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  • Illinois Officers, DUI/traffic question

    I have recently had a couple of DUI challenges focus on claiming that the defendant only struck the line and did not cross it. According to the defense this means that the defendant stayed within his lane and so I did not have PC
    I have so far been unable to find any legal definition saying that the lane in inside the lines and does not include the lines.

    Other than the obvious general argument of, “2 cars in opposite directions touching the line = bad deal with no fault,” and the possible new argument that stems from the appellate court saying you don’t actually have to have a violation to stop and investigate a DUI, I can’t find any solid legal rebuttal. Any ideas?

    P.S. I’m in St. Clair County so I need a good argument!
    "Find out just what the people will submit to and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."

    - Frederick Douglass

  • #2
    Originally posted by tutt101 View Post
    I have recently had a couple of DUI challenges focus on claiming that the defendant only struck the line and did not cross it. According to the defense this means that the defendant stayed within his lane and so I did not have PC
    I have so far been unable to find any legal definition saying that the lane in inside the lines and does not include the lines.

    Other than the obvious general argument of, “2 cars in opposite directions touching the line = bad deal with no fault,” and the possible new argument that stems from the appellate court saying you don’t actually have to have a violation to stop and investigate a DUI, I can’t find any solid legal rebuttal. Any ideas?

    P.S. I’m in St. Clair County so I need a good argument!
    I am not in IL, but a good argument is this: Vehicles that are maintained in good mechanical condition do not weave - within or without the lane - unless the driver is not paying attention to the task at hand, they are ill, they are preoccupied with a cell phone or conversation with a passenger.

    The argument for stopping a weaving vehicle is not a suspicion of an impaired driver, but to ascertain the cause for weaving. Vehicles often drift within a lane over a long distance but do not recover with short, sharp movements. They are controlled and almost indiscernible.

    If the driver does not fit in any of the above categories and, if there is no mechanical defect - loose steering arms, pinion rods, etc.- either claimed or observed, then the fact that the officer observes the weaving, combined with the very present odor of an alcoholic beverage, would lead one of reasonable intelligence to believe the driver may be impaired by the consumption of an alcoholic beverage. This would further be supported by additional observations of the eyes, speech, coordination, etc. and finalized with the opinions based on the results of a field sobriety test.

    The purpose of investigation is not only to determine the cause it is to eliminate all other possibilities in the process so a logical explanation can be concluded.

    I hope this will be helpful. It applies in all states, all fields of LE and is generally accepted in all courts.
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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    • #3
      Thank you for your response, but this is why I was hoping to get someone from Illinois to respond, two different locations matter here. What is generally accepted in all courts is not in St. Clair County Illinois!
      Although the…I think third appellate court, decided a case concluding that an officer can stop a vehicle for the sole reason of weaving in its lane in order to investigate a possible impaired driver, this county will likely not accept that. They need an actual violation, period.
      To demonstrate the reluctance in prosecution here, I just did a case were the defense made a motion to suppress the arrest saying that it was improper. The defense argued that I could not have seen the vehicle weave and cross the lane line because there was another vehicle between us. I was following a vehicle that was following my suspect. The judge bought it. How you don’t realize that it’s easy to see past one vehicle is beyond me, but it happened.
      This is why I am seeking some sort of direct legal rebuttal vs. something that is generally accepted.
      "Find out just what the people will submit to and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."

      - Frederick Douglass

      Comment


      • #4
        Scroll down to the State forum and post your query in the Illinois forum. Perhaps you will get a reply in there! Good luck and keep the dirty side down.
        Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

        [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

        Comment


        • #5
          I feel your pain Tutt. I too work in St. Clair County and it is an absolute joke. One of the guys I work with just lost one at the summary suspension for the same thing.

          Part of the problem is the SA's are just terrible. They will dismiss or plead out for the dumbest things. Its obvious some of them have never picked up an IVC book.

          I wait for an obvious violation if I think someone is 55.
          sigpic"To punish and enslave"

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          • #6
            In Florida we can stop even if they're weaving within their lane to see if the driver is sick, injured, or impaired... but I think that may be a Florida case law.

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            • #7
              You don't need PC to conduct a stop, only reasonable suspicion, which is weaving in the lane. If your local judges aren't buying it your prosecuters need to appeal these decisions. If the local prosecuters aren't doing it you may need somebody to drop a dime to MADD.
              Today's Quote:

              "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
              Albert Einstein

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mdrdep View Post
                You don't need PC to conduct a stop, only reasonable suspicion, which is weaving in the lane. If your local judges aren't buying it your prosecuters need to appeal these decisions. If the local prosecuters aren't doing it you may need somebody to drop a dime to MADD.
                You are absolutely correct. Unfortunately, reasonable suspicion does not exist in the vocab of our SA's. St. Clair County has the highest crime rate south of Cook County. The court system here is affectionately known as "hug-a-thug" for good reason.

                The problem with our SA office goes way beyond DUI enforcement. Rumor here is that our SA has a predetermined number of misd and felony warrants he will issue on.
                sigpic"To punish and enslave"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by StudChris View Post
                  In Florida we can stop even if they're weaving within their lane to see if the driver is sick, injured, or impaired... but I think that may be a Florida case law.

                  It's state law here. "Weaving within lane." SS316.???

                  Our drug interdiction guys love that statute.
                  Airborne Cops are closer to God.
                  Arms and legs are just extensions of flight controls.

                  THESE BIG RED LETTERS HELP ME FIND MY POST.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ChopperCopper View Post
                    It's state law here. "Weaving within lane." SS316.???

                    Our drug interdiction guys love that statute.
                    It's not a statute, but case law has proven that weaving, even within a lane, gives enough reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop to see if the driver is possibly sick, injured, or impaired. For DUI guys it means the stop is a good base (I don't make a stop for weaving within a lane unless it's accompanied by low speed or de/accelerating for no reason, or whatever else that isn't exactly PC, but it is RS). For drug guys, it just means you have reason to talk to the driver, and once you're up there you've just got to do a whole lot of looking.

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                    • #11
                      Your politicians are drunks.... just like everywhere else. There's not much you can do but let the DUI's go unless you got their prescious PC. I feel your pain too. Definitely drop a line to MADD anyway. Stir up some stuff.

                      Comment

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