RIVERSIDE, Ill. – A former Rochester woman with a long history of driving while under the influence of alcohol was sentenced to 24 months probation in a case out of Illinois.
Tasha Lynn Schleicher, 41, pleaded guilty on Monday in Cook County Circuit Court to one felony count of driving while under the influence. Six other felony charges were dismissed, according to Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel.
Judge Ramon Ocasio, III, sentenced Schleicher to 24 months probation, according to Weitzel. She had been in custody in Riverside, Ill., since her April 2018 arrest.
“A sentence of 24 months of probation for Ms. Schleicher is, simply put, disappointing,” Weitzel said in a statement. “She’s a multiple offender who had multiple driver’s licenses, several warrants, and she continuously lied and fabricated information to throw police off when she was arrested.”
Schleicher, 41, was arrested on April 2, 2018, in Illinois after authorities found her intoxicated at a gas station, with an open bottle of whiskey in the passenger seat. The incident started at 9:27 p.m., when a witness at the gas station called police because Schleicher had apparently passed out in her car.
By the time officers arrived, she had regained consciousness and was attempting to fill her car with a pump that contained kerosene, rather than gasoline. The officer who approached her noted that she was “in total disarray,” barefoot, with her clothes falling off, according to Weitzel.
Schleicher later told authorities that she was staying in Illinois hotels after dropping her 15-year-old son off in Indiana so that he could “party” during his spring break, he said. She told responding officers that she had 11 children and “couldn’t find them.”
“This sent my officers physically searching hotel and motels in neighboring communities for abandoned children; this information was found to be completely fictitious,” Weitzel said.
In September 2017, Schleicher was arrested in Rochester while allegedly driving drunk with five of her children — ages infant to 9 — in the car with her. She continued driving after a collision with a guardrail caused a flat tire, according to Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Kirby Long.
Following that arrest, Schleicher and some of her neighbors spoke with the Post Bulletin. One neighbor, who didn’t want her name used, called Schleicher “a very good person.” The neighbor bristled at the idea that Schleicher was a bad mother and noted there was a lack of support for the woman.
Schleicher told the Post Bulletin she didn’t drink regularly and said she felt that the times she received DUIs were all after she just had a baby.
“I feel like it affected my decision-making, but I hadn’t received the diagnosis. I told my doctor, ‘Something’s wrong with me. I mean, what do you think? Is this normal?’” Schleicher said at the time.
Schleicher is still in custody in Riverside, Ill., as she has several outstanding warrants for her arrest including one out of Olmsted County, according to Weitzel.