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People v. Jones

February 3, 2005

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLANT,
v.
JAMES JONES, APPELLEE.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Garman

Docket No. 97710-Agenda 18-September 2004.

Defendant was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Afterward, hospital personnel administered blood and urine tests at the request of the arresting officer, but without defendant's consent. In defendant's DUI proceedings, he moved to suppress the results of the blood and urine tests on the ground the tests were nonconsensual. The circuit court granted defendant's motion and ordered suppression of the test results. The State appealed, and the appellate court affirmed the suppression order. This court granted the State's petition for leave to appeal. The issue before us is whether section 11-501.2 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Vehicle Code) (625 ILCS 5/11-501.2 (West 2002)) grants a statutory right to refuse chemical testing to a DUI arrestee in a situation not involving the death or personal injury of another. We hold it does not and reverse and remand.

[9]     BACKGROUND

Defendant James Jones was involved in a car accident on April 3, 2002. The accident did not result in the death or personal injury of another party. When the police officer responding to the accident asked defendant to perform field sobriety tests, defendant complained of pain in his sternum and was transported to Elmhurst Hospital. Defendant stated he would not consent to a blood draw or urine sample. At the hospital, the officer read the warning to motorist document to defendant, informing him of the consequences of refusing to submit to chemical testing. The hospital did not request blood or urine samples for defendant's medical treatment. Although defendant continued to object to the taking of the samples, he said he would not physically resist their collection. Defendant provided a urine sample to the officer, and at the officer's direction, a hospital phlebotomist obtained a blood sample. The samples were then analyzed for alcohol and drug content.

On April 25, 2002, a bill of indictment was issued charging defendant with four counts of aggravated driving while under the influence of alcohol (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(4), (a)(5), (a)(6), (c-1)(3) (West 2002)) and one count of aggravated driving while license revoked (625 ILCS 5/6-303(a), (d) (West 2002)). On June 6, 2002, he filed a motion in the circuit court of Du Page County to suppress the results of his blood and urine tests, arguing the test results were inadmissible as evidence against him because his blood and urine were taken without his consent and were not taken in the course of providing him with medical treatment.

On June 26, 2002, the circuit court granted defendant's motion to suppress on the ground that section 11-501.2(c)(2) of the Vehicle Code prohibited the tests. Section 11-501.2(c)(2) provides:

"Notwithstanding any ability to refuse under this Code to submit to these tests or any ability to revoke the implied consent to these tests, if a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a motor vehicle driven by or in actual physical control of a person under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof has caused the death or personal injury to another, that person shall submit, upon the request of a law enforcement officer, to a chemical test or tests of his or her blood, breath or urine for the purpose of determining the alcohol content thereof or the presence of any other drug or combination of both." 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2(c)(2) (West 2002).

In a memorandum opinion, the circuit court reasoned that section 11-501.2(c)(2) clearly implies that "there is an ability to refuse to submit to the testing required under the [Vehicle] Code" and that in DUI arrests not involving the death or personal injury of another, the legislature intended "to give the person [arrested] the ability to refuse testing and not be compelled to do so."

The State filed a motion to reconsider on July 18, 2002, arguing the circuit court erred in finding that the legislature intended to provide a DUI arrestee with the right to refuse blood or urine testing under section 11-501.2(c)(2). The State suggested section 11-501.2(c)(2) merely addresses a distinction between the civil and criminal aspects of the Vehicle Code. Section 11-501.2(c)(2), the State argued, was enacted to ensure that an individual subjected to a nonconsensual blood or urine draw after refusing to comply with an officer's request for the draw in a situation involving the death or personal injury of another would still be subject to summary suspension of driving privileges on the basis of his or her refusal, as provided by section 11-501.1. See 625 ILCS 5/11-501.1 (West 2002). According to the State, even in a situation not involving the death or bodily injury of another, an officer's decision to order chemical testing after a DUI arrestee's refusal to submit would not affect the admissibility of the test results in the arrestee's DUI prosecution. It would, however, violate the section 11-501.1 summary suspension requirements and prevent summary suspension of the arrestee's driving privileges. In an oral ruling, the circuit court rejected this interpretation of section 11-501.2(c)(2) and denied the State's motion to reconsider. The State then filed notice of appeal.

