Implied Consent

Implied Consent

Illinois law requires you to take a breath, blood, or urine test if you are arrested for a DUI. Illinois’s “implied consent” law says that if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe that you have been driving under the influence, then you consent to taking a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining your blood alcohol content (BAC).  You do not have the right to speak to an attorney before you are tested, and the test must be given as soon as possible from the time when you were last driving. Although the arresting officer gets to choose which test you take, you have the option to get additional tests afterward taken by a medical professional of your choice.

You could be arrested for a DUI even if you were not driving. If you have actual, physical control of the vehicle while under the influence, then that can be enough for an officer to arrest you. Whether you have actual, physical control of a vehicle depends on where you are sitting, if you have the key, and if you have the ability to start and move the vehicle. In one case, an Illinois court decided that a person had actual, physical control of his car even though he had not driven it to the place where a police officer found him asleep. This person was lying across the front seat of his car with his head on the passenger side. He had the motor running to keep the heater on. Although this person did not intend to move the car, the combination of his position in it, the running motor, and evidence of his intoxication was enough for the court to uphold his DUI conviction. (This case is City of Naperville v. Watson, 677 NE 2d 955(1997).)

Additionally, Illinois law says that you consent to taking a preliminary breath test, even if you have not been arrested. This works like a field sobriety test. The officer will use the results to establish probable cause that you were driving under the influence. You do not have to take this preliminary test. Refusing it, however, probably won’t work in your favor if the officer has some other reason to think you had been drinking. Based on that other reason, the officer could still arrest you and then you will be required to take a test under the law described above.

You can read Illinois’s implied consent law in Illinois Statute 625-5/11-501.1.

Illinois DUI Case List

Expert Witnesses
 
People v. Jones, 2015 IL App (1st) 121016 (04/22/2015) (“foundational element” used
to strike a state firearms expert witness)
 
People v. Safford, 392 Ill. App. 3d 212, 221 (2009) (court said that the admission of an
expert’s testimony requires an adequate reliability foundation)
 
People v. McKown, 236 Ill.2d 278 (2010) (HGN foundations case but see King below)
 
People v. Floyd, 2014 IL App (2d) 120507 (March 2014) (retrograde extrapolation based
on a single breath test is more speculation than science)
 
Soto v. Gaytan, 313 Ill. App. 3d 137 (2000) (another case that talks about a foundational
element)
 
People v. Negron, 2012 IL App (1st) 101194 (2012) (another case that allows a
fingerprint expert to testify but discusses Safford’s foundations test)
 
Discovery Sanctions
 
People v. Tsiamas, 2015 IL App (2d) 140859 (December 2015) (State can’t ignore
discovery notice)
 
People v. Moravec, 2015 IL App (1st) 133869 (November 2015) (DUI sanctions
UPHELD)
 
People v. Kladis, 2011 IL 110920 (DUI evidence suppressed after video is destroyed)
 
People v. Aronson, 408 Ill.App.3d 946 (2011) (failure to make a copy is a sanctionable)
 
People v. Strobel, 2014 IL App (1st) 130300 (June 2014) (no discovery violation occurred here so it was error to impose a discovery sanction)
 
People v. Olsen, 2015 IL App (2d) 140267 (June 2015) (error for the trial judge to
suppress evidence due to a purported discovery violation)
 
People v. Moises, 2015 IL App (3d) 140577 (August 2015) (trial court’s decision to grant a discovery sanction is reversed because there was no discovery violation when officer did not record the FST)
 
Probable Cause
 
Navarette v. California, 134 S.Ct. 1683 (2014) (anonymous 911 call justifies traffic stop)
 
People v. Anderson, 2013 IL App (2d) 121346 (October 2014)
 
People v. Butorac, 2013 IL App (2d) 110953 (December 2014) (officers may board a
boat to enforce registration requirements)
 
People v. Cummings, 2014 IL 115769 (March 2014)
 
People v. Gonzalez­Carrera, 2014 IL App (2d) 130968 (September 2014)
 
People v. Timmsen, 2014 IL App (3d) 120481 (July 2014) (it’s ok to avoid a traffic roadblock so long as you don’t break any other traffic laws)
 
People v. Santovi, 2014 IL App 2014 IL App (3d) 130075 (May 2014) (no pc to arrest defendant before cop yells at the women and orders her to open the bathroom door or he’ll kick it down)
 
People v. Taiwo, 2015 IL App (3d) 140105 (April 2015) (proper to stop a car for a lane infraction when the cop had a hunch the car was connected to an accident he was
investigating)
 
