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People v. Hall

April 09, 2004

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
CAREY LEE HALL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 21st Judicial Circuit, Iroquois County, Illinois, No. 01-DT-34 Honorable David A. Youck, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Schmidt

PUBLISHED

Following a jury trial in the circuit court of Iroquois County, defendant Carey Lee Hall was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Defendant filed a motion for a new trial alleging that the trial court erred in giving Illinois Pattern Jury Instruction, Criminal, No. 20.30B (4th ed. 2001) (hereinafter IPI Criminal 4th No. 20.30B) to the jury. After the trial court denied defendant's motion for a new trial, it sentenced defendant to one year of conditional discharge, seven days in jail and ordered him to pay a fine of $250. Defendant then filed a timely notice of appeal. The sole issue on appeal is whether the trial court erred in giving IPI Criminal 4th No. 20.30B to the jury.

BACKGROUND

On February 2, 2002, at approximately 4:30 a.m., an Iroquois County deputy sheriff found the defendant asleep in his vehicle in the middle of an intersection. The deputy knocked on the window and shined a flashlight into the defendant's face. The defendant did not respond for three to four minutes. Then, he looked up at the deputy and the deputy asked defendant to roll down his window. Instead, defendant drove away. Defendant did not stop his vehicle until after the deputy followed him with his emergency lights on. When the defendant stepped out of the car, he lost his balance and grabbed the door to catch himself. The deputy thought the defendant was disoriented, confused and smelled of alcohol. The deputy believed that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol. Defendant refused to take a Breathalyzer test.

Defendant testified that he had not consumed any alcoholic beverages that evening and that he could not drink because of his medical conditions. The defendant is a manic-depressive and has Crohn's disease. He testified that he takes "20 pills a day" for these conditions. Defendant also testified that he refused to take the Breathalyzer test because he was concerned there would be a false reading because of the medications he was taking, not because he was concerned about alcohol being in his system.

During the trial, the People tendered IPI Criminal 4th No. 23.30B, which was given to the jury over defendant's objection. The instruction reads as follows:

"The fact that a person was legally entitled to use any combination of drugs and alcohol is not a defense to a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol." IPI Criminal 4th No. 23.30B.

ANALYSIS

The standard of review in determining whether a trial court's submission of an instruction is erroneous is an abuse of discretion. People v. Garcia, 188 Ill. 2d 265, 283, 721 N.E.2d 574, 584 (1999). The purpose of jury instructions is to convey to the jurors the correct principles of law applicable to the facts so that they can arrive at a correct conclusion according to the law and the evidence. People v. Williams, 181 Ill. 2d 297, 318, 692 N.E.2d 1109, 1121 (1998).

Defendant claims that it was error to give IPI Criminal 4th No. 23.30B because it instructs the jury as to a crime for which the defendant was not charged. Defendant was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in violation of section 11-501(a)(2) of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11--501(a)(2) (West 2000)), which provides:

"A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within this state while

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(2) under the influence of ...


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