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Winnetka Trustee Charged With DUI In Skokie

Jennifer Spinney, a Winnetka trustee, was charged with a DUI in Skokie on Sept. 6. According to the report, Spinney told police she is 'not a criminal' but a 'drunk driver.'

A Winnetka village trustee was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and several other traffic violations in Skokie on Sept. 6 around 1:41 a.m.

Jennifer Spinney, 60, of the 200 block of Sheridan Road in Winnetka, was stopped near the 9200 block of McCormick Boulevard after police said they witnessed her make a variety of traffic violations. According to the report, Spinney was driving over the white lane dividers for more than an entire block and was doing 25 in a 40 mph speed zone.

Officers would later ask Spinney to exit the vehicle for a field sobriety test to which she replied, “I just want to go home,” according to the report.

Earlier in the evening, Spinny attended the , a new business in Winnetka. Wine and hors d'oeuvres were served at the gathering, which was also attended by Winnetka officials like Village President Jessica Tucker.

During the test, Spinney failed several of the tasks and was unable to follow instructions, police said. She also urinated in her pants during the beginning of the assessment, the report stated. Spinney was “also very talkative, making many incoherent and irrelevant statements such as ‘I just spent an hour with the chief of Winnetka Police’” and, “You guys are making me crazy!” according to the report. 

Spinney refused to perform a Breathalyzer test, the report said. She also told police that they have “nothing better to do" and that she is "not a criminal," but "a drunk driver,” according to police.

While Spinney was able to post bond, she was unable to find a ride home, the report stated. Officers from the Skokie Police Department ultimately transported the trustee and watched her walk inside her home, the report said.

Patch left a voicemail with Spinny and will update this story if she decides to comment. 

Spinney’s court date is Oct. 19.

Editor's Note: Patch reporter Andy Ambrosius contributed to this article. 

