UPDATED: Man Gets 20 Years in Prison for 11th DUI

By Audrey Williams

December 6, 2011 Updated Dec 6, 2011 at 11:16 PM CDT

MCLEAN COUNTY, Ill.-- Bloomington resident William Dietrich has racked up 11 DUIs and is now headed to prison for 20 years.

47-year-old Dietrich has 11 DUIs ranging from 1982 to spring of this year. He has had his license revoked since 1983.

Many question how this can happen.

"It's unthinkable that this could and should happen," says Ruth Ann Lipic, Victim Advocate with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Lipic thinks more should have been done sooner, "If the sentence had been stronger on the second or the third DUI there would not have been a fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, etc. And ya, know it really isn't fair to the public who use the highways."

According to the Mclean County State's Attorney's office his latest offense was caught during a roadside safety check this spring in Normal. He took his mothers car without permission and drove to a concert and a liquor store.

"Just because a license is revoked doesn't meant we can automatically stop them from driving. They have to take responsibility and make the choice to not break the law and to not drive the vehicle anymore. He didn't seem to care," says Jane Foster,1st Assistant States Attorney in Mclean County.

Dietrich was on probation after serving 4 years of a previous 8 year sentence from his DUI conviction in 2007.

The states attorney's office requested 22 years this time around, Dietrich got 20. It's still one of the longest sentences anyone has been given for DUI in McLean County.

"When a person is either unwilling or incapable of improving themselves in conforming their actions to the law that's when we have to go for just as much prison time as we can get," says Mclean County State's Attorney's Assistant Matt Banach.

State Police say roadside safety checks like the one that caught Dietrich will increase around the holidays.

Trooper Dustin Pierce encourages motorists to plan ahead, "Get a designated driver, make arrangements to stay where their going to be, or call a taxi. Calling a taxi is a lot cheaper than a DUI."

"Drunk drivers, impaired drivers are snipers on the highway and we need to stop that," adds Lipic.

Due to Illinois' good behavior policy Foster says Dietrich will likely serve about 10 years, which is normal for a DUI conviction.

However, during that time in prison he will receive mandatory alcohol treatment.

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