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04/06/94 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. LAURIE J.

April 6, 1994

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
LAURIE J. MANNOZZI, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County. No. 91-CF-1886-01. Honorable John J. Nelligan, Judge, Presiding.

As Amended April 27, 1994.

Inglis, Geiger, Colwell

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Inglis

PRESIDING JUSTICE INGLIS delivered the opinion of the court:

Defendant, Laurie Mannozzi, appeals her conviction in the circuit court of Du Page County of unlawful possession of less than 30 grams of a controlled substance (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 56 1/2, par. 1402 (now 720 ILCS 570/402 (West 1992))). For the following reasons, we affirm.

Defendant was charged with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, one count of driving under the influence of alcohol and any other drug or drugs (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-501(a)(4) (now 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(4) (West 1992))), and two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 95 1/2, pars. 11-501(a)(1), (a)(2) (now 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(1), (a)(2) (West 1992))). She moved to suppress evidence seized from her purse. Following a hearing, the trial court denied the motion. The court found that although the search was not a proper inventory search, it was a proper search incident to a lawful arrest. Defendant then pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and any other drug or drugs and not guilty to the possession count. The State nol-prossed the remaining counts.

Following a stipulated bench trial, the court found defendant guilty of possession of a controlled substance. For this offense the court sentenced her to two years' probation and imposed a $200 fine and a mandatory assessment. For the DUI offense the court sentenced defendant to 18 months' supervision (concurrent with the two years' probation) and fined her $300, plus court costs. Defendant appeals the possession conviction, contending that the court erred in denying her motion to suppress.

Testimony at the suppress ion hearing indicated that on August 21, 1991, around 11:15 p.m., defendant was driving a blue Chevrolet Beretta in the area of 63d Street and Clarendon Hills Road in Du Page County, Illinois. Willowbrook police officer Paul Oggerino testified that he observed the Beretta stopped in that intersection, apparently waiting for the traffic signal to turn green. The Beretta was in the middle of the intersection in front of the left turn lane of 63d Street, one or two car lengths beyond the solid white stop line.

Officer Oggerino followed the Beretta south on Clarendon Hills Road and observed it leave the paved roadway twice onto the gravel shoulder. He followed the Beretta into a condominium apartment complex. He activated his Mars lights as the Beretta pulled into a parking space. He approached the Beretta and asked to see the license of the driver, defendant Mannozzi.

Defendant testified that on the night in question she had been drinking and smelled of alcohol. She produced her license without difficulty from the wallet in her purse, which was in the bucket seat beside her. Oggerino informed defendant that he had stopped her for improper lane usage. He then asked her to perform a battery of field sobriety tests. Defendant returned her license to her wallet, and leaving the wallet in the purse on the car seat, she exited the car and followed the officer around behind the car.

Defendant testified that she walked and spoke without difficulty and performed the tests adequately. She stated that she remembered nothing unusual about her demeanor that evening. Oggerino testified that defendant seemed confused as to her whereabouts, that her eyes were glassy, and that she spoke with a "thick tongue" and slurred speech.

Oggerino administered four field tests. First, he asked defendant to recite the English alphabet. She in fact sang the alphabet, by her account only once and without flaw. According to Oggerino, she sang it twice, hesitating at "G" and stopping at "J" the first time, and skipping from "G" to "W, X, Y, Z" the second time. Next Oggerino administered the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. By his account, she failed this test.

He then asked defendant to walk a straight line, taking nine steps heel-to-toe. According to defendant, she performed perfectly. According to the Oggerino, she lost her balance while listening to his instructions, failed to walk heel-to-toe, lost her balance while walking, and took an incorrect number of steps. Finally, the officer had defendant stand on one foot and count for 30 seconds. Defendant testified that she made one attempt, counting only to 10. According to Oggerino, she failed three attempts, reaching only three or four seconds each time. At some point during the field sobriety tests, another officer arrived at the scene to assist.

After all the tests, Oggerino told defendant she was under arrest for DUI. He handcuffed her and placed her in the squad car. He and the other officer then secured the Beretta. They closed the windows, locked the doors, and took defendant's purse, without opening it, to the squad car.

Oggerino took defendant to the Willowbrook police station booking room, where a matron searched her at approximately 11:22 p.m. Defendant was secured to a bench, and the matron proceeded to inventory the contents of the purse. During this search, the matron found a razor blade, a rolled-up ...


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