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People v. Conway

OPINION FILED AUGUST 20, 1985.

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

v.

FRANCES P. CONWAY, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE. — THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

TIMOTHY W. RAINEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE. — THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

BRIAN HOFFMAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County; the Hon. Philip Schickendanz, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE MILLS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied September 19, 1985.

We deal here with the Illinois Secretary of State's anti-drunk-driving enforcement program.

Does a nonselective, all traffic roadblock check run athwart the fourth amendment?

We say no.

We reverse.

The three defendants here — Conway, Rainey, and Hoffman — were charged on separate occasions with driving under the influence after being stopped at roadblocks set up by the Secretary of State police. All three filed motions to suppress evidence for the reason that the roadblocks violated their rights under the fourth amendment.

The cases were consolidated and — after a hearing — the trial court granted the motions to suppress. The State certified that the suppression order substantially impaired its ability to prosecute the defendants and timely filed a notice of appeal.

In 1984, the Secretary of State police set up roadblocks on Route 29 near the intersection of I-55. Conway was arrested on June 2 at 2:50 a.m.; Rainey was arrested on July 20 at 11:25 p.m.; and Hoffman was arrested on July 21 at 3:10 a.m. The roadblocks were part of a Federally funded program of the Secretary of State entitled Anti-Drunk Driving Enforcement Project. The stated objective of the program was to "reduce the incidents of Driving Under Influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs on Illinois highways."

The roadblocks were characterized by the Secretary of State police as "Driver's License Surveys." Captain Robert Miller of the Secretary of State police testified with respect to the typical procedures followed in setting up and conducting the roadblocks. The sites selected were usually four-lane highways and the roadblock would be set up in two lanes heading the same direction. Warning signs and traffic cones would be used to slow traffic and funnel it into a single lane. Several police cars would be present with their lights flashing as well as an officer directing traffic.

Five to seven officers would be assisting in the roadblock. Every vehicle which drove through the "survey" was stopped. The motorist was advised of the nature of the stop — a driver's license survey — and was requested to produce his driver's license. The face of the license was examined for its validity and a check of the registration tag on the rear license plate was made. If no violations were apparent, the motorist was allowed to proceed. When a motorist was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, he was asked to exit the vehicle and perform field sobriety tests.

Captain Robert Hollett, also of the Secretary of State police, testified that if traffic became backed up, and the supervisor on duty perceived the backup created a potential traffic hazard, he could, in his discretion, allow motorists to pass through the survey without being requested to display their driver's license. Captain Miller testified that on the nights defendants were arrested no vehicles passed through the roadblock without a license check being made. (Defendant Conway testified that cars ahead of him were waved through a license check; however, he later stated that the cars may have been temporarily stopped.)

Captain Miller testified that 227 vehicles were stopped at the roadblock in June. Two citations were issued for driving under the influence, two were issued for driver's license violations, and two for registration violations. Three hundred fifty-five vehicles were stopped on the roadblock in July. Four citations were issued for driving under the influence, three were issued for illegal transportation of alcohol, one was issued for a driver's license violation, and two passengers were cited for illegal possession of open alcohol.

The only issue presented in this appeal is whether the roadblock violated the defendants' rights ...


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