Rescissions & Suspended DLs
 
People v. Elliott, 2014 IL 115308 (January 2014) (recession only acts prospectively and
has no retroactive effect, thus rescinding a suspension will not undue convictions based
on that suspension)
 
People v. Smith, 2013 IL App (2d) 121164 (November 2013) (DWLS can’t be revoked)
 
People v. Clayton, 2014 IL App (4th) 130340 (March 2014) (even if
notice was tampered with by the cop defendant had actual notice of his pending suspension)
 
People v. Gaede, 2014 IL App (4th) 130346 (November 2014) (defendant withdrew his consent and implied consent statute found constitutional)
 
People v. Morales, 2015 IL App (1st) 131207 (January 2015) (suspension reinstated defendant received proper notice from the police on the day of his arrest and had more than ample opportunity to challenge the suspension in court)
 
People v. McLeer, 2015 IL App (2d) 140526 (February 2015) (officer amends the report after it was issued, suspension stands because SOS had enough information that the
notice was given)
 
People v. Gutierrez, 2015 IL App (3d) 140194 (July 2015) (A PBT test is not a
statement, thus, the officer’s DL suspension is proper)
 
Blood & BAC
 
People v. Wuckert, 2015 IL App (2d) 150058 (December 2015) (625 ILCS 5/111­501.4
trumps hospital policy that the results should not be used for legal purposes)
 
People v. Armer, 2014 IL App (5th) 130342 (October 2014) (warrantless blood draw
suppressed when not done with consent nor under exigent circumstances)
 
People v. Harris, 2015 IL App (4th) 140696 (May 2015) (consensual blood draws ok)
 
People v. Weidner, 2014 IL App (5th) 130022 (March 2014) (no error to wipe
defendant’s arm with an alcohol wipe before hospital took his blood)
 
People v. Hutchinson, 2013 IL App (1st) 1023332 (November 2013) (no error in
admitting report of lab results as a business record)
 
People v. Harris, 2014 IL App (2d) 120990 (May 2014) (state had problems showing the
breathalyzer was certified)
 
People v. Eagletail, 2014 IL App (1st) 130252 (December 2014) (logbook and printout
admissible even though printout was made years after the breath test)
 
People v. Chiaravalle, 2014 IL App (4th) 140445 (December 2014) (officer made a
continuous observation even though he may have had his back to the defendant from
time to time)
 
People v. Thomas, 2014 IL App (2d) 130660 (May 2014) (speedy trial violated when
police waited to issue BAC citation they already knew what the hospital blood BAC was)
 
People v. Torruella, 2015 IL App (2d) 141001 (August 2015) (no error here when the
trial judge accepted calibration records of the breathalyzer as a business record and no
error when the court disregarded the defense expert’s testimony)
 
People v. Smith, 2015 IL App (1st) 122306 (August 2015) (state failed to establish that
the machine was properly certified within the 62 day window required by the
regulations)
 
Evidence
 
People v. Blakey, 2015 IL App (3d) 130719 (November 2015) (prior inconsistent
statement in this DUI huffing case was admitted in error)
 
People v. Phillips, 2015 IL App (1st) 131147 (October 2015) (defendant blew under .08
and attacked that the officer’s opinion he was intoxicated)
 
People v. Way, 2015 IL App (5th) 130096 (September 2015) (proximate cause defense,
error to deny the defendant a chance to defend her aggravated DUI by arguing that the
cannabis in her system did not contribute to the accident)
 
People v. King, 2014 IL App (2d) 130461 (November 2014) (officer can testify to how
defendant acted during instructions of HGN even though the results themselves not
admitted)
 
People v. O’Donnell, 2015 IL App (4th) 130358 (March 2015) (officer committed error
when she testified it was her belief that Defendant was lying to her at the scene of the
one car accident and that he was showing deception
 
People v. Kathan, 2014 IL App (2d) 121335 (August 2014) (a drug driving case with an
admission, bad driving and impairment leads to guilt)
 
People v. Morris, 2014 IL App (1st) 130512 (July 2014) (actual physical control
established when defendant passed out in front seat of parked car, the ignition off, the
driver’s side door open, and keys in his right hand)
 
Sentence
 
People v. Lake, 2015 IL App (3d) 140031 (April 2015) (9 year sentence for aggravated
DUI Death conviction upheld; it was not excessive; defendant was racing a horse)
 
People v. Rennie, 2014 IL App (3d) 130014 (May 2014) (16 year olds 6 year sentence
for aggravated DUI upheld she had weed in her system when motorcyclist died in an
accident)
 
