Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will County, Illinois. Circuit No. 12-CM-2573. The Honorable Cory D. Lund, Rick Mason, Judges, presiding.
Defendant's conviction for unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor was reversed where the State failed to prove that defendant did not fall within the exemption of the Liquor Control Act providing that the consumption of alcohol by a minor under the direct supervision and approval of the parents or parent or those standing in loco parentis of such person in the privacy of a home is not prohibited by the Act.
Frank P. Andreano and Ted P. Hammel (argued), both of Brumund, Jacobs, Hammel, Davidson & Andreano, LLC, of Joliet, for appellant.
James Glasgow, State's Attorney, of Joliet, and Laura E. DeMichael (argued), of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of Ottawa, for the People.
JUSTICE LYTTON delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justice O'Brien concurred in the judgment and opinion. Justice Schmidt concurred in part and dissented in part in the judgment, with opinion.
[¶1] Defendant, Travis Cannon, was charged with unlawful consumption of alcohol
by a minor (235 ILCS 5/6-20(e) (West 2012)). Prior to trial, he filed a motion to suppress evidence, arguing that the police violated his fourth amendment rights by entering the back deck of his home without a warrant or consent. The trial court conducted a hearing and denied the motion. Following a bench trial, the court found defendant guilty and sentenced him to 24 months' probation. On appeal, defendant contends that (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress, and (2) the State did not prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. We reverse.
[¶2] At the hearing on defendant's motion to suppress evidence, Denise Byrd, a police officer with the Village of Minooka, testified that she was on patrol on August 9, 2012, when she received a dispatch of a noise complaint and possible underage drinking at 107 Rivers Edge Court in Minooka. When she arrived at that address, she heard loud voices that appeared to be coming from the rear of the house. She walked to the back of the house but " couldn't see anything from the ground," so she walked onto the back deck. She observed six or seven people sitting around a table that had numerous beer cans and liquor bottles on it. Byrd said, " Hi. Hello." Defendant responded, " Get off my property. You don't have a warrant to be here." Defendant then told everyone to go inside the house. Byrd remained on the deck while everyone " shuffled inside of the house" through the patio door. Byrd could see defendant's mother, Sandra Cannon, inside the house by the patio door.
[¶3] Byrd called for backup and walked toward the front of the house. When she got to the yard on the side of the house, she saw defendant running toward her. Defendant said he would speak to her on the front porch. Byrd testified that she could detect the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from defendant's mouth.
[¶4] On the front porch, Byrd told defendant she wanted to speak to one of his parents. Defendant initially refused, but Sandra eventually came out of the house and onto the front porch. When Byrd asked Sandra if she was hosting an underage drinking party, she responded, " No, there is nobody drinking in the house."
[¶5] Sergeant Matthew Chinski of the Minooka police department testified that he responded to Cannon's home at Byrd's request. When he arrived, he went to the front porch of the property, where he encountered defendant. Defendant had slurred speech, bloodshot and glassy eyes, and a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his facial area, leading Chinski to believe that defendant had consumed one or more alcoholic beverages. Chinski asked defendant his age. Defendant said he was 19 years old. Defendant was being argumentative and attempted to go back inside the house, but Chinski told him he was not free to leave and grabbed his shoulder. Defendant's mother then tried to pull defendant into the house, and Chinski arrested her for obstructing justice. Defendant was arrested for unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor.
[¶6] After the above testimony was presented, the State moved for a directed finding, denying defendant's motion to suppress. The trial court granted the State's motion and denied defendant's motion to suppress. Defendant filed a motion to reconsider, which the trial court also denied.
[¶7] Defendant then filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him, arguing that he was not guilty of underage consumption because he was drinking in his own home under the supervision and approval of his mother. The trial court denied the motion, ruling that ...