An Illinois motorist was slapped with a six-year prison sentence on Monday after getting his license revoked for the 26th time.
Steven Knutson was given his latest citation after his Chevy pickup hit a parked car in Round Lake Beach, a suburb of Chicago, on March 11.
“If it’s not a record, it’s right up there,” Dave Druker, spokesman for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, told The Associated Press. “This is a decision we like to see from the courts because it sends a message that getting behind the wheel of a car without a license is very serious.”
Knutson’s license had been revoked for life following a 2010 conviction for aggravated drunk driving.
Twenty-four of the 26 revocation charges took place between 1982 and 2004, according to the office of Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim. His license was revoked 16 times in Cook County, four times in Winnebago County and three times each in Kane and Lake counties.
The 62-year-old Knutson pleaded guilty to the latest charge. He would have faced up to seven years behind bars if he went to trial.
“It’s a shame that it had to come to this point for Mr. Knutson to understand that driving is a privilege, not a right,” Nerheim said. “I commend the Round Lake Beach Police, their village attorneys, and attorneys from the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office for doing what is necessary to ensure Mr. Knutson no longer gets behind the wheel of an automobile.”
He was also ordered to pay $360 in restitution to the owner of the vehicle that was struck in March.