People v. Stutzman, 2015 IL App (4th) 130889 (August 2015) (defendant inappropriately plead guilty to reckless homicide and aggravated DUI in violation of one
act one crime principles)
 
People v. Mischke, 2014 IL App (2d) 130318 (December 2014) (enhancement to a Class 2 felony occurs whenever a defendant has two prior convictions for any form of DUI, not just aggravated DUIs)
 
People v. Guillen, 2014 IL App (2d) 131216 (November 2014) (misdemeanor plea dismissed after defendant plead guilty and double jeopardy did not attach during the sentencing hearing)
 
Miscellaneous
 
People v. McGuire, 2015 IL App (2d) 131266 (December 2015) (section 11­501(a) of the Vehicle Code does not govern the operation of a watercraft)
 
People v. Hasselbring, 2014 IL App (4th) 131128 (November 2014) (defendant was a biker riding with friends when a friend hit his tire and died there was an error in an answer to a jury instruction)
 
Village of Bull Valley v. Zeinz, 2014 IL App (2d) 140053 (September 2014) (local
conviction for DUI reversed because the village failed to prove that it happened in their
jurisdiction)

Cop Jailed For Falsely Arresting People For DUI

If you’ve had no alcohol to drink, and you get pulled over by a police officer, you have nothing to fear, right? They can only arrest you if your blood alcohol level is above the state-mandated threshold. And they can only test you if they have your consent or if they have probable cause to do so. If only that were the way things were. Sure, there are laws that are supposed to restrain the government, but these days, those laws are irrelevant. Law enforcement has less to do with enforcing law and more to do with raising revenue and meeting monthly arrest and ticket quotas.

So, even if you had nothing to drink, the officer can still claim that you were “failing to maintain lanes” and use that as probable cause to “suspect” you of DUI, falsely claim on the police report he smelled alcohol on your breath and arrest you on DUI charges.

Even if you’re completely innocent, anything you say will be used against you. They will find a way to twist your words to make it sound like you’re a criminal. This is why so many claim that it’s best just not to say a word to the police. The problem is if you don’t say anything to them, they might arrest you for “obstructing a law enforcement officer.” It seems the best thing to do is to just accept that we live in a tyranny and comply whenever possible so as to stay out of jail. If you choose to “exercise your rights,” expect to wind up in jail. That’s just the culture in which we live.

However, every now and then police officers bark up the wrong tree. And in those cases, as in the recent case of Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Scott Kunstmann, they even end up in jail themselves for doing what was described above—falsifying arrest records and lying during deposition. A local Florida news station reported on one such incident involving Kunstmann and a 71-year-old driver named Culbertson:

“Culbertson was allegedly weaving, so Kunstmann asked a series of questions to determine if a field sobriety test was warranted, and asked another trooper for assistance. Culbertson admitted to having one beer three hours prior. In the police report, Kunstmann indicated he smelled alcohol on Culbertson’s breath, but in the dash cam video, the two officers are heard on tape agreeing that they couldn’t smell alcohol. Kunstmann arrested Culbertson anyway, but didn’t realize at the time he was a former criminology professor, who would later contact an attorney.”

Thanks to his background and connections, Culbertson was able to secure an attorney and get the arresting officer arrested and thrown in jail himself. That wasn’t the first time Kunstmann had lied on his police report to justify an arrest. In another case, he had performed a field sobriety test on a woman who he then arrested for DUI. In his police report, he claimed that she was “belligerent and cussing” during the test. But when you watch the dash cam video, you find that not only was the woman perfectly compliant, she was completely sober, but he arrested her anyway.

So how many others have been falsely arrested for DUI who didn’t have the experience and connections that Culbertson had? No judge is going to question the police report. In a courtroom, it’s considered Gospel. Which is why officers feel at liberty to lie and embellish their reports. If you try to make your case that the police officer lied, the judge and the prosecutor will just claim that you’re mad because you got arrested. Even if you have an attorney, your best hope is often just to stay out of jail or pay a lower fine. Don’t bother trying to fight the cop; he’s immune. Kunstmann’s case is a rare glimpse of justice

Antioch Township woman was sentenced to 12 years in prison for setting her then-boyfriend on fire

An Antioch Township woman was sentenced to 12 years in prison for setting her then-boyfriend on fire in May 2015.

Deborah Roberts, 34, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated battery in front of Judge George Strickland, Assistant State’s Attorney Danielle Pascucci said Tuesday.

Roberts will have to serve 85 percent of the sentence before being eligible for parole, Strickland said. She received 275 days credit for time she served in Lake County jail.

Had Roberts been found guilty at trial, she could have been sentenced to up to 45 years in prison on that charge, Strickland said.

