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People v. Doherty





Appeal from the Circuit Court of Jackson County; the Hon. David W. Watt, Judge, presiding.


The defendant, John Doherty, was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (Ill. Rev. Stat., 1984 Supp., ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-501(a)(2)) by a jury in the circuit court of Jackson County. Defendant was fined $500. On appeal, defendant contends that Lawrence Eaton, a police officer with the Southern Illinois University (SIU) police department, was without authority to arrest him and that the traffic citation did not state an offense. We affirm.

• 1 Officer Eaton observed defendant drive over a curb and accelerate rapidly after making a left turn. Officer Eaton had been checking the Washington Square Complex, in which the SIU police station is located on South Washington Street, when he observed defendant drive over the curb. Eaton then followed defendant on East Grand Street past the recreation center building and on to defendant's trailer. Having reviewed the record, this court can take judicial notice of the fact that Washington and Grand streets lie within the city of Carbondale and are in close proximity to the campus of SIU. (See People v. Luigs (1981), 96 Ill. App.3d 700, 421 N.E.2d 961.) Further, in the case at bar, defendant's alleged activity was viewed in close proximity to SIU property, i.e., the SIU police station.

Section 8(10) of the "Southern Illinois University Revenue-producing Buildings and Structures Act" (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 144, par. 658(10)) provides:

"* * * Members of the Police Department [of Southern Illinois University] shall be conservators of the peace and as such have all powers possessed by policemen in cities, and sheriffs, including the power to make arrests on view or warrants of violations of state statutes, university rules and regulations and city or county ordinances, except that they may exercise such powers only within counties wherein the university and any of its branches or properties are located when such is required for the protection of university properties and interests, and its students and personnel, and otherwise, within such counties, when requested by appropriate State or local law enforcement officials. However, such officers shall have no power to serve and execute civil processes."

• 2, 3 The primary rule of statutory construction is to ascertain the intention of the legislature and then to give effect to it. (In re Marriage of Logston (1984), 103 Ill.2d 266, 469 N.E.2d 167; People v. Sturlic (1985), 130 Ill. App.3d 120, 474 N.E.2d 1.) This court has previously ruled that members of the SIU police department are vested by statute with the duty to maintain peace on campus. Within their defined jurisdiction and subject to certain limitations, SIU police officers have the same powers of arrest as policemen in cities and county sheriffs. (People v. Picha (1976), 44 Ill. App.3d 759, 358 N.E.2d 937.) We believe that the statute in question should be broadly construed to fulfill the legislative purpose of protecting students, staff and property of SIU by providing effective law enforcement personnel in addition to city, county and State police. Here, defendant's alleged conduct was observed by Officer Eaton in close proximity to SIU property, and Officer Eaton arrested defendant in the vicinity of the SIU campus. The foregoing events occurred within the confines of the city of Carbondale. We conclude that the trial court did not err in denying the motion to quash the arrest as being beyond the authority of Officer Eaton.

The traffic citation states in relevant part:

"Violation: Other Driving While Under the Influence in violation of I.V.C. X IRS L.O. Chap. Sec. Par. 95 1/2-11-501(A)2."

The citation also alleged defendant's name, address and automobile description as well as the location and time of the offense.

The Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 provides:

"Sec. 116-2. Motion in Arrest of Judgment.

(a) A written motion in arrest of judgment shall be filed by the defendant within 30 days following the entry of a verdict or finding of guilty. Reasonable notice of the motion shall be served upon the State.

(b) The court shall grant the motion when:

(1) The indictment, information or complaint does not ...

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