Aurora Secures Felony Charges After Woman Receives 6th DUI
Leah R. Behrens was charged with three felonies: DUI, obstructing justice and driving on a revoked license. The DUI is a Class X felony, which calls for enhanced prison time upon conviction.
She was also charged with a litany of misdemeanor and traffic charges including two additional counts of DUI, failure to yield while turning left, operating an uninsured vehicle, driving without insurance, leaving the scene of a property damage crash and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.
The charges stem from two crashes that occurred about five minutes apart where Behrens was the driver of a 2002 Mitsubishi Gallant. The first was around 6:35 p.m. at Lake Street (IL Route 31) and Illinois Avenue, when she hit two vehicles stopped at a stoplight: a 2000 Honda Civic driven by a 23-year-old Aurora man and a 2005 Saturn Vue driven by a 27-year old-Glendale Heights man.
The only additional occupant was a 25-year-old woman in the Saturn. All three people declined medical attention.
Behrens fled the crash but was involved in another one around 6:40 p.m. at Broadway (IL Route 25) and Hazel, about 2.5 miles away from the initial incident. She was driving south on Broadway and tried to turn left onto Hazel but instead went in front of a northbound 2011 GMC Sierra pickup truck driven by a 36-year-old Plano man.
The pickup was also occupied by the man’s three boys, ages 14, 12 and 4. Nobody in the pickup required medical attention.
“The second crash happened to occur near a restaurant where a couple of Aurora police officers were eating dinner,” Aurora Police Department spokesman Dan Ferrelli said in a Facebook post. “They were alerted to the crash by another patron, and when they went to investigate, they found Behrens outside her vehicle and displaying obvious signs of intoxication. It was quickly learned she was also involved in the initial crash at Lake and Illinois.”
Behrens was treated and released at an Aurora hospital. The felony obstructing justice charge stems from when she was later taken to another Aurora hospital for a court-ordered blood and urine draw with which she refused to cooperate.
The charges against Behrens are not proof of guilt. She is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which it is the burden of the state to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.