Prosecutors dropped charges of attempted murder, a second count of aggravated battery, and three counts of aggravated domestic battery in exchange for the negotiated plea agreement, Strickland said.

Roberts and boyfriend Chad Malinowski, 43, were in an argument on the front porch of the house they shared on the 25000 block of Golfview Avenue at 7:27 p.m. on May 17, when she kicked him in the right hip, authorities said.

The kick sent Malinowski tumbling down a five-foot flight of stairs in a fall that shattered his heel, authorities said.

Roberts told police she kicked Malinowski after he spit on her, authorities said. Both had been drinking before the fight began, authorities said.

At the bottom of the stairs, Roberts grabbed a red plastic gasoline can and repeatedly bludgeoned Malinowski with it, authorities said.

Roberts told police she pulled out a lighter and flicked the top of it a threatening manner, authorities said. However, gasoline that had spilled on Malinowski during the attack ignited.

Authorities said a witness heard Roberts say, “I hope you burn,” as she flicked the lighter.

Roberts told police that after the fire started, she grabbed a hose and tried to put out the flames while Malinowski stumbled to the middle of the yard. However, authorities said Roberts poured more gasoline on Malinowski when he tried to put out the flames.

Malinowski was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, then to a burn unit at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee. He survived the attack.

New Cases in Illinois January 2016

New Cases in Illinois January 2016
 
People v. Lerma
Illinois Supreme court acknowledges that eyewitness identification experts have their place in Illinois criminal trials.
 
People v. Cummings
Asking for a driver’s license in a lawfully initiated stop is always reasonable because identifying the driver is within the scope of every traffic stop.
 
People v. Mpulamasaka
In this sex case, the prosecutor was found to have committed prosecutorial misconduct when he argues from the witness stand, attacks the character of the defendant, criticizes the cross examination of the victim by counsel, and persistently tells the jury that the victim was mentally handicapped even though the evidence in the case did not reveal any mental infirmities.
 
People v. Chambers
“John Doe” warrants do not preclude a Frank’s Hearing. A defendant may challenge the veracity of an officer who drags a criminal informant before a warrant judge.
 
People v. Thompson
An officer may provide lay person opinion testimony that the accused is the person depicted in surveillance video images.
 
People v. Williams
The double drug enhancement in the drug act is inconsistent with the code of corrections. Therefore, the double drug enhancement cannot be applied when the code of corrections is applicable.
 
People v. Tolbert
The part of the AUUW section that prevents liability when the accused is “on the land or in the legal dwelling of another person as an invitee” is an affirmative defense that must be proven by the state only when the issue is appropriately brought up.
 
People v. Clendenny
There is a difference between being placed on a county wide organized form of work release and being placed on normal probation with permission to be released to go to work. One has a 12 month restriction the other does not.
 
People v. Pike
In DNA cases, a random match probabilities of 50% is inherently prejudicial and should never be admitted. Go to case.
People v. Wright
Driving a defendant to the location of his girlfriend’s arrest was an interrogation tactic, thus defendant’s statement was suppressed.
 
People v. Gempel
The premature arrest of the murder defendant was followed up by persistently ignoring his request for an attorney, so “no” the taint of the illegal arrest was not attenuated sufficiently to admit his confession. Defendant’s statement was suppressed.