Tracy Yale September 10, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Good for you Jen, the bodily functions mention was outrageous in this article.
Silver Bullet September 10, 2012 at 01:44 AM
You can NOT be SERIOUS.........racism???? This is a joke, right????
Taco Bell September 10, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Hmmmm, so you look at the recently added and suspiciously placed link adjacent to this string of comments, you'll see Jeni Spinney at the ribbon cutting - in the daytime - looking cheery and wearing the same clothes as in the mugshot. http://winnetka.patch.com/articles/photos-lake-shore-acupuncture-s-holds-grand-opening-in-winnetka#photo-11249791 That evening, all but one of the Winnetka Trustees were at a town hall meeting from 7:30 - ???? So some time between the end of that meeting and when the police pulled her over, Spinney was alone and doing who knows what.... But no one writing to this forum knows if she's on prescription meds or had some sort of episode or has a condition. All we know is that she was by herself, outside of Winnetka very late at night and altered in some way (since no breathalizer was enforced, we do not know for 100% sure if excessive alcohol played a factor). With those details, I feel genuinely sorry for her and hope that this is a wake-up if there's a problem. Of course, I'm also thankful she did no harm to herself or someone else.
Roxanne Conway September 10, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Unless she started taking this medication you are referring to, for the time ... then she should have known how it affected her (and her ability to drive) and should have known better. However she even said that she was "not a criminal" just a drunk driver. So she admits that alcohol must somehow be involved. Basically even if she was on prescription meds she should have known better than to drive if these prescription meds affected her this way. Again I am sharing this article: http://skokie.patch.com/articles/skokie-woman-charged-in-fatal-accident So do you want to coddle this trustee? Is it because she is not a 20 something drug addict? The fact of the matter is if you get behind the wheel of a car and you are under the influence of anything that can impair your judgment (whether it be prescription drugs, illegal drugs, or alcohol) you are putting the lives of others at risk. And if this trustee is embarrassed about it then she should have known better and taken a cab.
ebuddha September 10, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Roxanne - you are 100% correct. I am absolutely sick of everyone defending this woman. The people supporting this woman are part of the problem. There is such a sense of entitlement in this community that makes me sick. The attitude that (a) she (or "we") are not criminal(s) and (b) she has done so much good -- blah blah blah. She could have killed someone. She should be treated the same as a person who walks into a movie theater with a loaded gun. Maybe she didn't get a shot off because the police stopped her, but that is just how seriously dangerous what she did was. She should be made an example of so everyone else in this community who thinks its OK to be out having 'a few drinks' and drive home a few blocks a bit tipsy. It's no wonder that the teenagers in this community have such a problem with alcohol - their parents are the enablers and all of the comments on this article illustrate that. The only policy that is acceptable is zero tolerance and people who make the mistake should be made a public example of. Sad to say, but public humiliation is the only thing that seems to wake people up around here.
Gregg Baker September 10, 2012 at 05:47 PM
The American Society for the Prevention of Humiliating Arrested Trustees has asked that everyone stop commenting on this article. It appears the issue has been beaten to death and the trustee has had about all she can take. Of course, the trustee posting a video apology for being arrested and admitting being a drunk driver and then humiliating herself via obnoxious comments would be in order. However, she does not have to apologize for wetting herself because it has nothing to do with the issue.
somebody September 10, 2012 at 06:24 PM
If she smoked a joint.... this wouldn't of happened ;)
ebuddha September 10, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Actually, I was hoping someone would comment once a day to keep this thread alive for a whole year so that it would serve as a reminder to people before they head out for a few brews, or buy that 6 pack for their teenage son and his friends.
Gregg Baker September 11, 2012 at 02:10 AM
@ebudda: It does not appear that you will get your wish. The Defenders have not come back to circle the wagons. Perhaps this issue has run the course. BTW: Marie Osmond of the Osmonds also wet herself on stage in England because she was laughing so hard. Maybe the next discussion topic should be "Which is more humiliating: wetting your pants on stage in front of 50,000 or in front of policeman who is arresting you?"
J Scooter September 11, 2012 at 03:55 AM
What is really shameful is that DRUNK DRIVING KILLS! PERIOD! Get the word out that drinking and driving is a fatal combination, whatever it takes for people to take notice and stop the drinking and driving.
Taco Bell September 11, 2012 at 05:32 AM
Pleeez let's make this stop. NO ONE posting is saying that this arrest was not newsworthy. EVERYONE posting was relived no one was hurt and agrees drunk driving is bad. We all feel the same way on those very important points. The division seems to be over the petty peeing of the pants part (try to say that fast!). As crass as that is -- that's all this debate is about. It's not about special protection b/c she's from Winnetka (therefore assumed to be "rich") or b/c she's a public official or entitled to protective status or whatever. It's just this: EVERY OTHER NEWS SOURCE declined to include as many humiliating and UNimportant details - like the urination headline! - as the Patch. Others just gave us the news straight-up w/o the saucy garnish. But guess what......the Patch probably "wins" (when it comes to ad dollars) b/c few are submitting as many comments on the Trib or the Winnetka "Not-so" Current. The Patch wins attention, hits and a passionate following.....like us that are still commenting. We all got suckered in by the urine. And should maybe move on and elsewhere....
Roxanne Conway September 11, 2012 at 06:02 AM
I hope that she pissed herself when she was arrested for drunk driving embarrasses her and her family so much that she never does it again. I want a t-shirt made with her picture and under it "I am not a criminal for driving drunk but I did get quite pissed." I think every dirty and disgusting detail of someone being arrested for driving drunk should be put up on billboards on highways. It should have been plastered all over every local new station. If people gave a rats a$$ about keeping kids safe they wouldn't drive intoxicated (by drugs, booze, prescription drugs... ) http://skokie.patch.com/articles/skokie-woman-charged-in-fatal-accident but since then this trustee did the same thing = drove while under the influence. So since a child in our own community was killed by a driver under the influence and that didn't make a bit of difference... maybe seeing how every disgusting detail of your arrest is plastered all over the news might deter then next person.
Roxanne Conway September 11, 2012 at 06:11 AM
