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08/16/88 the People of the State of v. Herbert Goodman

August 16, 1988





527 N.E.2d 1055, 173 Ill. App. 3d 559, 123 Ill. Dec. 417 1988.IL.1261

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Will County; the Hon. Edward Smith, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE WOMBACHER delivered the opinion of the court. HEIPLE and SCOTT, JJ., concur.


The trial court denied defendant Herbert Goodman's petition to rescind the summary suspension of his driver's license. The defendant appeals.

At the hearing on the defendant's petition, Will County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Jarrette testified that on May 5, 1987, he responded to a report that citizens had stopped a driver who had committed a hit and run offense. Upon arriving at the scene, the deputy learned that the apprehended driver was the defendant. Deputy Jarrette obtained the defendant's driver's license, then asked him to exit his car. The deputy noted that the defendant appeared dazed, smelled strongly of alcohol, and seemed to have difficulty understanding questions. Jarrette further noted that the defendant had a bump on his head, was holding his side, and needed assistance walking. The defendant did not respond when asked if he was hurt. Deputy Jarrette could not tell whether the defendant was dazed from alcohol or from the accident. Worried that the defendant might fall into oncoming traffic, the deputy handcuffed him and put him in the backseat of his squad car.

Illinois State Police Trooper Richard Porter testified that he arrived at the scene after Deputy Jarrette had placed the defendant in his squad car. He noticed that the defendant smelled of alcohol, appeared dazed and required assistance in getting into an ambulance Jarrette had summoned.

Trooper Porter further testified that he first arrested the defendant at the hospital, charging him with driving under the influence of alcohol, failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident, and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident. Porter admitted, however, that the defendant was not free to leave prior to his formal arrest. Upon formally arresting the defendant, Porter read him the implied consent motorist's warning. The defendant stated he understood the warning. The trooper then asked the defendant to submit to a blood test, but the defendant refused.

The defendant's son, Michael Goodman, testified that he joined his father at the hospital following the accident. In Michael's presence, the treating physician explained to the defendant several times that he should stay in the hospital overnight for observation, because he probably had a concussion and broken ribs. When the defendant did not appear to understand, the doctor asked Michael to explain it to him. Michael further noted that when the defendant was admitted to the hospital, he was unable to answer basic health history questions, so Michael provided the information.

The defendant testified that he recalled nothing following the accident, until he awoke in the hospital about 4 a.m. on May 6. In particular, he did not recall hearing the implied consent motorist's warning, nor did he recall refusing a blood test. According to the defendant, his injuries from the accident included a concussion and five broken ribs.

The trial court denied the defendant's petition to rescind his statutory summary suspension. The court further denied the defendant's motion to quash the arrest.

On appeal, the defendant has fractionalized his first issue into numerous subarguments. We note, however, that it raises only the basic questions of when the defendant was arrested and whether there was probable cause for the arrest.

Circumstances leading a reasonable man, innocent of any crime, to conclude that he is not free to leave provide evidence that he has been arrested. (People v. Wipfler (1977), 68 Ill. 2d 158, 368 N.E.2d 870.) Such circumstances include the continuing possession of the individual's driver's license by a police officer (People v. Hardy (1986), 142 Ill. App. 3d 108, 491 N.E.2d 493), the handcuffing of the individual, and the placing of the individual in a squad car (People v. Rodriquez (1987), 153 Ill. App. 3d 652, 505 N.E.2d 1314). The duration of the individual's ...

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