Illinois DUI Case List

Illinois DUI Case List Expert Witnesses People v. Jones, 2015 IL App (1st) 121016 (04/22/2015) (“foundational element” used to strike a state firearms expert witness) People v. Safford, 392 Ill. App. 3d 212, 221 (2009) (court said that the admission of an expert’s testimony requires an adequate reliability foundation) People v. McKown, 236 Ill.2d 278 (2010) (HGN foundations case but see King below) People v. Floyd, 2014 IL App (2d) 120507 (March 2014) (retrograde extrapolation based on a single breath test is more speculation than science) Soto v. Gaytan, 313 Ill. App. 3d 137 (2000) (another case that talks about a foundational element) People v. Negron, 2012 IL App (1st) 101194 (2012) (another case that allows a fingerprint expert to testify but discusses Safford’s foundations test) Discovery Sanctions People v. Tsiamas, 2015 IL App (2d) 140859 (December 2015) (State can’t ignore discovery notice) People v. Moravec, 2015 IL App (1st) 133869 (November 2015) (DUI sanctions UPHELD) People v. Kladis, 2011 IL 110920 (DUI evidence suppressed after video is destroyed) People v. Aronson, 408 Ill.App.3d 946 (2011) (failure to make a copy is a sanctionable) People v. Strobel, 2014 IL App (1st) 130300 (June 2014) (no discovery violation occurred here so it was error to impose a discovery sanction) People v. Olsen, 2015 IL App (2d) 140267 (June 2015) (error for the trial judge to suppress evidence due to a purported discovery violation) People v. Moises, 2015 IL App (3d) 140577 (August 2015) (trial court’s decision to grant a discovery sanction is reversed because there was no discovery violation when officer did not record the FST) Probable Cause Navarette v. California, 134 S.Ct. 1683 (2014) (anonymous 911 call justifies traffic stop) People v. Anderson, 2013 IL App (2d) 121346 (October 2014) People v. Butorac, 2013 IL App (2d) 110953 (December 2014) (officers may board a boat to enforce registration requirements) People v. Cummings, 2014 IL 115769 (March 2014) People v. Gonzalez­Carrera, 2014 IL App (2d) 130968 (September 2014) People v. Timmsen, 2014 IL App (3d) 120481 (July 2014) (it’s ok to avoid a traffic roadblock so long as you don’t break any other traffic laws) People v. Santovi, 2014 IL App 2014 IL App (3d) 130075 (May 2014) (no pc to arrest defendant before cop yells at the women and orders her to open the bathroom door or he’ll kick it down) People v. Taiwo, 2015 IL App (3d) 140105 (April 2015) (proper to stop a car for a lane infraction when the cop had a hunch the car was connected to an accident he was investigating) Rescissions & Suspended DLs People v. Elliott, 2014 IL 115308 (January 2014) (recession only acts prospectively and has no retroactive effect, thus rescinding a suspension will not undue convictions based on that suspension) People v. Smith, 2013 IL App (2d) 121164 (November 2013) (DWLS can’t be revoked) People v. Clayton, 2014 IL App (4th) 130340 (March 2014) (even if notice was tampered with by the cop defendant had actual notice of his pending suspension) People v. Gaede, 2014 IL App (4th) 130346 (November 2014) (defendant withdrew his consent and implied consent statute found constitutional) People v. Morales, 2015 IL App (1st) 131207 (January 2015) (suspension reinstated defendant received proper notice from the police on the day of his arrest and had more than ample opportunity to challenge the suspension in court) People v. McLeer, 2015 IL App (2d) 140526 (February 2015) (officer amends the report after it was issued, suspension stands because SOS had enough information that the notice was given) People v. Gutierrez, 2015 IL App (3d) 140194 (July 2015) (A PBT test is not a statement, thus, the officer’s DL suspension is proper) Blood & BAC People v. Wuckert, 2015 IL App (2d) 150058 (December 2015) (625 ILCS 5/111­501.4 trumps hospital policy that the results should not be used for legal purposes) People v. Armer, 2014 IL App (5th) 130342 (October 2014) (warrantless blood draw suppressed when not done with consent nor under exigent circumstances) People v. Harris, 2015 IL App (4th) 140696 (May 2015) (consensual blood draws ok) People v. Weidner, 2014 IL App (5th) 130022 (March 2014) (no error to wipe defendant’s arm with an alcohol wipe before hospital took his blood) People v. Hutchinson, 2013 IL App (1st) 1023332 (November 2013) (no error in admitting report of lab results as a business record) People v. Harris, 2014 IL App (2d) 120990 (May 2014) (state had problems showing the breathalyzer was certified) People v. Eagletail, 2014 IL App (1st) 130252 (December 2014) (logbook and printout admissible even though printout was made years after the breath test) People v. Chiaravalle, 2014 IL App (4th) 140445 (December 2014) (officer made a continuous observation even though he may have had his back to the defendant from time to time) People v. Thomas, 2014 IL App (2d) 130660 (May 2014) (speedy trial violated when police waited to issue BAC citation they already knew what the hospital blood BAC was) People v. Torruella, 2015 IL App (2d) 141001 (August 2015) (no error here when the trial judge accepted calibration records of the breathalyzer as a business record and no error when the court disregarded the defense expert’s testimony) People v. Smith, 2015 IL App (1st) 122306 (August 2015) (state failed to establish that the machine was properly certified within the 62 day window required by the regulations) Evidence People v. Blakey, 2015 IL App (3d) 130719 (November 2015) (prior inconsistent statement in this DUI huffing case was admitted in error) People v. Phillips, 2015 IL App (1st) 131147 (October 2015) (defendant blew under .08 and attacked that the officer’s opinion he was intoxicated) People v. Way, 2015 IL App (5th) 130096 (September 2015) (proximate cause defense, error to deny the defendant a chance to defend her aggravated DUI by arguing that the cannabis in her system did not contribute to the accident) People v. King, 2014 IL App (2d) 130461 (November 2014) (officer can testify to how defendant acted during instructions of HGN even though the results themselves not admitted) People v. O’Donnell, 2015 IL App (4th) 130358 (March 2015) (officer committed error when she testified it was her belief that Defendant was lying to her at the scene of the one car accident and that he was showing deception People v. Kathan, 2014 IL App (2d) 121335 (August 2014) (a drug driving case with an admission, bad driving and impairment leads to guilt) People v. Morris, 2014 IL App (1st) 130512 (July 2014) (actual physical control established when defendant passed out in front seat of parked car, the ignition off, the driver’s side door open, and keys in his right hand) Sentence People v. Lake, 2015 IL App (3d) 140031 (April 2015) (9 year sentence for aggravated DUI Death conviction upheld; it was not excessive; defendant was racing a horse) People v. Rennie, 2014 IL App (3d) 130014 (May 2014) (16 year olds 6 year sentence for aggravated DUI upheld she had weed in her system when motorcyclist died in an accident) People v. Stutzman, 2015 IL App (4th) 130889 (August 2015) (defendant inappropriately plead guilty to reckless homicide and aggravated DUI in violation of one act one crime principles) People v. Mischke, 2014 IL App (2d) 130318 (December 2014) (enhancement to a Class 2 felony occurs whenever a defendant has two prior convictions for any form of DUI, not just aggravated DUIs)