Gregg that's not a fair comparison. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12394756 http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/urinary-incontinence/DS00404/DSECTION=causes Giggle incontinence seems to be caused by loss of control of the muscles that happens in some people who are prone to this as a problem. Drunk incontinence seems to happen because the drunk drank too much booze and the booze acts as a diuretic. The latter seems to be more preventable... don't imbibe a diuretic and don't be a drunken fool. The former does not seem to be as preventable however many girls who have this problem do seem to outgrow it.
J Scooter September 11, 2012 at 06:19 AM
I don't find this a laughing matter, she has not been convicted but did admit to drinking and driving. Yes her connections and money may buy her out of her legal problems. Next time she may not be so lucky and either hurt herself or an innocent party.
ebuddha September 11, 2012 at 08:31 AM
Well then perhaps at a minimum we should keep this going until everyone who was shallow and short sighted enough to focus on the urination details realizes that the point is a "who cares, she brought it upon herself, she could have killed someone, we need to stop taking DUI so lightly"
ebuddha September 11, 2012 at 08:34 AM
Roxanne, I would personally pay for 6,000 of those shirts to be handed out at this season at new trier football games. Remember the shirts that said "see dick drink, see dick drive, see dick die. Don't be a dick". I'm thinking you may have come up with the new saying for a generation.
J Scooter September 11, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Amen ebuddha. I once had 6 van load of NTHS girls drinking at one of the parents house. They came to the vans parked outside my house, started dancing on the roofs and throwing beer cans out the window. I called the police and they we just told to pack up and leave as they had hide the cans by the time the police arrived. I fault everyone involved, there no responsiblity taken by many in the community. We must teach our children and community respect and responsiblity.
ebuddha September 11, 2012 at 04:15 PM
you should have taken pictures first, provided them to the cops as evidence so charges could have been and then posted them online - maybe i'll start a website called NORTHSHORE_STOCKADE.com and people can submit photos of drunk drivers, underage substance abuse, etc. and we can keep a list of families who enable this b.s.
Krissa September 11, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Yeah, there are two stories going on here, one being this "Trustee" (who I hope gets the book thrown at her!) and the other being the sleazy way it was reported Eliminating drunk driving and the credibility of our media outlets both deserve discussion!!
ebuddha September 11, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Krissa - the Patch did not do anything that was not "credible" - they simply reported the facts. the only point of discussion regarding journalism should be whether details provided are true or not. my guess is that the drunkard who pissed herself and had nobody to pick her up from the klink had such details included in the police report because she was such a sweetheart to the officers (also noted in the report). i think the residents of Winnetka (i live in an adjacent village) should start immediate proceedings to have her removed as a trustee - frankly, she should step down immediately on her own - if not for endangering the lives of her neighbors, then for how she treated the officers.
Kel Sara September 12, 2012 at 01:35 AM
This woman may have chosen to drive, but that does not mean that her bodily functions should also have been written about. And for that matter all of the people who previously commented taunting and laughing at her should be ashamed of themselves. Yes, this is a very serious issue, and no one should be above the law, including trustees, but this author gave extremely inappropriate details and I'm appaulled by the fact that that was written and that many of the people commenting on this post think that it's funny or deserved. Get over yourselves! You probably all live on the North Shore too so stop acting like you've never been entitled!
Krissa September 12, 2012 at 03:26 AM
I still say it was sleazy reporting. What she did or didn't do in her pants is only newsworthy if she was charged with urinating in public. BUT yes, I agree that she should resign! What kind of judgment does this show for an official? I say this is not only poor judgment but also a breach of the public trust!! Lucky this is only an report covering an arrest and not one covering serious injury or WORSE!!
Gregg Baker September 12, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Reporting the urination aspect was not sleazy. And there is a precedent for it. Juan Cruz was drunk and arrested and he while in cuffs he scooted his chair over to the arresting officer and farted on him. The officer charged him with assault, but that charge was dropped as soon as the air cleared. Personally, I enjoyed the article, though from my perspective, they did not cross any lines. I also enjoyed all the discourse. Isn't that part of building community? We can all come together to agree to disagree. The only sad thing here is that we accomplished just as much as either our state government or the federal government in the course of 3 months.
Roxanne Conway September 12, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Krissa I am guessing you missed every single one of my posts on this thread. Since I don't fee like re-writing one specifically for you: I hope that she pissed herself when she was arrested for drunk driving embarrasses her and her family so much that she never does it again. I want a t-shirt made with her picture and under it "I am not a criminal for driving drunk but I did get quite pissed." I think every dirty and disgusting detail of someone being arrested for driving drunk should be put up on billboards on highways. It should have been plastered all over every local new station. If people gave a rats a$$ about keeping kids safe they wouldn't drive intoxicated (by drugs, booze, prescription drugs... ) http://skokie.patch.com/articles/skokie-woman-charged-in-fatal-accident but since then this trustee did the same thing = drove while under the influence. So since a child in our own community was killed by a driver under the influence and that didn't make a bit of difference... maybe seeing how every disgusting detail of your arrest is plastered all over the news might deter then next person.
Roxanne Conway September 12, 2012 at 07:55 PM
I love it!
ebuddha September 13, 2012 at 01:27 PM
the weekend is coming, lots of socializing the next couple of nights - Spinney, make sure you're wearing your depends_for_drinkers this time.....and CALL A CAB!
baba September 14, 2012 at 05:09 PM
keep on reporting the news regadless who is behined the wheel
baba September 14, 2012 at 05:14 PM
I would humiliate her once a day if I could so she would not get in her car drunk and kill someone
Roberta Goldberg September 14, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Winnetka residents should have all the details--the fact that she was so drunk that she peed in her pants but was still driving is important. She obviously exercised bad judgment--she needs to resign. She could have killed someone. How do we tell out children not to drink and drive if a village trustee is doing it? We can't have someone like that serving the village.
Gregg Baker September 15, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Just think of what could be accomplished if everyone took the passion and fervor that they poured into these posts, and instead, poured that same energy into creating stronger DUI enforcement and more effective prevention of DUI. It does seem that everyone agrees that drinking and driving are not a good idea. Alcohol and gasoline DO mix....they just don't taste good together.

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