Elk Grove Village man gets 14-year sentence for 6th DUI
An Elk Grove Village man was sentenced Monday to 14 years in prison for his sixth driving under the influence of alcohol conviction.
Nazim J. Useni, 58, must serve at least half the sentence, but will receive credit for time spent in the DuPage County jail after his arrest earlier this year.
A jury convicted him of aggravated driving under the influence after a two-day trial in September. He was accused of driving drunk at 1:47 a.m. Jan. 28 on southbound Rohlwing Road near Bryn Mawr Avenue in Itasca.
Assistant DuPage County State's Attorney Claudia Fantauzzo told Judge John Kinsella that Useni is "basically a professional drunk, and because he was not all over the road, he thinks it is not a problem."
She said he repeatedly has refused to take Breathalyzer tests, or taken the tests, but then claimed the machines were malfunctioning. In the most recent case, Fantauzzo said, a blood test several hours after his arrest showed Useni had a blood alcohol content of .19, more than twice the legal threshold for driving.
Police officers from Genoa, St. Charles and Carol Stream testified Monday about some of Useni's previous DUI cases, including several where he fled from officers trying to pull him over. In 2010, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison for one of the Carol Stream cases.
Fantauzzo asked that he be sentenced to 21 years in prison.
"It is a miracle that he has not killed someone yet," she said. "It is so obvious the defendant has not learned from any of his mistakes."
Useni told Kinsella he was driving Jan. 28 only because his mother called for help because the heat had gone out at her apartment. He did not want to ask his wife to drive there because she was sick, he said.
"I never hurt nobody. I never pulled a gun on nobody," he said.
Kinsella said there were "a number of ways" Useni could have helped his mother that night, such as calling police to check on her well-being. He called Useni's actions a "classic example" of the poor judgment a drunken driver engages in.
"Time and time again, Mr. Useni thumbed his nose at the law and continued to drink and drive," DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement after Monday's sentencing. "Not only did he get behind the wheel after his first DUI, but he did so as well after his fifth DUI. Every year thousands of lives are needlessly lost to DUI related crashes. Thankfully, no one was injured as a result of Mr. Useni's irresponsible, reckless behavior."