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03/29/96 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. ROGER F. MOORE

March 29, 1996

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
ROGER F. MOORE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Franklin County. No. 93-TR-0307. Honorable Kathleen M. Alling, Judge, presiding.

The Honorable Justice Kuehn delivered the opinion of the court: Goldenhersh and Welch, JJ., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kuehn

The Honorable Justice KUEHN delivered the opinion of the court:

Defendant, Roger F. Moore, was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) after a jury trial in the circuit court of Franklin County. 625 ILCS 5/11-501 (West 1992). He was sentenced to two years' probation, 14 days of periodic imprisonment, and a $500 fine. Defendant appeals.

The defendant's trouble began on the evening of January 29, 1993, when Officer Glenn Faith (Faith) of the Secretary of State's Office noticed the defendant's car remain stationary after a traffic signal turned green. Playing a hunch that the hesitation at the light was due to alcohol impairment, Faith followed the defendant. He noticed that the defendant's car lacked a front license plate and had a cracked windshield.

Faith followed the defendant's car to a nearby McDonald's restaurant parking lot. En route to McDonald's, Faith looked for, but saw no sign of, alcohol impairment in the defendant's manner of driving.

As soon as defendant and his family pulled onto the McDonald's parking lot, Faith confronted the defendant about his car. Faith immediately saw defendant's bloodshot eyes, smelled his alcohol-laden breath, and heard his slurred speech. Faith's senses confirmed his suspicion that defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol. He demanded to see defendant's performance of a series of field sobriety tests. The defendant's performance evidenced alcohol-like impairment.

Faith advised the defendant that he was under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. With consent, Faith searched the defendant's car and found an open can of Budweiser beer under defendant's seat. When Faith turned to confront the defendant with the discovery, he saw the defendant headed south in his flight to freedom. The defendant left his car, his wife, his daughter, and Officer Faith, Budweiser in hand, standing on the parking lot of McDonald's. It was approximately 10:30 p.m., January 29, 1993.

At 1:15 a.m., January 30, 1993, the defendant and his father walked into the West Frankfort police station. The defendant demanded a breathalyzer test, but Faith refused to administer one. Instead, the defendant was immediately placed under arrest. While the defendant was being booked, Officer Donald Watson (Watson) of the West Frankfort Police Department asked defendant why he ran. Defendant answered: "I was scared, I didn't want another DUI -- so I just left. It was sort of stupid I know. I shouldn't have been driving. I should have had my wife driving.

Watson saw defendant's bloodshot eyes, smelled his alcohol-laden breath, and heard his slurred speech. At Faith's request, Watson administered a horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test. The result mirrored Faith's HGN test result conducted earlier on the parking lot.

Sometime later, at 2:01 a.m., the defendant was told that he had a constitutional right to remain silent and that anything he said could be used against him. Defendant then refused to answer further questions.

The defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence upon which the guilty verdict is based. Our standard of review "is whether, after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt." (Emphasis in original.) People v. Collins, 106 Ill. 2d 237, 261, 478 N.E.2d 267, 277, 87 Ill. Dec. 910 (1985), quoting Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319, 61 L. Ed. 2d 560, 573, 99 S. Ct. 2781, 2789 (1979).

The defendant's guilt was as evident as the nose on his face -- the nose that he could not locate with his finger that night. His guilt was reflected in his bloodshot eyes as they failed to smoothly pursue a pen passed in front of them. His slurred speech emanating from breath that reeked of alcohol spoke of his guilt. He could not stand on one foot or walk a straight line. In a word, his performance was staggering.

The defendant's motor skills evidenced impairment. His judgment was impaired as well. When Faith turned his attention to a search of the car, when discovery of a concealed can of beer was imminent, defendant broke and ran, abandoning his car, his wife, and his daughter. His exit into the night was an action that befit a guilty, and sodden, state of mind.

The defendant later admitted that he ran in fear of another DUI conviction." He also lamented that his wife should ...


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