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Repeat DUI offender sentenced to 13 years in prison

Timothy Morrow 43 Round Lake Beach Ill. pleads for mercy from  Lake County Judge Brian P. Hughes during his

Timothy Morrow, 43, of Round Lake Beach, Ill., pleads for mercy from Lake County Judge Brian P. Hughes during his sentencing hearing on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan. Hughes sentenced Morrow to 13 years for his 8th DUI conviction. | Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune

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Lake CounTy DUI arrests

2009: 3,029

2010: 3,071

2011: 2,593

Source: Illinois Secretary of State

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Updated: July 1, 2013 2:23AM

The “grim reaper” of the roads was sentenced to 13 years in prison for his eighth DUI conviction.

Timothy Morrow, 43, of Round Lake Beach, was before Judge Brian Hughes Wednesday, May 1, for his aggravated DUI conviction. In October, a jury convicted Morrow of aggravated DUI.

Morrow was arrested for his 10th and latest DUI in Round Lake Beach July 30, 2011, Assistant State’s Attorney Ben Dillon said.

“A defendant who has 10 DUI arrests is a grim reaper to every other driver on the road,” Dillon said.

Morrow was 17 when he was first arrested for DUI in 1987. He was arrested for DUI in 1991, three times in 1994, twice in 1995, again in 2005, 2006 and 2011, Dillon said. The 2005 and 2006 DUIs were reduced to reckless driving convictions, not DUI convictions, Dillon said. Morrow was also arrested for operating a watercraft under the influence (OUI) of alcohol in 2004 and 2010.

He was acquitted of the 2010 OUI, and the charges were dropped in the 2004 OUI, Dillon said.

Morrow went to prison in 1995 for two years following his seventh aggravated DUI conviction.

He was sentenced to probation, went to treatment and spent time in jail for his six other DUI convictions, Dillon said.

“It was somewhat exhausting to page through your priors (arrests and convictions),” Hughes said.

A Round Lake Beach police officer pulled Morrow over in the 100 block of West Rollins Road around 1:50 a.m. on July 30, 2011. Morrow failed field sobriety tests and refused to submit to a Breathalyzer test. The officer noted slurred speech and the odor of alcohol on Morrow. There was also testimony at Morrow’s trial that he threw a beer can out of his car window before he pulled over.

Morrow’s latest DUI was not an isolated incident, Dillon told Hughes. He asked the judge to sentence Morrow to 15 years in prison to keep the drivers on the road safe.

Morrow faced mandatory prison time with a minimum of 6 years and a maximum of 30 years.

Morrow’s attorney Mike Norris asked Hughes to impose the minimum penalty.

“It’s his first Class X felony. I think six years will deter Mr. Morrow from doing other things,” Morris said.

Morrow asked the judge to have mercy on him. He said police were “buddy-buddy” with his stepfather, who was abusing him.

“I’m not blaming everything on him,” Morrow said. “I’ve made a mistake. I apologize. All I can say is I make mistakes and I apologize for them.”

Hughes told Morrow he didn’t make just one mistake — he made several.

Hughes said he was concerned because Morrow has completed alcohol substance abuse treatment many times and continued to re-offend.

“The concern for this is court is you’ve had treatment yet it had no impact on you ... it’s a blessing that you haven’t had a serious personal injury accident,” Hughes said.

Hughes also said he agreed with Dillon that Morrow is likely to re-offend.

Morrow was taken into custody following his sentencing hearing to await transport to Illinois Department of Corrections. Morrow will serve three years parole after his 13 years, Hughes said.

“The sentence was very appropriate and reflects the seriousness of repeat DUI offenses,” Dillon said.

Morrow’s driver’s license will be revoked for life once the Secretary of State receives notification from Lake County circuit court of Morrow’s conviction and sentence, SOS spokesman Henry Haupt said.

Morrow was issued a permit to drive with a breath alcohol ignition interlock device in his vehicle September 2003.

He was reinstated as a driver in April 2005 after he proved he finished alcohol treatment and admitted to being an alcoholic at administrative hearings, Haupt said.

Jan. 1, 1999, was when the state law passed stating that a driver has a lifetime driver’s license revocation after a fourth DUI conviction. Morrow had not been convicted of four DUIs when the law was passed, Haupt said.

“What matters now is he will be revoked for life,” Haupt said.

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