The appellate court affirmed the circuit court's suppression order. 344 Ill. App. 3d 684, 689. In interpreting section 11-501.2(c)(2), the appellate court applied the principle of expressio unius est exclusio alterius and concluded that by enumerating specific situations where an alleged impaired driver can be subjected to nonconsensual chemical testing in section 11-501.2(c)(2), the legislature implicitly excluded all other situations. 344 Ill. App. 3d at 688-89. Specifically, the appellate court reasoned that because section 11-501.2(c)(2) explicitly authorizes nonconsensual chemical tests in situations involving the death or personal injury of another, it does not authorize them in situations not involving the death or personal injury of another. 344 Ill. App. 3d at 688-89. In addition, the appellate court concluded that its interpretation of section 11-501.2(c)(2) was consistent with the legislative history and case law relating to nonconsensual chemical testing in DUI cases. 344 Ill. App. 3d at 689. The appellate court explained that because nonconsensual chemical testing based on probable cause of impairment was permissible without further restriction before the legislature enacted section 11-501.2(c)(2) (344 Ill. App. 3d at 689, citing Schmerber v. California, 384 U.S. 757, 768, 16 L.Ed. 2d 908, 918, 86 S.Ct. 1826, 1834 (1966), People v. Todd, 59 Ill. 2d 534, 544 (1975)), and because section 11-501.2(c)(2) specifically authorized nonconsensual chemical testing in two situations where it was already permissible, the legislature must have intended section 11-501.2(c)(2) to prohibit nonconsensual chemical testing in situations other than the two enumerated in the statute. 344 Ill. App. 3d at 689.

We granted the State's petition for leave to appeal in this case pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 315 (177 Ill. 2d R. 315), and we now reverse the decisions of the appellate and circuit courts.

ANALYSIS

The State challenges both the methodology and result of the appellate court's interpretation of the statute at issue in this case. In addition, the State argues that even if the appellate court was correct in concluding section 11-501.2(c)(2) prohibits nonconsensual chemical testing in situations that do not involve death or personal injury, suppression of evidence is not an appropriate remedy for a violation of that section. We review the statutory interpretation issue de novo. See People v. Donoho, 204 Ill. 2d 159, 172 (2003). Because we resolve that issue in favor of the State and find there was no violation of the statute, we need not address the State's suppression argument.

I.

The primary objective of statutory interpretation is to determine and give effect to the legislature's intent. People v. Hanna, 207 Ill. 2d 486, 497 (2003). This inquiry properly begins by examining the language of the statute at issue. People v. Phelps, 211 Ill. 2d 1, 15 (2004). The statute should be read as a whole and construed so that no part of it is rendered meaningless or superfluous. People v. Ellis, 199 Ill. 2d 28, 39 (2002). Where the legislature's intent is not clear from the statute's plain language, the court may examine the legislative history. People v. Whitney, 188 Ill. 2d 91, 97-98 (1999).

Section 11-501.2(c)(2) clearly allows nonconsensual chemical testing where a police officer has probable cause to believe that a vehicle driven by an individual under the influence has caused the death or personal injury of another. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2(c)(2) (West 2002) ("[I]f a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a motor vehicle driven by or in actual physical control of a person under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds *** has caused the death or personal injury to another, that person shall submit, upon the request of a law enforcement officer, to a chemical test or tests of his or her blood, breath or urine"); see also People v. Ruppel, 303 Ill. App. 3d 885, 892 (1999) (holding that section 11-501.2(c)(2) authorizes nonconsensual chemical testing in situations involving the death or personal injury of another). The statute is silent on situations not involving death or personal injury.

The State suggests nonconsensual chemical testing is permissible in all situations based on section 11-501.2(a)'s provision that evidence of chemical test results "shall be admissible" when the tests have been conducted in accordance with the procedures set forth in the statute. See 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2(a) (West 2002). Defendant, on the other hand, argues section 11-501.2(c)(2)'s provision that nonconsensual chemical testing is permissible in situations involving the death or personal injury of another "[n]otwithstanding any ability to refuse under this Code to submit to these tests or any ability to revoke the implied consent to these tests" recognizes a motorist's right to refuse chemical testing. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2(c)(2) (West 2002). Section 11-501.2(a), however, merely refers to and incorporates section 11-501.2(c)(2). Further, section 11-501.2(c)(2)'s negative references to "any ability to refuse" chemical testing and "any ability to revoke the implied consent" to chemical tests under the Vehicle Code do not unambiguously establish a statutory right to refuse chemical testing. It is thus unclear, based solely on the plain language of ...


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