APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT
526 N.E.2d 894, 172 Ill. App. 3d 498, 122 Ill. Dec. 501 1988.IL.1102
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County; the Hon. Richard J. Cadagin, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE LUND delivered the opinion of the court. GREEN, P.J., and McCULLOUGH, J., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LUND
The Secretary of State (Secretary) appeals the order of the circuit court of Sangamon County. Upon administrative review, the circuit court reversed, in part, the decision of the Secretary denying plaintiff reinstatement of driving privileges, or, in the alternative, a restricted driving permit. The circuit court ordered that plaintiff be granted a restricted driving permit.
The sole issue on appeal is whether the decision of the Secretary was against the manifest weight of the evidence. For that reason, we must review with some detail the facts in the record.
Plaintiff was arrested on August 26, 1983, for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in violation of section 11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Code) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-501). Defendant was convicted of the offense on February 17, 1984. Pursuant to section 6-205 of the Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 95 1/2, par. 6-205), plaintiff's license was revoked. The revocation became effective March 15, 1984.
Plaintiff has applied for driving privileges four times since his license was revoked. On May 16, 1985, plaintiff applied for a restricted driving permit. He requested an administrative hearing to consider his application. The Secretary denied his application on August 19, 1985, and plaintiff sought administrative review. The circuit court reversed the decision of the Secretary and ordered the Secretary to issue plaintiff a restricted driving permit. On appeal, we found the Secretary's decision was not against the manifest weight of the evidence and ordered the Secretary's decision reinstated. Youle v. Edgar (1986), 144 Ill. App. 3d 1188 (order under Supreme Court Rule 23).
On February 22, 1986, plaintiff applied for reinstatement of full driving privileges. The Secretary again denied plaintiff's request. Plaintiff again sought review by the circuit court. The circuit court affirmed the decision to deny full driving privileges, but granted plaintiff a restricted driving permit. Because plaintiff had not requested a restricted driving permit from the Secretary, we held the circuit court lacked the authority to grant such relief and reversed the circuit court on this point. (Youle v. Edgar (1987), 151 Ill. App. 3d 1167 (order under Supreme Court Rule 23).) Following the filing of the mandate from this court, plaintiff sought a restricted driving permit. The Secretary denied the application. Plaintiff did not appeal this decision.
On June 25, 1987, plaintiff requested a fourth hearing to consider a new application for reinstatement of full driving privileges, or, in the alternative, issuance of a restricted driving permit. The hearing was held on July 27, 1987.
Plaintiff was the only witness to testify at the hearing. Plaintiff is a self-employed attorney, and he has his office in his home. He lives in the small rural community of San Jose, a community which has no public transportation. Plaintiff travels within an 80-mile radius of his home in order to make court appearances as part of his law practice. Because he is not allowed to drive, his clients drive him to court. On occasion, he must hire a driver. He testified the absence of a license has hurt him economically. Plaintiff also testified he must make trips to Iowa City, Iowa, some 200 miles from his home, for therapy to his knees. He was injured in World War II, and he has been receiving treatment at the Iowa City Veterans Administration Hospital. In the first half of 1987, plaintiff stated he made two or three trips for treatment. He was able to find someone who would drive him on these occasions.
Plaintiff submitted to an alcohol evaluation on July 20, 1987. Plaintiff discussed his history of alcohol use with the counselor. Plaintiff, age 64, started drinking at age 18. Plaintiff stated that for most of his life, he drank alcohol socially, but not excessively. Plaintiff's drinking increased in the time period following his first divorce in 1966, and through his second marriage, which lasted until 1971. The evaluation indicated that plaintiff had admitted himself to an alcohol treatment program at Lutheran General Hospital in Chicago in February 1967. He remained there for three weeks. Plaintiff stated the purpose of his admittance was for marital problems with his then wife. He denied being an alcoholic although he admitted that he was drinking too much during that time period. Although plaintiff has had only one conviction for driving while intoxicated, plaintiff stated he had been arrested for the same offense on three or four other occasions during the previous 20-to 25-year period. None of these arrests resulted in convictions. As a condition of his conviction for driving while intoxicated, plaintiff was ordered to complete a remedial driver's education course and to attend an alcohol program administered by the Veterans Administration. Plaintiff completed the driver's education course, but did not participate in the alcohol program.
Following his conviction in 1983, plaintiff stated his alcohol consumption dropped to where he would consume alcohol once every two or three weeks. He did this for some 9 to 12 months, and then chose to abstain altogether. Plaintiff stated his motivation to abstain came from a severe migraine headache he received after consuming several beers one night. The counselor rated plaintiff as a "Level III -- Problematic User" of alcohol primarily because of his inpatient treatment at Lutheran General Hospital and his increased drinking during the same period of ...