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People v. Motzko

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

August 15, 2019

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
GARRETT MOTZKO, Defendant-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 10th Judicial Circuit No. 15-DT-403, Peoria County, Illinois, Honorable Lisa Y. Wilson, Judge, Presiding.

          Attorneys for Appellant: Jerry Brady, State's Attorney, of Peoria (Patrick Delfino, David J. Robinson, and Thomas D. Arado, of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People

          Attorneys for Appellee: Michael Doubet, of Peoria, for appellee.

          JUSTICE WRIGHT delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Carter and O'Brien concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          WRIGHT JUSTICE.

         ¶ 1 The State appeals following the Peoria County circuit court's dismissal of a charge of driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI) against defendant, Garrett Motzko. 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 with DUI (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2) (West 2014)), as well as other traffic offenses. Defendant subsequently filed a "Motion to Suppress Evidence and Quash Arrest Made Without Warrant."

         ¶ 4 The evidence at the hearing on defendant's motion established that defendant was involved in a single-motorcycle accident. Defendant was injured and attended to by paramedics at the scene. Officer Michael Bishoff of the Peoria Police Department was dispatched to the scene, where he interviewed a witness to the accident. The witness told Bishoff that defendant crashed when trying to negotiate a curve at a high rate of speed. Bishoff spoke briefly to defendant at the scene before defendant was transported to a hospital. Bishoff observed defendant further at the hospital and conducted a horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test. Bishoff placed defendant under arrest for DUI.[1]

         ¶ 5 On December 22, 2015, the circuit court found that Bishoff lacked probable cause to arrest and granted defendant's motion. The State sought clarification on the scope of the court's ruling, resulting in the following exchange:

"THE COURT: *** I am going to grant the motion to quash.
[THE STATE]: Your Honor, that would be a motion to suppress the evidence collected after the arrest, is that correct?
THE COURT: That's correct.
[THE STATE]: The evidence collected by the officer?

         THE COURT: Correct."

         ¶ 6 After its motion to reconsider was denied, the State filed a certificate of substantial impairment and notice of appeal. In the certificate of impairment, the State averred twice that, as a result of the circuit court's suppression order, it was "unable to proceed to trial in this matter." The State also averred that the ruling "substantially impair[ed]" its ability to proceed. This court subsequently affirmed the circuit court's ruling. People v. Motzko, 2017 IL App (3d) 160154.

         ¶ 7 On remand, the State filed a motion in limine to admit the records of defendant's medical treatment at the hospital following his accident. In support, the State pointed out that the court's suppression ruling suppressed only postarrest evidence and that the treatment and observations records it sought to introduce were recorded before the arrest. Defendant filed a motion to strike, arguing that the State was barred from relitigating the circuit court's suppression ruling. The circuit court agreed with defendant and struck the State's motion.

         ¶ 8 At a hearing on March 1, 2018, the State asked that the matter be set for trial on the DUI charge, as well as the traffic offenses. The State indicated that it intended to introduce evidence in the form of doctors' observations of defendant in the course of treatment at the hospital, as well as Bishoff s prearrest observations of defendant. The circuit court set the traffic offenses for trial, but sua sponte dismissed the DUI charge. The State filed a certificate of substantial impairment and a notice of appeal.

         ¶ 9 II. ANALYSIS

         ¶ 10 On 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 of Criminal Procedure) to dismiss the DUI charge. See 725 ILCS 5/114-1 (West 2014). Defendant argues that the court not only had the statutory ...


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