People v. Haas

Citation203 Ill.App.3d 779,560 N.E.2d 1365
Decision Date20 August 1990
Docket NumberNo. 5-88-0728,5-88-0728
Parties, 148 Ill.Dec. 667 PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Michael HAAS, Defendant-Appellant.
CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois

Page 1365

560 N.E.2d 1365
203 Ill.App.3d 779, 148 Ill.Dec. 667
PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Michael HAAS, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 5-88-0728.
Appellate Court of Illinois,
Fifth District.
Aug. 20, 1990.
Rehearing Denied Sept. 11, 1990.

Page 1368

[203 Ill.App.3d 783] [148 Ill.Dec. 670] Melroy B. Hutnick, Belleville, for defendant-appellant.

John Baricevic, State's Atty., Belleville, Kenneth R. Boyle, Director, Stephen E. Norris, Deputy Director, Ellen Eder Irish, Staff Atty., Office of the State's Attys., Appellate Prosecutor, Mt. Vernon, for plaintiff-appellee.

Justice CHAPMAN delivered the opinion of the court:

The defendant, Michael Haas, was convicted of reckless homicide (count I), driving under the influence of alcohol involving great bodily harm (count II), and driving under the influence of alcohol (count III), by a jury in the circuit court of St. Clair County. Defendant was sentenced on counts I and II to concurrent terms of 30 months' probation. The court refrained from sentencing defendant on count III, on the condition that: defendant provide urine specimens once a week; that he be evaluated by Gateway Foundation and complete any and all rehabilitation, education or treatment; and that he pay a $1000 fine plus court costs. Defendant appeals his conviction.

The accident which gave rise to defendant's conviction occurred May 17, 1987, after 1:30 a.m., on 6th Street in Mascoutah, Illinois, just south of where 6th Street intersects Fuesser Road. The speed limit on 6th Street is 55 miles per hour. It is a two-lane highway which intersects Fuesser Road at a 90-degree angle. The intersection of 6th Street and Fuesser Road is controlled only by stop signs for vehicles traveling on Fuesser Road. The area in and around the intersection is flat and without visual obstructions.

Just prior to the accident Michael Haas was driving south on 6th Street, and his friend Matthew Rasp was riding in the passenger seat. Michael Haas testified at trial that as he drove down 6th Street he passed a stopped vehicle and a police car with its red lights on, which [203 Ill.App.3d 784] were on a side street. Kevin Renth was the driver of the stopped vehicle. As Haas drove past, Renth pulled out behind him. Haas testified that as he approached Fuesser Road, he was traveling 35 miles per hour, and was approximately 100 feet from the intersection when he entered the oncoming lane of traffic. He drove into the oncoming lane because he intended to make a left turn onto Fuesser Road. He did not see any oncoming vehicles or any headlights. Haas observed the vehicle behind him begin to pass him on the right. Haas was in the oncoming lane of traffic for one or two seconds when the impact occurred between his vehicle and a police patrol vehicle driven by officer Brett Warner.

Officer Warner, a patrolman with the Mascoutah police department, was traveling northbound on 6th Street immediately prior to the accident. He was traveling 50 miles per hour. Warner testified that, as he approached the Fuesser Road intersection, he observed southbound traffic in the southbound lane coming towards him. He testified that when he was approximately 100 feet from the intersection he noticed the vehicle in the southbound lane pull into his lane as if it wanted to make a turn onto Fuesser Road. Warner stated that when he saw the vehicle come into his lane he immediately turned to the right and applied his brakes. When Warner started leaving

Page 1369

[148 Ill.Dec. 671] the roadway to the right, the impact occurred. He did not recall much of what happened after the accident.

Matthew Rasp was killed in the accident. After the accident Michael Haas was transported to the hospital and submitted to a blood test for the purpose of obtaining his blood-alcohol content. The results of the tests on the blood samples were admitted at trial over defendant's objection. Defendant contends that he was not given Miranda warnings (see Miranda v. Arizona (1966), 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694) and that he did not authorize the withdrawal of his blood for the purpose of testing. Defendant argues that even if he were given Miranda warnings and otherwise advised of his rights, he was in no condition to understand those rights or to intelligently waive them. Defendant contends that the trial court erred in ruling that he knowingly and intelligently waived his rights against self-incrimination and voluntarily authorized the withdrawal of his blood. Defendant refers us to the testimony elicited at trial by witnesses who described his condition after the accident.

Kevin Renth identified himself as the person who was driving the car that Michael Haas testified had pulled out behind him on 6th Street prior to the collision. Renth testified that after the collision, he stopped his car and ran over to Haas' truck. He testified, "the truck [203 Ill.App.3d 785] had turned over and he was like sitting up * * * I think he was knocked out * * * he crawled through the window * * * there was somebody underneath him." Renth continued, "he wasn't hysterical * * * he was just walking around and, you know, saying I can't believe this happened. I wouldn't say he was hysterical * * * considering what happened, he was in pretty good shape."

