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Minnesota woman called ‘one of the worst DUI offenders in U.S.’ gets probation

Tasha Lynn Schleicher | Riverside Police Department

Tasha Lynn Schleicher | Riverside Police Department

A woman labeled by Riverside’s police chief as “one of the worst DUI offenders in the United States” was sentenced to two years probation on Monday on a drunk driving charge that stemmed from her arrest in April in the west suburb.

Tasha Lynn Schleicher, 41, of New Hope, Minnesota, was taken into custody April 2 after officers found her passed out behind the wheel of her 2005 Nissan Maxima at the Amstar gas station at 3346 S. Harlem Ave., according to Riverside police. She had an open bottle of Crown Royal on the seat beside her and was filling her fuel tank with kerosene instead of gasoline.

On Monday, Schleicher pleaded guilty to a single count of DUI at the Maywood Courthouse and was sentenced to 24 months probation by Circuit Court Judge Ramon Ocasio III, according to police and court records.

An open bottle of Crown Royal that was found inside 41-year-old Tasha Lynn Schleicher’s Nissan Maxima when officers discovered her passed out behind the wheel in April at a Riverside gas station. | Riverside police

Schleicher was indicted by a Cook County grand jury on seven felony counts of aggravated drunk driving after being initially charged with drunk driving, driving with a revoked license, driving without insurance and transporting open alcohol, police said.

Additional charges against Schleicher were dropped with her guilty plea, court records show.

“A sentence of 24 months of probation for Ms. Schleicher is, simply put, disappointing,” Weitzel said in an emailed statement Tuesday. “This continues to demonstrate that as a nation that drunk driving and drugged driving are not treated as a serious criminal offenses. Society’s views need to change and habitual DUI offenders need to be held accountable for their actions.”

Police Chief Tom Weitzel | Riverside police

At the time of her arrest, Schleicher could not explain why she was in Illinois and insisted she was with her 11 kids — sending police on a wild goose chase for the children at nearby motels, according to Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel.

Officers later confirmed with Minnesota Child Protective Services that her children had been taken away following an October 2017 DUI arrest in Minnesota, Weitzel said.

Schleicher, who had been arrested 11 times for drunk driving in multiple states, was also wanted on a warrant in Nebraska for violation of a court order and on separate warrants in Idaho and Oregon for failing to appear for drunk driving charges, Weitzel said.