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People v. Hampton

OPINION FILED MARCH 27, 1981.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

ROZELL HAMPTON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JOHN H. McCOLLUM, Judge, presiding.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE SULLIVAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied June 19, 1981.

After a bench trial, defendant was convicted and sentenced for driving a motor vehicle (a) in excess of the applicable speed limit, (b) while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, and (c) without a driver's license. On appeal, he contends there was a reasonable doubt of guilt as to each of the charges; that his warrantless arrest lacked probable cause; and that other trial errors required a new trial.

A motion to suppress statements to the police was heard with the trial, during which only a police officer and defendant testified.

Officer Walker testified that she and her partner followed and curbed defendant's speeding car; that after defendant got out of the car, she observed he was "swaying and in need of support"; that when she approached him, she detected a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, saw that his eyes were bloodshot, and noticed that his clothes were "loose." When she found that he did not have a driver's license, he was placed in her squad car and, on the way to the police station, she informed him of his Miranda rights — after which he told her he had been drinking from 9 p.m. until he was apprehended. After she identified a report signed by her concerning defendant's refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test, it was received in evidence over defendant's objection. When asked her opinion as to defendant's sobriety, Walker said, "He was not sober absolutely but he was on the moderate basis."

On cross-examination, Walker stated that defendant was traveling "around 40, probably 45 or so" in a 30-mile speed limit zone.

Defendant testified that he was stopped by the police, and when he exited his car he told police he did not have a driver's license but had a "ticket." He was handcuffed and taken to the police station, where he was informed of his Miranda rights. Prior thereto, he told the officers he was not drunk — having had only two or three beers. He also testified that at the police station he was able to walk without assistance; that one of the officers threw money on the floor for him to pick up, which he did without any difficulty; and that Officer Walker read a form to him concerning a refusal to take a breathalyzer test.

OPINION

Defendant's principal contention is that his guilt was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt as to any of the charges. Turning first to the speeding conviction, we note that defendant was charged with driving in excess of the applicable speed limit in violation of section 601(b) of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-601(b)), which provides that:

"No person may drive a vehicle upon any highway of this State at a speed which is greater than the applicable statutory maximum speed limit established by paragraphs (c), * * *."

Paragraph (c) provides:

"Unless some other speed restriction is established under this Chapter, the maximum speed limit in an urban district for all vehicles is:

1. 30 miles per hour; * * *." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-601(c).

Defendant argues that Walker's testimony did not support the court's finding that he drove his vehicle in excess of the applicable speed limit. We note, however, that while Walker on her direct examination did not testify as to the speed of defendant's car or to the speed limit in that area, on cross-examination she answered that defendant was traveling "at a high rate of speed * * *," "over the speed limit of 30 * * *," "probably 45 or so." This was the only evidence in the record as to a speed limit. Defendant offered no evidence as to any other speed limit and, as a matter of fact, made no statement as to the speed of his vehicle. In the light thereof, it is our view that the ...


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