Visit to bar lands suspect charged with DUI in fatal crash behind them

Bond increased to $500K for man charged with DUI in fatal crash

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SYCAMORE – Although results from an alcohol-monitoring bracelet didn’t prove that a DeKalb man charged in a fatal traffic crash had been drinking, his bond was set at $500,000 Thursday simply for being in a bar.

Daniel J. Chavez, 26, of the 900 block of Ridge Drive, is charged with aggravated driving under the influence resulting in death and DUI causing great bodily harm. If convicted of the aggravated DUI charge, Chavez could face three to 14 years in prison.

He was arrested about two weeks ago when an electronic home monitoring report showed that he'd spent more than four hours at a Sycamore bar and a few hours at a friend's house in DeKalb on two separate days.

A hearing on a motion to increase his bond was delayed while all parties waited for results from the company that administers the monitoring bracelets for the county. Although the results didn’t show Chavez’s blood-alcohol content exceeded 0.02 percent long enough to constitute a violation, the voltage readings were erratic, suggesting something might have been slipped between the device and his skin.

Regardless, part of the condition to wear the bracelet is to not only abstain from alcohol, but to not allow it near the device.

“I can’t imagine a more egregious violation of bond than going to a bar in this type of situation,” Judge Philip Montgomery said before granting DeKalb County State’s Attorney Rick Amato’s request to increase bond to $500,000.

Chavez had been free on his signature since May 16. Prosecutors said that Chavez was driving under the influence of alcohol in the early hours of May 15 and crashed into a vehicle driven by 23-year-old Sai K. Adluru, a Northern Illinois University graduate student who was killed in the crash. Chavez twice has failed to appear for court hearings, and was advised by a deputy after his first home monitoring violation Dec. 10, when he visited a friend’s house, to not violate his bond again.

“This defendant has been given multiple opportunities to rectify his behavior, and he’s failed,” Amato said.

Chavez’s lawyer, Chip Criswell, told Montgomery that Chavez will not be able to come up with $50,000 bail to be released.

He’s due back in court at 9 a.m. Jan. 31 for a status hearing.