APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT
512 N.E.2d 798, 159 Ill. App. 3d 689, 111 Ill. Dec. 409 1987.IL.1199
Appeal from the Circuit Court of McLean County; the Hon. John P. Freese, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE McCULLOUGH delivered the opinion of the court. GREEN and LUND, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MCCULLOUGH
Defendant appeals the denial of her petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension of her driving privileges. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 2-118.1.) She argues the warning she received from the arresting officer inadequately informed her of the consequences of taking or refusing to take a breath-alcohol test, because it did not correctly define the term "first offender."
"YOU ARE HEREBY WARNED AND NOTIFIED THAT:
3. IF YOU REFUSE OR FAIL TO COMPLETE ALL TESTS OR IF YOU SUBMIT TO A TEST OR TESTS DISCLOSING AN ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION OF 0.10 OR MORE, AND HAVE HAD A PREVIOUS CONVICTION OR COURT ASSIGNED SUPERVISION FOR DRIVING WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL, OTHER DRUG, OR COMBINATION THEREOF WITHIN THE LAST 5 YEARS, IN THIS OR ANY OTHER STATE, OR RECEIVED A DRIVERS LICENSE SUSPENSION FOR REFUSING TO SUBMIT TO CHEMICAL TESTING FOLLOWING AN ARREST FOR DRIVING WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL, OTHER DRUG OR COMBINATION THEREOF IN ILLINOIS SINCE JANUARY 1, 1982, OR A PREVIOUS STATUTORY SUMMARY SUSPENSION EXCEPT IN CASES WHERE YOU SUBMITTED TO CHEMICAL TESTING RESULTING IN AN ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION OF 0.10 OR MORE AND WAS SUBSEQUENTLY FOUND NOT GUILTY, YOUR DRIVING PRIVILEGES WILL BE SUSPENDED FOR A MINIMUM OF 12 MONTHS."
Defendant submitted to a breath-alcohol test, which revealed an alcohol concentration of over .10. The arresting officer served defendant with notice of the statutory summary suspension. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-501.1(f).) The Secretary of State, subsequently, imposed a 12-month suspension. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 6-208.1.
Defendant argues that section 11-500 of the Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-500), which defines "first offender" for purposes of section 6-208.1 of the Code, sets forth two distinct tiers of persons who are first offenders for purposes of summary suspension of driving privileges. Those tiers are persons having a previous conviction or court supervision for driving under the influence of alcohol and persons having previously received a suspension of their driving privileges for a similar offense. Defendant maintains that one may have a previous driving under the influence conviction yet still be a first offender under the language of section 11-500 of the Code. Since the warning, which parallels the statute, did not state this fact, defendant contends the warning was inadequate.
Section 11 -- 500 of the Code states:
"For the purposes of interpreting Sections 6-206.1 and 6-208.1 of this Code, 'first offender' shall mean any person who has not had a previous conviction or court assigned supervision for violating Section 11-501, or a similar provision of a local ordinance, or a conviction in any other state for a violation of driving while under the influence or a similar offense where the cause of action is the same or substantially similar to this Code, within the last 5 years; or any person who has not had a driver's license suspension for Section 11-501.1 after January 1, 1982, or a previous statutory summary suspension as provided in this Code, except in cases where the driver submitted to chemical testing resulting in an alcohol concentration of 0.10 or more and was subsequently found not guilty of violating Section 11-501, or a similar provision of a local ordinance." (Emphasis added.) Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-500.
The primary rule in statutory construction is to ascertain and give effect to the intention of the legislature. (People v. O'Donnell (1987), 116 Ill. 2d 517, 508 N.E.2d 1066.) The language of the statute is the starting point of the analysis. (Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. v. Washburn (1986), 112 Ill. 2d 486, 493 N.E.2d 1071.) The court should also consider the reason and necessity for the act. (Eckman v. Board of Trustees for the Police Pension Fund (1986), 143 Ill. App. 3d 757, 493 N.E.2d 671.) The overall purpose of the legislature in enacting the summary suspension scheme was to protect those who travel on our highways and assist in the determination of whether motor vehicle drivers suspected of intoxication are in fact under the influence of alcohol. Koss v. Slater ...