A woman whom police have called “one of the worst DUI offenders in the United States” has been sentenced.
According to WLS, Tasha Lynn Schleicher, 41, of New Hope, Minnesota, was arrested for two counts of felony aggravated drunk driving, two counts of misdemeanor drunk driving, no vehicle insurance, driving while license revoked, and transportation of open alcohol while driving.
Schleicher pleaded guilty to one count of DUI on Monday and was sentenced to 24 months probation in Cook County.
Riverside police said they responded to a report of a woman passed out behind the wheel at a gas station, but say that, when they arrived, they found Schleicher alert and conscious and trying to fill her car with kerosene and not gasoline.
Police say she appeared intoxicated and had a strong odor of alcohol on her breath. She allegedly had an open bottle of Crown Royal liquor in the passenger seat.
When officers asked Schleicher to step out of her vehicle, they said she was “in total disarray, not wearing shoes, and her clothes were literally falling off her,” as officers escorted her to the rear of the car for a field sobriety test.
Schleicher allegedly told police she had 11 children and couldn’t find them, leading police to search the area, but did not find any children present. When she failed the sobriety test, she was arrested.
Officers learned later that Schleicher’s children had been taken away from her in Minnesota due to multiple drunk driving charges.
When questioned about why she was in Illinois, Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said Schleicher claimed she was dropping off her 15-year-old son — the only child still in her custody — so he could “party” in Indiana over spring break.
Riverside police said they have not yet located that child, but are in contact with Minnesota Child Protective Services and other agencies to find him.
While she was in custody, Schleicher allegedly told police she was pregnant, bleeding and having a miscarriage, and was taken to a hospital in nearby Berwyn, where she was given a pregnancy test. It was determined that she was lying.
“She’s lied about her name, date of birth, Social Security number and even that she was pregnant, leaving officers no choice but to take her to the emergency room for treatment for something completely fictitious. I believe her trip to the hospital was really an attempt by her to escape custody,” Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said.
Police say Schleicher has outstanding warrants from three states and six prior DUI arrests out of six states, including Kentucky, Wisconsin, Indiana, California, Oregon and Minnesota.
“In Minnesota she was arrested with children in the car, and alleged to have been breastfeeding one child while driving intoxicated,” Weitzel said.