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People v. Horine

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

December 5, 2017

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
ALEX HORINE, Defendant-Appellee.

         Appeal from Circuit Court of McLean County No. 16DT727 Honorable Scott Drazewski, Lee Ann S. Hill, Judges Presiding.

          JUSTICE KNECHT delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Harris and Appleton concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          KNECHT JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 In October 2016, defendant, Alex Horine, was arrested for driving under the influence (625 ILCS 5/11-501 (a)(2) (West 2016)). The arresting officer reported defendant refused to submit to or failed to complete testing and, as a result, his driving privileges would be suspended for a minimum of 12 months pursuant to the statutory summary suspension statute (625 ILCS 5/11-501.1 (West 2016)). In November 2016, defendant filed a petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension. In December 2016, the trial court granted his petition. Following the hearing, the State filed a petition to reconsider, arguing the court improperly sustained defendant's hearsay objection during the hearing on the petition. In January 2017, the court denied the State's motion. On appeal, the State continues to argue the trial court abused its discretion when it sustained defendant's hearsay objection because the statement was offered to prove the officer's investigatory steps and therefore, not hearsay. We affirm.

         ¶ 2 I. BACKGROUND

         ¶ 3 On October 23, 2016, defendant received a traffic citation from the City of Bloomington for driving under the influence (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2) (West 2016)). A law enforcement sworn report (report) completed by Officer Brandon Finke the same day indicated at 9:48 p.m., defendant refused to submit to or failed to complete testing at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center and his driving privileges would be suspended for a minimum of 12 months (625 ILCS 5/11-501.1 (West 2016)). The report also stated Officer Finke had reasonable grounds to believe defendant was driving under the influence and stated: "[Defendant] was involved in a single car collision. [Defendant] had an extreme odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. [Defendant's] eyes were bloodshot and his clothes were disorderly. [Defendant's] pupils were dilated, face was flushed, and displayed poor coordination when walking."

         ¶ 4 On November 4, 2016, the Illinois Secretary of State filed a confirmation of statutory suspension with the circuit clerk. The confirmation stated that, because defendant was not a first-time offender, his license would be suspended for three years as of December 8, 2016, and he would be eligible for provisional reinstatement on December 8, 2019.

         ¶ 5 On November 29, 2016, defendant filed a petition to rescind his statutory summary suspension, arguing five different grounds. Defendant argued (1) he was not properly placed under arrest for an offense as defined in the Illinois Vehicle Code or a similar provision of a local ordinance, as evidenced by the issuance of a uniform traffic ticket to another form of charge, (2) the arresting officer did not have reasonable grounds to believe he was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs, or a combination thereof, (3) he was not properly warned by the arresting officer of the statutory summary suspension pursuant to section 11-501.1(c) of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-501.1(c) (West 2016)), (4) he did not refuse to submit to and/or complete the required chemical test or tests upon the request of the arresting officer pursuant to section 11-501.1(d) of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-501.1(d) (West 2016)), and (5) he submitted to the requested test or tests but the test sample of his blood alcohol concentration did not indicate a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.

         ¶ 6 On December 22, 2016, the trial court, Judge Scott Drazewski, held a hearing on defendant's petition. Defendant called Officer Jeremy Cunningham to testify, who testified to the following. On October 23, 2016, Officer Cunningham worked for the City of Bloomington police department and was dispatched to a local bar, the Windjammer Lounge (Windjammer). When he arrived at Windjammer, he saw defendant sitting outside on the sidewalk and the bouncer standing over him. Officer Cunningham placed defendant under arrest to detain him in his squad car until he could complete his investigation.

         ¶ 7 On cross-examination, the State asked Officer Cunningham if he talked to anyone else at the scene. Officer Cunningham stated he spoke with a witness, Kaylie Bakalar, who was in the vehicle at the time defendant was allegedly driving. The following questioning occurred:

"Q. And what did Kaylie tell you?
MR. DAVIS [(Defense attorney)]: I'm going to object, Your Honor. This is the clear definition of hearsay.
MS. LIN [(Prosecutor)]: Your Honor, it's not for the truth of the matter asserted. The question is based on-the question here today is whether or not the officer had reasonable grounds. Whatever came from the interview goes to his knowledge at the time.

         THE COURT: If he made in arrest based on allegedly what she has told him, how is that not hearsay? Because that would be-he's saying that that's the truth so that's ...


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