Appeal from Circuit Court of Ford County. No. 02CM51. Honorable Stephen R. Pacey, Judge Presiding.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Knecht
In February 2003, after a stipulated bench trial, the judge found defendant, Ronnie Bostic, guilty of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia in violation of section 3.5 of the Drug Paraphernalia Control Act (Act) (720 ILCS 600/1 through 7 (West 2002)). The trial court sentenced him to one year's probation.
Bostic appeals, arguing (1) the State failed to prove the glass pipe found in his car was "marketed for use" as drug paraphernalia, (2) the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress because the search of his car was not a valid inventory search, and (3) defendant is entitled to a per-diem credit against his fines. We reverse.
The facts in this case are undisputed. In April 2002, Officer Travis Brown of the Paxton police department stopped Bostic's vehicle after observing the vehicle had an obstructed rearview mirror. Bostic was driving the car, and he was the only person in the automobile. Officer Brown asked to see Bostic's driver's license. Bostic told Officer Brown his license had been suspended. Officer Brown ordered Bostic out of the car, handcuffed him, and placed him in the squad car. Officer Brown then confirmed Bostic did not have a valid Illinois driver's license. Officer Brown placed Bostic under arrest and called for a tow. According to Officer Brown, the vehicle had to be towed because no one else was available to drive the vehicle and it could not be legally parked where it was. Officer Brown then asked Bostic if the vehicle contained anything illegal. Bostic responded a marijuana pipe might be under the driver's seat of the vehicle. Prior to leaving the scene, Officer Brown conducted an inventory search of the vehicle and discovered a "dark-colored glass pipe" under the driver's seat.
Bostic was charged for unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia pursuant to section 3.5 of the Act. In September 2002, Bostic filed a motion to suppress the evidence found in his car. At the hearing on the motion, Officer Brown admitted he did not inform Bostic of his rights against self-incrimination before asking him if the vehicle contained anything illegal. In addition, Officer Brown testified Bostic did not give him specific permission to search the vehicle. Officer Brown also testified it was standard procedure to take an inventory of the contents of a vehicle if it had to be towed. Bostic argued the evidence found in the vehicle should be suppressed. The trial court denied the motion, ruling the inevitable-discovery rule applied because of the inventory search Officer Brown testified he would have conducted.
In February 2003, a stipulated bench trial was held. The sole issue raised by the defense was whether the glass pipe was "drug paraphernalia" as defined by the Act. Bostic argued he was not guilty because no evidence showed the pipe was "marketed for use" as drug paraphernalia as the Act required. The defense and prosecution stipulated to the evidence presented at the suppression hearing for purposes of the trial. Both parties also stipulated Officer Brown would testify Bostic told Officer Brown the pipe was used to smoke marijuana and a field test on the burn around the pipe was positive for marijuana. In addition, both parties stipulated Officer Brown would testify based on his experience the pipe was an item used and manufactured to smoke marijuana. Both parties also stipulated the prosecution did not have any evidence showing the purpose for which the glass pipe was marketed. Based on the stipulated evidence, the trial court found Bostic guilty.
On appeal, Bostic argued the trial court's judgment should be reversed because (1) the State failed to prove the glass pipe was "marketed for use" as drug paraphernalia as it is required to do and, therefore, did not prove its case under section 3.5 of the Act and (2) the glass pipe should have been suppressed as the fruit of an illegal search of his vehicle. In addition, Bostic argued he is entitled to per-diem credit against his fines. The State argues the court correctly held the prosecution proved its case and the search was legal. The State concedes Bostic is entitled to a $5 credit against his fine.
We first address Bostic's argument the State failed to prove its case under section 3.5 of the Act because it did not introduce any evidence the glass pipe was "marketed for use" as drug paraphernalia. Ordinarily, when a defendant argues the State failed to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, a reviewing court will analyze the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution and determine if any rational trier of fact could have found the defendant guilty. People v. Collins, 106 Ill. 2d 237, 261, 478 N.E.2d 267, 277 (1985). However, in this case, the issue is whether the trial court misinterpreted the Act. "Because the interpretation of a statute is a question of law, our review is de novo." People v. Reeves, 326 Ill. App. 3d 1083, 1084, 762 N.E.2d 1124, 1125 (2002).
In April 2002, when Officer Brown arrested Bostic, section 3.5 of the Act stated:
"A person who knowingly possesses an item of drug paraphernalia with the intent to use it in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing cannabis or a controlled substance into the human body, or in preparing cannabis or a controlled substance for that use, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for which the court shall impose a minimum fine of $750 in addition ...