from the Circuit Court of the 10th Judicial Circuit, Peoria
County, Illinois, Appeal No. 3-18-0183 Circuit No. 15-DT-560
Honorable Lisa Y. Wilson, Judge, Presiding.
JUSTICE O'BRIEN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion Justice Holdridge concurred in the judgment and
opinion. Justice McDade specially concurred, with opinion.
1 The State appeals following the circuit court's
dismissal of a charge of driving while under the influence of
alcohol (DUI) against defendant, William Atchison. The State
argues that the court, which dismissed that charge after
granting a motion to suppress, was without authority to take
such action. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.
2 I. BACKGROUND
3 The State charged defendant via complaint with misdemeanor
DUI (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2) (West 2014)) and failure to
reduce speed (id. § 11-601(a)). Defendant
subsequently filed a "Motion to Suppress Evidence and
Quash Arrest Made Without Warrant."
4 A hearing on defendant's motion was held on December
10, 2015. Evidence adduced at the hearing showed that
defendant was driving with three passengers in the vehicle
when he was involved in a rollover accident. Peoria police
officer Thomas Bieneman testified that he arrived on the
scene, helped the occupants out of the vehicle, and called
for an ambulance. All four occupants told emergency medical
technicians (EMTs) that they were without injury and refused
to go to the hospital. Bieneman then testified at length
regarding his observations of defendant, defendant's
admission to drinking alcohol, and defendant's
performance on a number of field sobriety tests. The court
also reviewed a video recording of the traffic stop.
5 On January 7, 2016, the circuit court announced that it
would "grant the motion to quash the arrest of the
DUI." The court found that Bieneman lacked credibility
based on his inexperience and his improper administration of
certain field sobriety tests. After the court announced its
judgment, the prosecutor immediately inquired: "That
would be all evidence collected by the officer after the
point of arrest, [Y]our Honor?" The court responded
affirmatively. In a corresponding written order filed that
same day, the court wrote that "all evidence following
the arrest shall be suppressed."
6 After the court denied the State's motion to
reconsider, the State filed a certificate of substantial
impairment and a notice of appeal. In the certificate, the
State twice asserted that it was "unable to proceed to
trial in this matter," on account of the court's
suppression ruling. The State also asserted that the
suppression "substantially impair[ed]" its ability
to proceed with the case. On appeal, this court affirmed the
circuit court's ruling. People v. Atchison, 2017
IL App (3d) 160214-U.
7 The State then filed a motion in limine in the
circuit court regarding the use of certain prearrest
evidence. The State asserted that the observations of EMTs at
the scene of the accident would not be affected by the prior
suppression ruling and should thus be allowed into evidence.
The circuit court granted defendant's motion to strike
the State's motion. The court cited res
judicata, commenting that "I would be standing by
my prior decision *** that the arrest was quashed and based
upon no probable cause."
8 At a hearing on March 1, 2018, the State informed the court
that its evidence at trial would include prearrest
observations made by Bieneman, prearrest observations made by
EMTs, conversations between defendant and EMTs, and receipts
from defendant's dinner on the night in question. Defense
counsel objected, arguing that the court had already heard
prearrest evidence and concluded that it did not amount to
probable cause for an arrest. Counsel concluded: "[T]he
State's going to be presenting a case that they know on
its face has absolutely no probable cause going forward.
They're going to rehash the same information and expect a
different result after it's been a dispositive motion,
and it's been appealed to the Appeals Court."
Counsel requested that the court dismiss the DUI charge.
9 The court, echoing defense counsel's argument, asked
the State: "[I]f there's no arrest at this point,
where are we going with *** the trial?" The court
continued: "[E]ssentially when I granted that motion, I
interpreted that that case *** was done." The court also
opined that, if defendant proceeded to a bench trial, it
could not see how its decision would be any different from
its ruling on the motion, especially considering the
heightened standard of proof. The court dismissed the DUI
charge, and the State once again filed a certificate of
impairment and a notice of appeal.
10 II. ANALYSIS
11 On this interlocutory appeal, the State argues that the
circuit court did not have authority under section 114-1 of
the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (Code) to dismiss the
DUI charge. See 725 ILCS 5/114-1 (West 2016). Defendant
argues that, not only did the court have the statutory
authority to dismiss the charge, but it was constitutionally
mandated to do so. We reverse and remand for further
12 Section 114-1 (a) of the Code states:
" (a) Upon the written motion of the defendant made
prior to trial before or after a plea has been entered the
court may dismiss the indictment, information or complaint
upon any of the following grounds:
(1) The defendant has not been placed on trial in compliance
with Section 103-5 of this Code.
(2) The prosecution of the offense is barred by Sections 3-3
through 3-8 of the Criminal Code of 2012.
(3) The defendant has received immunity from prosecution for
the offense charged.
(4) The indictment was returned by a Grand Jury which was
improperly selected and which results in substantial
injustice to the defendant.
(5) The indictment was returned by a Grand Jury which acted
contrary to Article 112 of this Code and which results in
substantial injustice to the defendant.
(6) The court in which the charge has been filed does not
(7) The county is an improper place of trial.
(8) The charge does not state an offense.
(9) The indictment is based solely upon the testimony of an