A New Hope woman with a long list of drunken driving convictions and outstanding warrants in three states is in deep trouble with the law again after police found her passed out behind the wheel at a gas station in suburban Chicago.
Tasha Lynn Schleicher was charged Wednesday with two counts of felony aggravated drunken driving, two counts of misdemeanor drunken driving, no vehicle insurance, driving while license revoked for drunken driving, and transportation of open alcohol while driving.
Schleicher, 41, gained notoriety when she was arrested last October in Minnesota. At that time, the mother had five of her children in her vehicle when she drove drunk and veered into a median barrier on Hwy. 52 near Rochester, then was found at the scene breast-feeding her baby.
In that case, she was charged in Olmsted County with child endangerment, felony drunken driving and failing to have a driver’s license.
In Wednesday’s case, she was sitting in her 2005 Nissan Maxima with keys in the ignition and the engine running at a gas station in Riverside, Ill., a western suburb of Chicago.
It looked as if she had attempted to fill her car’s gas tank with kerosene, not gasoline, said Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel. Officers noticed that she had bloodshot, glassy eyes and a strong odor of alcohol on her breath. Police also observed an open bottle of Crown Royal liquor in the front passenger seat.
Witnesses later said she was drinking from the bottle before officers arrived, Weitzel said.
She told the officers she had 11 children and couldn’t find them. Minnesota Child Protective Services had taken custody of her children after the October DWI arrest.
Schleicher also told officers at the scene that she was pregnant, bleeding and having a miscarriage. She was given a pregnancy test at a hospital. The results found that her statement about having a miscarriage was fictitious, Weitzel said.
Schleicher’s previous scrapes with the law include drunken driving arrests in Kentucky, Wisconsin, Indiana, California, Oregon and Minnesota.
Schleicher was also wanted on three out-of-state warrants in Nebraska, Idaho and Oregon, court records show.
“This is one of the worst impaired driving arrests our agency has ever made,” Weitzel said in a statement.
“Schleicher’s history of six prior DUIs in six states, with three outstanding warrants from various states, speaks to her transient nature,” his statement continued. “When she was arrested in a state, she would just not show up in court unless she was held in custody. That’s one of the reasons for so many outstanding warrants.”
Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768