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The People of the State of Illinois v. Jacqueline Farris

April 10, 2012


Appeal from the Circuit Court for the 21st Judicial Circuit, Kankakee County, Illinois Circuit Nos. 09-DT-135A, 09-DT-135 Honorable Kenneth A. Leshen and Susan Tungate, Judges, Presiding

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Holdridge

JUSTICE HOLDRIDGE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

Justice O'Brien concurred in the judgment and opinion.

Justice Wright concurred in part and dissented in part, with opinion.


¶ 1 This matter is on consolidated appeals filed by the State. In case number 3-10-0199, the State appeals from the granting of the defendant's petition to rescind a statutory summary suspension. In case number 3-10-0220, the State appeals from an order of the circuit court granting the defendant's motion to suppress evidence from a blood alcohol test using blood forcibly drawn from the defendant by hospital personnel at the instruction of a police officer. The State filed a certificate of impairment and a timely notice of appeal.


¶ 3 On May 12, 2009, the defendant was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2) (West 2008). The DUI ticket was docketed as No. 09-DT-135. Following notification of defendant's arrest, the Illinois Secretary of State issued a notice to the defendant indicating that she would receive a 12-month statutory summary suspension of her driver's license. The defendant filed a petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension alleging that: (1) she was not properly placed under an arrest for DUI; (2) the arresting officer did not have reasonable grounds to believe that she was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol; and (3) she was not properly warned by the arresting officer as provided in section 11-501.1 of the Vehicle Code. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.1 (West 2008). The petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension was docketed as No. 09-DT-135A. The defendant had previously filed a motion in limine to suppress evidence of the results of blood testing done without her consent in the DUI proceeding. By agreement of the parties, a single evidentiary hearing was held on the motion to suppress evidence and the petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension, with the court's ruling on the admissibility of the blood test results to apply to both proceedings.

¶ 4 Officer Kevin Orms of the Bradley, Illinois, police department testified that, on May 12, 2009, at approximately 10:30 p.m., he was called to the scene of an accident at the corner of Schuyler Avenue and Brookmont Boulevard. Upon his arrival at the scene, he encountered the defendant sitting in her vehicle. The defendant told him that she had hit her lip on the dashboard and that her head was hurting. Orms testified that he immediately noted the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the defendant's breath. Orms called an ambulance, which transported the defendant to Riverside Hospital in Kankakee, Illinois. Orms followed the ambulance in his squad car. Orms accompanied the defendant into the emergency treatment area. According to Orms's testimony, the defendant was verbally abusive and belligerent toward him and toward the emergency department staff attending the defendant. Orms testified that the defendant repeatedly stated "take me to fucking jail."

¶ 5 Orms testified that the defendant continued to swear and act belligerent while he read the statutory "Warning to Motorists" to the defendant. In accordance with the warning, Orms sought consent from the defendant for a blood draw. The defendant refused consent. Orms then contacted his commanding officer, who instructed him to take a blood sample. Orms then instructed a nurse to take a sample of the defendant's blood. Orms and another officer stood by while a doctor, a nurse, and another emergency department staff member held the defendant down and forcibly drew blood. One person was on either side of the defendant, each holding a wrist and shoulder, while another person held her legs as the nurse drew blood from one of the defendant's arms inside of the elbow. The entire process took approximately four minutes.

¶ 6 Orms issued a "Law Enforcement Sworn Report" which indicated that the defendant voluntarily submitted to chemical testing which disclosed an alcohol concentration of .285.

¶ 7 The defendant testified that, on May 12, 2009, she was involved in an automobile accident in which her car hit another car. She testified that she never lost consciousness and had only minor injuries, including a cut to her lip from hitting the dashboard. She stated that, as soon as she arrived at the hospital, demands were made that she consent to a blood draw. She refused, stating that she did not believe a blood test was necessary. She was then forcibly held down and blood was extracted from her right arm. On cross-examination, the defendant admitted to consuming approximately three alcoholic beverages in the three hours prior to the accident. She also admitted to physically resisting the blood draw, including squirming her arms back and forth and kicking her legs.

¶ 8 Following the hearing, the trial court issued a written order granting the defendant's motion in limine barring the State from using the blood test results in the proceeding regarding the statutory summary suspension. Shortly thereafter, the State filed a motion to amend the sworn report, seeking to remove the check mark from the box on the report indicating that the defendant had submitted to chemical testing, and, instead, to check the box indicating "because you refused to submit to or failed to complete testing, your driver's license and/or privileges will be suspended for a minimum of 12 months." Following argument of counsel on the motion, the circuit court granted the motion to amend the sworn report. Approximately a week later, however, the court reversed its prior ruling and denied the State's motion to amend the officer's sworn report. The docket entry stated as follows:

"The Court has again reviewed the cases provided by counsel and notes that each of the cases is fact specific. In the instant case, the proposed amendment completely changes the predicate for the suspension as well as the duration of the suspension. Consequently the court hereby reverses itself and denies the State's motion."

ΒΆ 9 The defendant was allowed to amend her petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension to allege, as a basis for rescission, an allegation that "the police physically forced me to give blood and that result was barred by the court and therefore I was not properly tested and did not test over .08." The trial court granted the amended ...

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