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Great Lakes woman charged with DUI after hitting squad car

Sarah M. So/ phofrom Lake Forest police

Sarah M. Soto / photo from Lake Forest police

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Updated: January 15, 2014 6:11AM

A Great Lakes woman is charged with DUI and child endangerment, after police said she hit a Lake Bluff squad car with her SUV in the city early Friday, while her young children were left in a North Chicago motel.

Sarah M. Soto, 32, of the 1800 block of Georgia Avenue in Great Lakes, faces charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, endangering the life of a child, and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

A call of an impaired driver came in to Lake Forest police early Friday, and officers began patrolling near the intersection of routes 43 and 176 around 1:50 a.m., Lake Forest Deputy Chief Karl Walldorf said.

While on patrol, a marked Lake Bluff Police squad was struck from behind by a Ford SUV, and then the car immediately sped off, Walldorf added. The car continued south on Route 43, where Walldorf said it was eventually stopped by a Lake Forest officer that had witnessed the crash.

The driver, Soto, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and produced a breath sample indicating a blood alcohol content of .248, more than three times the legal limit. After Soto was arrested, officers learned she had left her children, ages 4 and 10, alone in a hotel room in North Chicago. North Chicago Police were contacted and recovered both children, who were unharmed. The children were turned over to the Department of Children and Family Services, which has initiated an investigation.

The Lake Bluff officer in the car she struck, a 12-year veteran, was taken by ambulance to Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital for treatment. Lake Bluff police said he was released later Friday morning with minor injuries.

Soto was released on a $3,000 bond Friday morning. She is scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. Jan. 14 in Waukegan.

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