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06/06/95 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. JEFFERY KRAUSE

June 6, 1995

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
JEFFERY KRAUSE, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 9th Judicial Circuit, McDonough County, Illinois. No. 93-CF-47. Honorable William D. Henderson, Judge, Presiding.

Present - Honorable Tom M. Lytton, Justice, Honorable Michael P. Mccuskey, Justice, Honorable William E. Holdridge, Justice. Holdridge and McCUSKEY, JJ., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lytton

The Honorable Justice LYTTON delivered the opinion of the court:

Defendant Jeffrey Krause was charged with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol (625 ILCS 5/11-501(d)(3) (West 1992)). He filed a motion in limine seeking to bar the introduction of a statement he made to the paramedic attending to him at the scene of the accident giving rise to the charged offense. The trial court granted the motion on the ground of physician-patient privilege pursuant to section 8-802 of the Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/8-802 (West 1992)). The State appeals. We reverse.

Defendant was driving his motorcycle on the evening of May 14, 1993, in Macomb, Illinois, when he collided with a pedestrian. Patrolman Derek Carle arrived first at the scene and summoned an ambulance. Carle asked Ron Tex, one of the paramedics who responded to the call, to assist the defendant.

Tex asked if defendant had consumed any alcohol. Defendant responded that he had drunk six beers. He then refused any medical treatment. Tex informed Carle that defendant had consumed six beers.

Defendant subsequently submitted to field sobriety tests, which led Carle to believe that defendant was under the influence. Carle placed defendant under arrest, and defendant agreed to be transported by ambulance for medical treatment. On the way to the hospital, defendant was immobilized, and blood was drawn for routine testing. Once there, however, defendant refused further services, and he was taken to the police station for booking.

The trial court ruled that: (1) defendant's statement to the paramedic that he had drunk six beers was a communication within the scope of the physician-patient privilege (735 ILCS 5/8-802 (West 1992)); and (2) the statement did not fall within any of the statutory exceptions for disclosure of information without the patient's consent. The court granted defendant's motion and barred the use of defendant's statement at trial.

I.

Before addressing the State's arguments, we must consider defendant's argument that the interlocutory appeal should be dismissed as unappealable. The State's right of appeal is limited. By supreme court rule, the State may appeal from interlocutory orders only if they result in the suppression of evidence (145 Ill. 2d R. 604(a)(1)). Defendant suggests that a motion in limine excluding evidence on the ground of privilege does not have the same substantive effect as a motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of police misconduct. Therefore allowing the State to appeal in this case is tantamount to allowing the State to appeal any evidentiary ruling.

Defendant's position was rejected by our supreme court in People v. Keith (1992), 148 Ill. 2d 32, 591 N.E.2d 449, 169 Ill. Dec. 276. In that case, court specifically ruled that the effect of the court's order, not the label of the pre-trial motion, controls the ability to appeal. If the trial court grants a defendant's motion in limine and suppresses evidence, and the state's attorney certifies that the suppression substantially impairs the State's ability to prosecute the case, then the State's right to appeal is established. The court may rely on the good faith evaluation of the prosecutor and need not second-guess the impact of the suppression order to determine appellate jurisdiction. Keith, 148 Ill. 2d 32, 39-40, 591 N.E.2d 449, , 169 Ill. Dec. 276 (citing People v. Young (1980), 82 Ill. 2d 234, 412 N.E.2d 501, 45 Ill. Dec. 150).

II.

The State argues that if the physician-patient relationship created by section 8-802 was established between defendant and the paramedic, the trial court erred in its determination ...


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