ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – A Geneva man has been sentenced to 8 years in prison for an October 2017 fatal drunken driving crash that killed 19-year-old Nicholas Hanson of Geneva, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office announced in a news release.
Raphael P. Peruzza, 21, agreed to a sentence of 8 years in prison.
Peruzza filed a guilty plea on Dec. 6, 2018 to aggravated DUI causing death, a Class 2 felony.
At the time, Peruzza left the sentencing decision to Kane County Associate Judge David Kliment since all parties in the case agreed on a sentence of 8 years’ imprisonment. Kliment accepted the plea agreement Feb. 1.
Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney Lori Anderson stated in court that at about 2:20 a.m. Oct. 6, 2017, Peruzza was driving a black Jeep southbound on Burr Road in unincorporated St. Charles Township with Hanson riding in the front passenger seat.
The jeep was traveling at a high rate of speed when it left the roadway, went airborne and crashed into a group of trees. Peruzza got out of the car as it began to burn, leaving Hanson behind, the release stated.
The investigation revealed that Peruzza’s blood-alcohol concentration was more than 0.08 percent. Peruzza admitted to police that he had been drinking alcohol just before driving.
According to Illinois law, Peruzza must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence. Peruzza will receive no credit for days served in jail, as he had been free on a signature bond since he was charged, the release stated.
“Nicholas Hanson’s death, like every death caused by a drunken driver, was completely preventable,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon stated in the release.
“This defendant made irresponsible and life-changing decisions to engage in criminal behavior when he chose to drink alcohol to a point of impairment and then drive, leading to a horrific and fatal crash,” McMahon stated in the release.