry County Judge James Cowlin.
Prosecutors said during the hearing that Friske admitted to officers that he was driving and acknowledged committing a crime.
He allegedly made statements of “you got me” and said he knew he should not have been driving.
Cowlin denied Friske’s motion and granted the state’s attorney’s office’s petition to hold Friske.
The judge found Friske’s release would result in a danger to the community and there was “nothing to show” he would not get back behind the wheel of a car upon release.
Court records show Friske recently entered into a negotiated plea deal with the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office.
He pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated driving under the influence, a Class X felony, in exchange for his other charges being dismissed.
McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge approved the plea deal and on Thursday sentenced Friske to eight years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
The sentence will be served at 50% in accordance with truth-in-sentencing guidelines.
Friske will receive 192 days of credit for time served and 42 days of additional credit for engaging in self-improvement or volunteer programs.