That means if he’s convicted, Michael Hughes, 43, of the 2000 block of South Philo Road, faces a mandatory prison term of four to 15 years and it could be even longer because of his record.
Assistant State’s Attorney Chris Kanis said that about 3 a.m. Monday, Hughes went in the Circle K, 1809 N. Cunningham Ave., and asked the clerk to open the beer cooler. The clerk said he appeared intoxicated. When she declined to open the cooler, Hughes allegedly took a bottle of vodka, put it in his pants and left.
The clerk followed him out and made contact with a state trooper who was nearby. Hughes, who was in the driver’s seat of a car, admitted to the trooper he had driven to the store from his daughter’s house in Champaign.
Kanis said the trooper’s report said the trooper found the vodka under the seat. Hughes failed field sobriety tests and on a portable breath test, registered a blood-alcohol content of 0.25 percent, more than three times the limit for a motorist to be presumed intoxicated.
Kanis said even though Hughes is charged with a Class 1 felony DUI, he’s eligible for Class X sentencing of six to 30 years if convicted because of prior convictions. He was also charged with driving under revocation and retail theft.
Hughes also has pending in Champaign County charges of driving under the revocation and theft, which were lodged against him in 2011.
Court records show Hughes had DUI convictions in 1996, 2001, 2003 and 2006, Kanis said. He went to prison for the last three DUI convictions.