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Village of Bull Valley v. Zeinz

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Second District

September 29, 2014

THE VILLAGE OF BULL VALLEY, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DANIEL K. ZEINZ, Defendant-Appellant

Appeal from the Circuit Court of McHenry County. No. 12-DT-444. Honorable Robert A. Wilbrandt, Judge, Presiding.

SYLLABUS

Defendant's convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol and improper lane usage in a prosecution brought by plaintiff village were reversed on the ground that the village failed to comply with section 16-102(c) of the Illinois Vehicle Code, which requires the village to establish that defendant committed the offenses within the village's corporate limits, since the facts in evidence were insufficient to sustain the village's burden, especially when the arresting officer testified that defendant's car " came out of" the village just before he was stopped, but he never testified that he saw defendant driving within the village's corporate limits, and the trial court explicitly refused to decide whether defendant committed the DUI within the village limits.

Eric F. Rinehart, of Malia & Rinehart, of Waukegan, for appellant.

Justin M. Hansen, of Cowlin, Naughton, Curran & Coppedge, of Crystal Lake, for appellee.

JUSTICE SPENCE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices McLaren and Jorgensen concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

SPENCE, JUSTICE.

[¶1] After a bench trial, defendant, Daniel K. Zeinz, was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2) (West 2012)) and improper lane usage (ILU) (625 ILCS 5/11-709(a) (West 2012)) and given a year of supervision. On appeal (see Ill. S.Ct. R. 604(b) (eff. Feb. 6, 2013)), he argues that his convictions cannot stand, because, under section 16-102(c) of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Code) (625 ILCS 5/16-102(c) (West 2012)), plaintiff, the Village of Bull Valley

Page 669

(the Village), could not prosecute him for the offenses, because it failed to establish that he committed either one within the Village's corporate limits. We agree, and we reverse.

[¶2] At defendant's bench trial, the Village called James Page, who testified on direct examination as follows. On May 26, 2012, at about 1:15 a.m., while on patrol as a police officer for the Village, he was driving east on Route 120 in the vicinity of Ridge Road. He saw a white Pontiac directly in front of him cross over the white fog line and drive partly on the shoulder, then drift left and cross over the yellow center line. Page activated his emergency lights. The Pontiac drove a short distance, crossed back over the white fog line, and stopped.

[¶3] Page testified that, after the Pontiac stopped, he approached it and saw that defendant, the driver, was the only occupant. He then testified as follows:

" Q. And, Officer, *** as far as the driving and your interaction with the driver, did everything happen in the Village of Bull Valley?
A. Right at the edge. The Village of Bull Valley ends at Ridge Road and 120. So, right where I started is where we picked up. So, I would have been in. He might have been right out of it when I first picked him up.
Q. As far as when you observed his--at what point did you first observe Mr. Zeinz driving his motor vehicle?
A. Right at Ridge Road and Route 120. I was still west of the intersection traveling eastbound. He had just--I saw him on the other side of the intersection.
Q. And at the time when Mr. Zeinz--at the time when Mr. Zeinz was on the other side of the intersection, was that the ...

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