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09/07/95 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. JAMES M. PLATTS

September 7, 1995

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JAMES M. PLATTS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County. No. 92-CF-1348. Honorable Ronald B. Mehling, Judge, Presiding.

Presiding Justice McLAREN delivered the opinion of the court: Geiger and Thomas, JJ., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mclaren

PRESIDING JUSTICE McLAREN delivered the opinion of the court:

Defendant, James M. Platts, appeals his conviction of driving while his license was revoked (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 95 1/2, par. 6-303 (now 625 ILCS 5/6-303 (West 1992))). The issue on appeal is whether a Canadian citizen whose Illinois driver's license has been revoked may be convicted of driving while his Illinois driver's license is revoked when simultaneously the defendant possesses a valid Canadian driver's license. We affirm the conviction.

On April 9, 1992, defendant, a Canadian citizen possessing a Canadian driver's license, was driving a motor vehicle registered in Canada. Defendant was stopped in Burr Ridge, Illinois, and was charged with driving while his Illinois license was revoked and driving under the influence of alcohol (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 95 1/2, par. 6-303 (now 625 ILCS 5/6-303 (West 1992))). Defendant once had an Illinois driver's license which was revoked and not reinstated. On May 24, 1993, the trial court denied defendant's motion to dismiss the charge of driving while his license was revoked. On September 21, 1993, after a bench trial with stipulated evidence, the trial court found defendant guilty of driving while his license was revoked. On the same date the defendant pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol. On October 1, 1993, the trial court sentenced defendant to 24 months' probation on the conviction of driving while under the influence of alcohol. On December 6, 1993, the trial court denied defendant's motion for a new trial or to reconsider the motion to dismiss the charge of driving while his license was revoked. The trial court then sentenced defendant to 22 months' probation on the conviction of driving while his license was revoked to run concurrently with the sentence for driving while under the influence of alcohol. Defendant filed a timely notice of appeal.

On appeal, defendant argues that he was entitled to drive in Illinois with his Canadian license because (1) Illinois failed to follow the notice provision of a treaty governing foreign drivers (Convention on Road Traffic, March 26, 1952, art. 25, 3 U.S.T. 3008, 3017) when defendant's Illinois driver's license was revoked; (2) defendant's Illinois revocation was terminated when he was issued a Canadian driver's license; and (3) defendant's revocation ended when he returned to Canada.

The United States has entered into a treaty with certain countries including Canada to allow drivers licensed by the participatingcountries to drive in the other countries that are parties to the treaty without further examination. (Convention on Road Traffic, March 26, 1952, 3 U.S.T. at 3008.) Article 24 of the treaty states in relevant part:

"1. Each Contracting State shall allow any driver admitted to its territory *** who holds a valid driving permit issued to him *** by the competent authority of another Contracting State *** to drive on its roads without further examination motor vehicles *** for which the permit has been issued." (Emphasis added.) (Convention on Road Traffic, March 26, 1952, 3 U.S.T. at 3016.)

Article 25 of the treaty states in relevant part:

"The Contracting States undertake to communicate to each other such information as will enable them to establish the identity of persons holding domestic or international driving permits when they are liable to proceedings for a driving offence." (Emphasis added.) Convention on Road Traffic, March 26, 1952, 3 U.S.T. at 3017.

Defendant argues that, because Illinois did not notify Canada that defendant's Illinois license had been revoked, Canada could not revoke his Canadian license and defendant was entitled to drive in Illinois with his Canadian license pursuant to Article 24 of the treaty. There is nothing in either section cited by defendant that relates to the abrogation of criminal prosecutions for violating Illinois laws, nor is there any mention of notification requirements for anything other than communication between contracting States as will enable a contracting State to establish the identity of a putative defendant. There is no provision for enforcing the sanctions granted a contracting State beyond its territorial borders. Furthermore, the treaty only allows the suspension of a Canadian or an International driver's permit while the defendant remains in the prosecuting State. The treaty only grants Illinois the authority to withdraw and retain a Canadian or an International permit under the articles cited by the defendant. The treaty is silent as to the enforcement of Illinois laws relating to revocation of Illinois licenses. Article 5 states in part:

"It being understood that these matters and all other matters not provided for in this Convention remain within the competence of domestic legislation, subject to the application of other relevant international conventions or agreements." (Convention on Road Traffic, March 26, 1952, 3 U.S.T. at 3011.)

The defendant has not cited to other conventions or agreements which might control this "matter." The defendant compares Article 25 of the treaty to section 6-202(c) of the Illinois Vehicle Code which states:

"When a nonresident's operating privilege is suspended orrevoked, the Secretary of State shall forward a certified copy of the record of such action to the motor vehicle administrator in the State where such person resides." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ...


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