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People v. Anderson

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Second District

October 3, 2013

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
PAUL D. ANDERSON, Defendant-Appellee.

Held: [*]

In a prosecution for driving under the influence of alcohol, where the trial court rescinded the summary suspension of defendant’s license based on the lack of probable cause and the appellate court reversed that decision, the trial court’s subsequent grant of defendant’s motion to quash his arrest and suppress evidence based on the lack of probable cause was also reversed, even though the appellate court rejected the State’s argument that the collateral estoppel effect of the appellate court’s reversal of the summary-suspension decision required the reversal of the trial court’s decision granting the motion to quash and suppress, since collateral estoppel did not apply because the trial court’s summary-suspension judgment should not have preclusive effect against either the State or defendant; however, probable cause existed for defendant’s arrest based on the evidence.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County, No. 12-DT-1094; the Hon. Liam C. Brennan, Judge, presiding.

Robert B. Berlin, State’s Attorney, of Wheaton (Lisa Anne Hoffman and Frederick Flather, Assistant State’s Attorneys, of counsel), for the People.

Eric J. Bell, of Law Offices of Eric J. Bell, of Chicago, for appellee.

Justices Schostok and Spence concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

McLAREN, JUSTICE

¶ 1 Defendant, Paul D. Anderson, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2) (West 2012)). He moved to quash his arrest and suppress evidence, contending that he had been arrested without probable cause. The trial court granted the motion. The State appeals, arguing that (1) collateral estoppel requires reversal, because the sole issue in this case, probable cause to arrest, was decided adversely to defendant when this court reversed the trial court's rescission of the summary suspension of defendant's driving privileges (People v. Anderson, 2012 IL App (2d) 120576-U); and (2) defendant's arrest was supported by probable cause. We agree with the State's second contention only, and we reverse and remand.

¶ 2 We first summarize the proceedings in the summary-suspension proceeding. On March 25, 2012, Officer Peter Briddell arrested defendant for DUI. As defendant refused to perform field sobriety tests or take a breath-alcohol test, Briddell served him with notice of the summary suspension (see 625 ILCS 5/11-501.1 (West 2012)). On May 4, 2012, defendant petitioned to rescind the summary suspension, contending that Briddell had lacked probable cause to arrest him. On May 8, 2012, the trial court held a hearing on the petition. Although our order in Anderson summarized the hearing, we do so again for clarity of discussion.

¶ 3 Briddell was the sole witness at the hearing. On direct examination, he testified as follows. On March 25, 2012, at 11:15 p.m., he saw defendant at the intersection of Montgomery and Eola Roads. Defendant was standing outside his "wrecked car." Briddell asked defendant what had happened; defendant responded that his car had stopped moving and that he did not know why. At 11:30 p.m., Briddell arrested defendant for DUI. Briddell had not seen defendant drive; before the arrest, defendant did not perform any field sobriety tests or take a preliminary breath test.

¶ 4 Briddell testified as follows on cross-examination. Upon arriving, he spoke to an eyewitness, who told him that defendant, while driving south on Montgomery, made a wide left turn, struck the curb at Montgomery and Eola, then drove a little farther south on Eola. Briddell saw that defendant's car was disabled, as the suspension had been broken. As Briddell spoke to defendant, he saw that defendant was swaying. In addition to asking defendant what had happened, Briddell asked if he had had anything to drink; defendant responded, "too much." Briddell asked him how much but did not remember defendant's answer. Briddell asked defendant to perform field sobriety tests; "[defendant] asked, why, I'm drunk." Briddell repeated the request; defendant responded, "you know I'm drunk."

¶ 5 The trial court denied the State's motion for a directed finding. The State recalled Briddell. He testified that, as he spoke to defendant, he noticed that defendant's pants were "wet up front, " which was "a little abnormal." Also, defendant's eyes looked glassy.

¶ 6 The trial court found that defendant had been arrested without probable cause. The judge acknowledged the accident, which was "suggestive" of impairment; defendant's statement that he would not perform field sobriety tests, because he was drunk; and defendant's glassy eyes and "swaying" of unspecified severity. However, there had been nothing about slurred speech, belligerence, defendant's gait, or any odor emanating from him. The cause of defendant's "wet pants" was unknown. The trial court rescinded the summary suspension, and the State appealed.

ΒΆ 7 While that appeal was pending, on October 22, 2012, defendant moved to quash his arrest and suppress evidence, again contending that Briddell had arrested him without probable cause. On November 6, 2012, with the summary-suspension appeal still pending, the trial court held a hearing on defendant's motion. The State declined to stipulate to the evidence from the summary-suspension hearing. Again, Briddell was the sole witness. On direct examination, he testified as follows. On March 25, 2012, at about 11:15 p.m., he responded to a report of a vehicle crash at Montgomery and Eola Roads. At the scene, he saw defendant standing outside his car. The car's right front suspension and wheel were broken. After about 15 minutes, Briddell arrested defendant. Defendant had not taken any field sobriety tests or a preliminary ...


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