’Reasonable Suspicion’ enough for traffic stop

Supreme court: ’reasonable suspicion’ enough for traffic stop

“Reasonable suspicion,” not the more exacting “probable cause,” is threshold requirement for an investigatory traffic stop, the Illinois Supreme Court held in a recent DUI ruling.

In overturning a trial court’s order to suppress evidence in a Will County DUI case, the Illinois Supreme Court determined that a traffic stop was proper when the arresting officer witnessed the driver making slight deviations from his lane of traffic.

The trial court had granted the defendant’s motion to suppress based on arguments that the evidence of his insobriety and suspended license was the “fruit of an unlawful search,” and a divided appellate court affirmed that ruling. According to the high court’s opinion, the defendant argued that the officer lacked “probable cause” and therefore had no proper grounds to make the traffic stop.

In People v. Hackett, 2012 IL 111781, a unanimous supreme court overturned the appellate and trial court decisions and remanded the case for a trial based on evidence stemming from what the court held to be a justified “investigatory stop” of defendant’s vehicle. Reasonable suspicion, not probable cause, is the proper standard for an investigatory traffic stop, the high court held.

Assistant Appellate Defender Kerry Bryson said there was obviously some doubt in the minds of the trial judge and appellate panel about what justified pulling over a driver and investigating him and his vehicle.

“To the extent there might have been any question about that, the [supreme] court has made it clear that there shouldn’t be,” said Bryson, who did not handle this case. “To the extent that this is a concern, what clients ought to know moving forward is if they’re going to challenge the stop, the proper standard is…was there reasonable suspicion.”

‘[M]omentary crossings’ can justify stop

In affirming the motion to suppress, the appellate court relied on People v. Smith, 172 Ill.2d 289 (1986), in which a driver was convicted after driving in and out of multiple lanes of traffic for a “reasonably appreciable distance.” The appellate court distinguished Smith from the case at hand, stating that Hackett made only “momentary crossings” of a highway lane line and therefore the officer lacked reasonable grounds to make a stop.

The supreme court rejected the notion that the distance or length of time of the lane deviations made any difference in the enforcement of a statute that prohibits any improper lane usage.

“Although this court in Smith…mentioned the measure of defendant’s deviation into an adjacent lane and the distance he travelled therein, nothing in this court’s analysis indicated either was significant to the outcome,” Justice Karmeier wrote for the court in Hackett.

In this opinion, the supreme court’s analysis focused on “the loose terminology the parties and lower courts in this case have used with reference to the standards applicable to the fourth amendment issue presented for our consideration. The question we agreed to address…is ‘whether the appellate court erroneously found there was no reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop where the uncontested testimony showed defendant swerved twice across a lane divider of traffic.'”

The court explained that vehicle stops are subject to the Fourth Amendment’s “reasonableness requirement,” and the decision to stop a vehicle usually requires probable cause for an officer to believe that a traffic violation has occurred.

“However, as this court has observed, though traffic stops are frequently supported by ‘probable cause’…as differentiated from the ‘less exacting’ standard of ‘reasonable, articulable suspicion’ that justifies an ‘investigative stop,’ the latter will suffice for purposes of the fourth amendment irrespective of whether the stop is supported by probable cause,” the court wrote.

