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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Friday, January 11, 2019

Aurora Man Sentenced to Seven Years in Fatal DUI

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin announced today that an Aurora man charged in a fatal crash that claimed the life of thirty-six-year-old David Dokken also of Aurora, a passenger in his vehicle, has been sentenced to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Michael Vera, 36 (d.o.b. 5/12/1982) of 215 E. New York Street, appeared in Court this morning where he entered a plea of guilty to one count of Aggravated DUI causing Death, a Class 2 Felony, in front of Judge Jeffrey MacKay who handed down the sentence. 

On November 23, 2016, at approximately 2:35 a.m., Vera and Dokken were traveling on Naper Boulevard west of Ogden Avenue when Vera lost control of the vehicle, drove off the road and struck a tree, seriously injuring Dokken. Dokken was transported to a local hospital where he passed away due to injuries he sustained in the crash. Vera was also transported to a local hospital where it was determined that his B.A.C was .183. Tests also revealed the presence of cocaine and marijuana in Vera’s system. An investigation into the crash led by the Naperville Police Department led to the charges against Vera. On May 10, 2017, Vera was picked up on a $1 million with 10% to apply arrest warrant from the Kane County Jail where he was being held on unrelated charges and transported to DuPage County. He has remained in custody in the DuPage County jail since that time.

 “This very sad case is yet another example of the potentially fatal dangers of drinking and driving,” commented Berlin. “Just days before Thanksgiving two years ago, Michael Vera’s life changed forever and David Dokken’s life ended when Vera made the decision to drink and then get behind the wheel of his car. That decision not only cost David his life, but it also cost the defendant his freedom. Drunk driving accidents are not accidents, they are one hundred percent avoidable. The message is simple, if you have been drinking, don’t drive. Call a friend, a taxi or a ride sharing service for a ride home. You will be glad you did when you arrive home safely, instead of in jail or worse, in the morgue. I would like to thank the Naperville Police Department for their outstanding efforts in the investigation of this matter. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Bridget Carlson and Michael Fisher for their efforts in holding Mr. Vera responsible for the death of David Dokken.” 

Vera will be required to serve 85% of his sentence before being eligible for parole.