Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 9th Judicial Circuit, Knox County, Illinois. No. 94 TR 2794. Honorable Kenneth L. Bath, Harry C. Bulkeley, Judges Presiding.
Released for Publication February 16, 1996.
Present - Honorable Tom M. Lytton, Justice, Honorable Michael P. McCUSKEY, Justice, Honorable Kent Slater, Justice. Justice McCUSKEY delivered the opinion of the court: Slater and Lytton, JJ., concur.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mccuskey
The Honorable Justice McCUSKEY delivered the opinion of the court:
The defendant, Robert D. Scott, was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2) (West 1994)) and driving while license revoked (DWR) (625 ILCS 5/6-303(a) (West 1994)). Scott was sentenced to concurrent terms of two years' conditional discharge. He was also sentenced to concurrent terms of 30 days and 21 days in the Knox County jail.
On appeal, Scott argues that his motion to suppress should have been granted. He contends that the stop of his vehicle was improper because a Galesburg police officer had unbridled discretion to determine which motorists would be directed to proceed through a roadside safety checkpoint (roadblock). We agree and reverse the order of the trial court.
On May 13, 1994, Scott's car was stopped at a roadblock. He was charged with DUI and DWR. Both citations list Scott's address as "148 Garfield." Scott filed a motion to suppress, and a hearing was held August 19, 1994.
Scott testified that he was traveling westbound on Main Street (Main) in Galesburg. He stated that Garfield Avenue (Garfield) was unobstructed, but that lanes were marked by pylons further west on Main. He turned right on Garfield, and a police officer flashed a light at him. Scott stopped and told the officer that he was going to his home on Garfield. The officer directed him back to Main and told him to proceed through the roadblock.
Officer Riggs testified that he was present at the roadblock west of Garfield. The officers had been instructed to stop every fifth car. Scott's car was stopped. Riggs asked Scott for his driver's license, but Scott was not able to produce his license. Scott then failed the field sobriety test.
Following the hearing, the trial court denied Scott's motion to suppress. In his letter of decision, the trial judge found that Scott lived on Garfield. However, he stated:
"the issue is whether the police officer could properly require the defendant to proceed into the traffic check rather than turning north on his intended route. The officer no doubt believed the defendant was attempting to elude the police, while the defendant states he was simply turning to go to his house. At some point the police officer's interest in directing people through the checkpoint is out-weighed by the citizen's reasonable expectation of privacy. However, at the check point itself, an officer might properly infer that the citizen's turn was for the purpose of evading police scrutiny. Accordingly, I do not find that the officer's order for the defendant to proceed through the check point was unreasonable."
Scott then filed a motion to reconsider, and a hearing was held on February 14, 1995. Officer Peck testified that he was in charge of operations concerning the roadblock. He was present at the roadblock on May 13, 1994. The roadblock was previously announced and was administered within the guidelines established by the Illinois State police and the Illinois Department of Transportation. Officer Peck stated that cones were placed west of Garfield on Main to funnel westbound traffic into one lane. The police were stopping every third vehicle.
Officer Peck testified that a police officer was stationed at the intersection of Garfield and Main. This officer was to prevent people from evading the roadblock, unless the drivers were residents of Garfield. Peck stated that the officer was instructed to allow Garfield residents to proceed on Garfield. Peck said he did not know how the police officer was to determine which persons lived on Garfield. He stated that presumably the ...