An opening for the defense?

Bryson said the Hackett case got interesting after the third district appellate court affirmed the motion to suppress “because it gave some support to challenging a traffic stop when there was just momentary drifting over the line.” But now it is clear that multiple deviations from a lane of traffic, even if slight in distance and time, are sufficient grounds for an investigative stop, she said.

“I think there’s a little more to it if you read [the Hackett decision] in depth,” Bryson added. “There has to be no reasonable explanation for the deviations” in order for an investigatory stop to be justified.

“If there is a reason for the deviation from the lane, then there might not have been reasonable, articulable suspicion to justify the stop,” Bryson said. “In some cases, there’s been no exploration of that aspect of the basis for the stop. I think that leaves this open as for what a defense attorney can be looking for as a way to challenge the stop.”

The supreme court bolstered its decision by pointing out that a police officer “can effect a lawful Terry stop without first ‘considering whether the circumstances he or she observed would satisfy each element of a particular offense.'”

Where, as in Hackett, a police officer observes multiple lane deviations for no apparent reason, an investigatory stop is proper, the court reasoned.

“For probable cause and conviction, there must be something more: affirmative testimony that defendant deviated from his proper lane of travel and that no road conditions necessitated the movement,” said the court. “An investigatory stop in this situation allows the officer to inquire further into the reason for the lane deviation, either by inquiry of the driver or verification of the condition of the roadway where the deviation occurred.”

