[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
from the Circuit Court of Tazewell County, No. 15-CF-138; the
Hon. Richard McCoy, Judge, presiding.
E. Chadd, Peter A. Carusona, and Amber Hopkins-Reed, of State
Appellate Defender's Office, of Ottawa, for appellant.
Stewart J. Umholtz, State's Attorney, of Peking ( Patrick
Delfino, Thomas D. Arado, and Stephanie L. Raymond, of
State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of
counsel), for the People.
Defendant, Michelle A. Paranto, appeals following her
convictions on three counts of aggravated driving under the
influence (DUI). She argues that the statutory section under
which she was convicted is unconstitutional on its face. She
also contends that the circuit court erred in denying her
request to be screened for drug court, considering improper
factors in aggravation at sentencing, and calculating her
fines. We affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand for
¶ 2 I.
¶ 3 On
October 26, 2014, defendant was involved in a multi-car
accident that resulted in the death of Amy Hardin and
significant injuries to Karla Paranto and Sunna Brown. The
State filed a three-count indictment on April 16, 2015. Each
of the counts alleged that defendant committed DUI in that
she operated a motor vehicle "while there was any amount
of drug, substance, or compound" in her body
"resulting from the unlawful use or consumption of
cannabis." See 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(6) (West 2014). Each
count ultimately charged defendant with aggravated DUI; count
I alleged that the car accident was the proximate cause of
Hardin's death ( id. § 11-501(d)(1)(F)),
while counts II and III alleged that the accident was the
proximate cause of great bodily harm suffered by Karla and
Brown, respectively ( id. § 11-501(d)(1)(C)).
Prior to trial, defendant filed a motion requesting an
eligibility screening for drug court. The State objected,
arguing that defendant was strictly ineligible for drug court
because she was charged with a crime of violence. The State
also argued that drug court would otherwise be inappropriate
for defendant. Defendant disagreed with the assertion that
she had been charged with a crime of violence. She also
argued that an eligibility screening was mandatory under the
statute governing drug court and that the circuit court was
therefore without discretion to deny her request.
¶ 5 The
court subsequently issued a written order denying
defendant's request on two grounds. First, the court,
citing People v. Carron, 298 Ill.App.3d 676, 232
Ill.Dec. 794, 699 N.E.2d 241 (1998), found that aggravated
DUI was a crime of violence, rendering defendant ineligible
for drug court. Alternatively, the court found that it had
discretion to deny the request and did so based on the
seriousness of the charges against defendant.
¶ 6 The
case proceeded to a stipulated bench trial on November 2,
2016. The stipulated evidence showed that defendant was
driving with Karla as her passenger when,
at a speed in excess of the posted limit, she proceeded
through a red light at an intersection. Defendant's
vehicle struck a vehicle driven by Hardin, and the two cars
subsequently struck a number of stationary vehicles,
including one occupied by Brown. A medical examination
determined that Hardin died "from multiple blunt
injuries due to a motor vehicle collision." Karla's
injuries included a ruptured spleen, broken ribs, shattered
bones in her leg, loose teeth, and head trauma—
injuries that continued to limit her mobility. Brown's
injuries included trauma to her head, neck, shoulder, and
hip, including ongoing tendinosis and nerve damage. Defendant
agreed to submit to a blood and urine test, which resulted in
a positive finding of 8.3 nanograms per milliliter of Delta-9
tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and a positive finding of 210
nanograms per milliliter of Delta-9 carboxy THC.
¶ 7 The
court found defendant guilty on all counts. Thereafter,
defendant renewed her motion for a drug court eligibility
screening. The court denied the request on the same grounds.
¶ 8 At
sentencing, the State requested the maximum sentence of 14
years' imprisonment on the most serious charge of count
I. Defendant renewed her request for a drug court screening,
which was again denied. In imposing a sentence, the court
observed: "[T]he Court finds that there are two
statutory factors in aggravation, and those are No. 1,
serious harm and death, and No. 2, deterrence." The
court made no further reference to those factors and then
sentenced defendant to terms of six years' imprisonment
on each count, to be served concurrently. The court also
imposed a fine of $10,305. The court pointed out that
defendant would serve 1861 days in prison, and with a credit
of $5 for each of those days, her fine would be effectively
¶ 9 II.
¶ 10 On
appeal, defendant raises the following four arguments: (1)
the statute under which defendant was convicted was
unconstitutional on its face, (2) the court committed error
when it denied defendant's request to be screened for
drug court, (3) the court improperly considered two factors
in aggravation, and (4) the court's calculation of
presentence custody credit and concomitant assessment of
fines were erroneous.
¶ 11 A.
Constitutionality of DUI Statute
Defendant contends that the aggravated DUI statute in effect
at the time of her offense was unconstitutional on its face.
More specifically, she asserts that the law failed to satisfy
the rational basis test because "it was not a reasonable
method of accomplishing the desired legislative objective of
keeping cannabis-impaired drivers off the road."
Where a statute does not bear upon a fundamental
constitutional right, it must only survive rational basis
review to be deemed constitutional. Under that test, a
statute will be upheld if it "bears a reasonable
relationship to a public interest to be served, and the means
adopted are a reasonable method of accomplishing the desired
objective." People v. Adams, 144 Ill.2d 381,
390, 163 Ill.Dec. 483, 581 N.E.2d 637 (1991). Where a statute
subjects wholly innocent conduct to a penalty, it "fails
the rational basis test because it does not represent a
reasonable method of preventing the targeted conduct."
People v. Madrigal, 241 Ill.2d 463, 468, 350
Ill.Dec. 311, 948 N.E.2d 591 (2011).
Defendant was convicted of aggravated DUI in part under
section 11-501(a)(6) of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Code) (625
ILCS 5/11-501(a)(6) (West
2014)). At the time of defendant's offense
in 2014, ...