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People v. Eagletail

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Third Division

December 23, 2014

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
LATESHIA EAGLETAIL, Defendant-Appellant

As corrected.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. TT-370-264, No. TT-370-265. The Honorable Michael R. Clancy, Judge, presiding.

For Plaintiff-Appellee: Anita Alvarez, State's Attorney, State's Attorney Cook County, Alan J. Spellberg, Mary P. Needham, Morgan E. Muslin, Assistant State's Attorneys, Chicago, Illinois.

For Defendant-Appellant: Michael J. Pelletier, State Appellate Defender, Kathleen Weck, Assistant Appellate Defender, Office of the State Appellate Defender, Chicago, Illinois.

JUSTICE HYMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Pucinski and Justice Mason concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Page 224

HYMAN, JUSTICE.

[¶1] Defendant Lateshia Eagletail, who was found guilty of two misdemeanor

Page 225

counts of driving under the influence of alcohol, contends the State failed to offer sufficient evidence that she was driving under the influence (DUI). She argues the trial court improperly allowed the State to introduce the results of her breath analysis through a printout (IntoxNet MIS report), where the State should have been required to offer the actual breath ticket. Eagletail further argues that in light of the unreliability of the field-sobriety tests and the fact that her breath analysis results should not have been admitted without the actual ticket, the officers' observations fall short of proving she was driving under the influence.

[¶2] We hold the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the IntoxNet MIS report into evidence and that there was sufficient credible evidence to prove Eagletail guilty of DUI beyond a reasonable doubt. The Illinois Supreme Court in People v. Orth, 124 Ill.2d 326, 530 N.E.2d 210, 125 Ill.Dec. 182 (1988), did not say or imply that only the " actual printout" was admissible to show the results of the breath test.

[¶3] BACKGROUND

[¶4] The facts pertinent to this appeal are not in dispute.

[¶5] At about 10:40 p.m. on July 21, 2010, Officers Lin and Loughney of the Chicago police department responded to a call of a traffic accident involving an unmarked police car. When the officers arrived, they saw Eagletail's van and the unmarked police car bumper to bumper. Eagletail was seated in the driver's seat. After running the van's vehicle identification number, the officers confirmed Eagletail was the owner. In response to Officer Lin's questioning about the cause of the accident, Eagletail told the officers she was having issues with her brakes and steering.

[¶6] Officers Lin and Loughney are experienced officers trained in DUI detection. Lin and Loughney both testified that Eagletail's breath smelled strongly of alcohol when they spoke with her. In response to Officer Loughney's question about whether she had been drinking, Eagletail stated she had " two or three beers" and that the punch " may have been spiked." The officers recovered an empty beer bottle from inside her van. Officer Loughney noted that Eagletail's eyes were bloodshot and she was acting erraticly and seemed agitated. Officer Loughney testified that in her professional opinion, Eagletail was under the influence of alcohol.

[¶7] The officers transported Eagletail to the 8th district police station to undergo field-sobriety tests. Officer Ernst Mategrano, an expert in DUI and a certified breath tech operator, administered the field-sobriety tests in accordance with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration procedures. Officer Mategrano administered three field-sobriety tests to Eagletail: (1) the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test (a lateral or horizontal jerking when the eye gazes to the side), (2) the walk-and-turn test, and (3) the one-legged-stand test.

[¶8] While administering the HGN test, Officer Mategrano held his pen at a 45-degree angle, six to eight inches from Eagletail at her shoulder level, while he observed her eye movement. Officer Mategrano instructed Eagletail to follow his pen with her eyes but not to move her head. Mategrano testified four factors indicate impairment in an HGN test; Eagletail exhibited six factors, plus vertical nystagmus. She showed horizontal nystagmus in both eyes, maximum deviation, and lack of smooth pursuit, all indicators of impairment.

[¶9] Officer Mategrano instructed Eagletail on the steps of the ...


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