Forty Ways to Beat a DUI in Illinois

  1. ILLEGAL STOP OF PERSON OR VEHICLE – a driver cannot be stopped unless the officer has a reasonable and articulate basis to believe that a traffic law or other law has been violated. Similarly, a person cannot be seized unless a violation has occurred.
  2. WEAVING INSIDE THE LANES IS NOT ILLEGAL – weaving without crossing any lines is not a violation of the law, and a vehicle cannot be stopped for that reason.
  3. ANONYMOUS REPORT OF DRUNK DRIVING — a car cannot be stopped simply because an anonymous citizen reported that the driver was drunk.
  4. STANDARD FIELD SOBRIETY TESTING IS INACCURATE – in healthy individuals, the one-leg stand test is only 65% accurate, and the walk-and-turn test is only 68% accurate in determining if a person is under the influence. Those persons with injuries, medical conditions, 50 pounds or greater overweight, and 65 years or older cannot be validly judged by these tests.
  5. NON-STANDARDIZED FIELD TESTS ARE INVALID –neither the Federal Government (NHTSA) nor medical science considers touching your finger to your nose, or saying the alphabet, or counting backwards, as valid sobriety tests.
  6. BREATH TESTING IS INACCURATE – virtually all experts concede that one breath test alone is unreliable. The Illinois Supreme Court has remarked that breathalyzers are not foolproof. Finally, breath testing in Illinois is subject to various inaccuracies, including a +/- 12.5% variance, non-specificity for ethanol, etc.
  7. BOOKING ROOM VIDEOS – Many police stations videotape suspects at the police station, where their speech is clear and their balance is perfect, in spite of police testimony to the contrary.
  8. IN-SQUAD VIDEOS – more and more often, the suspect’s driving and performance on field tests is being recorded; often contradicting police testimony.
  9. FAILURE TO PROVIDE SPEEDY TRIAL – If a client is not provided with a trial within 120 to 160 days of demand, through delays of the court or prosecutor, the charges must be dismissed.
  10. POLICE BLOOD TEST INACCURATE – Many times, police blood testing fails to follow prescribed rules of testing, analysis, or preservation recommendations.
  11. HOSPITAL BLOOD TEST INACCURATE – Hospital blood tests overestimate a person’s true level by as much as 25% in healthy, uninjured individuals, and are not statistically reliable in severely injured persons.
  12. BREATH TEST OPERATOR UNLICENSED – An Illinois Breath Test Operator must possess a valid, unexpired operator’s license, or the breath test result is inadmissible.
  13. BREATHALYZER MACHINE MALFUNCTIONS – if there is a malfunction or repair of the breath test instrument within 62 days before or after a suspect’s breath test, the results of the suspect’s test are presumed invalid.
  14. BREATH TEST OPERATOR LICENSE EXPIRED — An Illinois Breath Test Operator must possess an unexpired operator’s license, or the breath test result is inadmissible. Licenses expire automatically every 3 years.
  15. BREATH TEST DEVICE NOT APPROVED – A breath testing instrument must be listed on the Federal List of Approved Breath Evidential Instruments and the ISP approved list of Devices, or the results are inadmissible.
  16. FAILURE TO PROVE DRIVING – a defendant’s admission to driving, without more, does not prove a charge of driving under the influence.
  17. INDEPENDENT WITNESSES – often times, independent witnesses to accidents, bartenders, hospital personnel and others can provide crucial evidence of the defendant’s sobriety.
  18. FAILURE TO MIRANDIZE – prosecutors may not use as evidence the statements of a defendant in custody for a DUI when the police have failed to properly issue Miranda Warnings.
  19. FIELD SOBRIETY TEST IMPROPERLY ADMINISTERED – according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, improperly administered field tests are not valid evidence of intoxication.
  20. OFFICER’S PRIOR DISCIPLINARY RECORD – a police officer’s previous disciplinary record can be used to attack the officer’s credibility.
  21. PORTABLE BREATH TEST INADMISSIBLE – Illinois law prohibits the use of portable breath testing results as evidence at trial in a DUI case.
  22. PORTABLE BREATH TEST IMPROPERLY ADMINISTERED – The manufacturers of portable breath testing devices require a minimum of two tests to consider the results evidential in nature.
  23. FAILURE TO CONDUCT OBSERVATION PERIOD –Illinois requires that a driver be observed continuously for a minimum twenty minutes prior to a breath test in order for the results to be considered admissible and valid.
  24. EXPERT WITNESSES – Expert witnesses are available to review the validity of breath tests, blood tests and field sobriety tests.
  25. MEDICAL AND HEALTH PROBLEMS — Medical problems with legs, arms, neck, back and eyes can affect the results of field sobriety tests. Further, other medical conditions can also affect the validity of breath test results.
  26. BAD WEATHER – Weather reports establishing high winds, low visibility, and other conditions are available to explain poor driving or poor balance.
  27. LACK OF PROBABLE CAUSE TO ARREST — A police officer must have specific and articulable facts to support any arrest for DUI, or the suspension will be reversed and the evidence suppressed at trial.
  28. ILLEGAL SEARCH – the police are prohibited from searching a person or the automobile for a minor traffic offense, and may not search a car without a driver’s consent or probable cause. Any evidence illegally obtained is not admissible in court.
  29. PRIOR INCONSISTENT STATEMENTS BY POLICE OFFICERS – any statement made by a police officer, verbally, in police reports, or at previous court proceedings may be used to attack that officer’s credibility.
  30. POST-DRIVING ABSORPTION OF ALCOHOL – the prosecutor must prove the blood or breath alcohol at the time of driving. Recent consumption of alcohol just prior to driving will cause the test results to be higher than what the true level was when the person was operating the automobile.
  31. INTERFERING SUBSTANCES – many items contain forms of alcohol which may cause false results, such as asthma spray, cough drops, paints, fingernail polish. These items can cause the breath results to be invalid.
  32. BREATH MACHINE NOT PROPERLY OPERATED – the manufacturers of breath testing devices have specified protocols which must be followed for a breath result to be valid. Failure to follow these requirements will result in improper readings.
  33. FAILURES TO PRODUCE DISPATCH TAPES – most stops of vehicles are recorded on dispatch tapes, as well as recording police communications regarding an arrest of an individual. Failure to preserve such tapes upon request can cause all evidence which could have been recorded to be suppressed.
  34. MISLEADING STATEMENTS BY POLICE OFFICERS –Any misleading statement by the police regarding the consequences of taking (or refusing) a blood, breath, or urine test will cause the suspension to be reversed and removed from the driver’s record.
  35. STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS – A misdemeanor charge of DUI must be filed within 18 months of the date of offense, or the charges will be dismissed outright.
  36. PRIVATE PROPERTY – a person who has not driven the car on a public highway cannot be suspended for drunk driving.
  37. FAILURE TO DISCLOSE EXPERTS – the failure of the prosecutor to disclose the state’s expert(s) will cause those witnesses to be barred from testifying against the defendant.
  38. LACTATE RINGERS – when hospital staff use lactate ringers during the treatment of a patient, the hospital blood serum results will report falsely elevated, and therefore invalid, readings.
  39. FAILURE TO RECORD CERTIFICATION TESTS – the failure to include the value of the simulator solution used to test breath machines will cause the breath test results to be inadmissible in court against the driver.
  40. BOOKING ROOM VIDEOS – Many police stations videotape the testing process. These tapes may establish that the testing procedure resulted in inaccurate or inadmissible tests due to burping, radio transmitters, and other improprieties.