Joseph Beil, the second person to arrive at the accident scene, testified that "the truck was on its side, kind of like sitting kind of straight up, like if there had been a chair sideways before the truck turned over, he was sitting upright." Beil described Haas after he got out of the truck as "real hysterical and everything * * * scared and panicky * * * not in a calm state of mind * * * he was crying."

Jeffrey Wombacher, another witness at the scene testified that he went to the hospital where Michael Haas was transported. Wombacher testified that "he was shaken up pretty bad, had cuts and everything from the wreck * * * he was just all excited and he was trying to calm down."

Michael Haas testified that he does not recall Kevin Renth being at the scene of the accident. Haas remembered the police at the scene asking him what had happened, but did not remember what answers he gave. Haas also could not recall whether he was given any admonitions against self-incrimination. He testified, however, that he remembered the police transporting him to the hospital, and remembered that he was able to provide the hospital admissions personnel with the information they needed. Although he recalled signing a form and the nurse taking his blood in the examining room, he did not recollect anyone explaining to him the rights of motorists with regard to giving blood.

Robert Brandkamp, a deputy with the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department, testified that he arrived at the accident scene shortly after the collision. Brandkamp testified that at the time that he spoke with the defendant, Haas was crying and upset, and when he asked Haas what had happened, Haas stated that they had been to the Mayfest and were on their way back to Mascoutah. Brandkamp testified that he ceased questioning Haas when he noticed that Haas had the odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. Brandkamp testified that he asked the defendant if he would be willing to submit to a blood-alcohol test, and that the defendant responded that he would. Haas was then transported to the hospital by deputy Klucker.

Keith Klucker, the St. Clair County sheriff's deputy who transported Haas to the hospital, testified that after the accident and at approximately 2:35 a.m., he read defendant his Miranda rights and [203 Ill.App.3d 786] warning to motorists. Deputy Klucker stated that after he read defendant his rights, the defendant advised him that he was aware of

Page 1370

[148 Ill.Dec. 672] them and that he understood his rights. Although Klucker did not have the defendant sign the warning to motorists form, Klucker testified that the defendant did sign the hospital form authorizing hospital personnel to draw a blood sample to determine its alcohol content.

Section 11-501.1(c) of the Illinois Vehicle Code requires that a person requested to submit to a blood test be warned by the law enforcement officer requesting the test that a refusal to submit to the test will result in the statutory summary suspension of such person's driving privileges. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-501.1(c).) A written warning is not required. In re Rakers (1989), 187 Ill.App.3d 27, 32, 134 Ill.Dec. 804, 807, 542 N.E.2d 1311, 1314.

The trial court found that, while defendant was obviously upset about the accident, he was oriented as to time, place, and circumstances, and was aware of what he was involved in and of what was happening to him as the evening progressed. The court found that the officer advised Haas of his rights and that Haas indicated that he understood those rights. When the evidence is contradictory, it is for the trial court to resolve all conflicts and determine the credibility of the witnesses. We will not disturb the trial court's findings unless they are against the manifest weight of the evidence. (Orchard Shopping Center, Inc. v. Campo (1985), 138 Ill.App.3d 656, 665, 93 Ill.Dec. 38, 44, 485 N.E.2d 1248, 1254.) We find that the trial court's denial of defendant's motions to suppress was not against the manifest weight of the evidence.

We also find that defendant's argument that the court erred in not suppressing the blood-alcohol test results because he was not given Miranda warnings to be without merit. Miranda warnings are applicable only to testimonial evidence. (Miranda, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694.) Blood tests are noncommunicative in nature. (Schmerber v. California (1966), 384 U.S. 757, 86 S.Ct. 1826, 16 L.Ed.2d 908), and as such may be conducted without the procedural protections encompassed by the Miranda warnings. See Village of Algonquin v. Ford (1986), 145 Ill.App.3d 19, 99 Ill.Dec. 148, 495 N.E.2d 595.


To continue reading

Request your trial
5 cases
  • People v. Carvajal
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • February 26, 1993
    ... ... Haas (1990), 203 Ill.App.3d 779, 796, 148 Ill.Dec. 667, 560 N.E.2d 1365 ...         Here, although the constructive possession instruction might not have been essential to the State's case, we do not believe it prejudiced defendants. The instruction certainly helped the jury connect the gun ... ...
  • People v. Atteberry
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • May 17, 1991
    ... ... We disagree. In its entirety, the language of I.P.I. Criminal Instruction contained a sufficient explanation that the presumption was rebuttable ...         According to People v. Haas (1990), 203 Ill.App.3d 779, 148 Ill.Dec. 667, 560 N.E.2d 1365, Criminal I.P.I. Instruction 23.06 did not create a constitutionally impermissible presumption. The language of the first paragraph of the instruction would create an impermissible presumption. However, the language of the second ... ...
  • People v. Crowe
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • August 3, 1992
    ... ...         We note that the State's instruction of which defendant complains is taken verbatim from an instruction approved under similar circumstances by the Fifth District Appellate Court in People v. Haas (1990), 203 Ill.App.3d 779, 795, 148 Ill.Dec. 667, 678, 560 N.E.2d 1365, 1376, appeal denied (1990), 135 Ill.2d 561, 151 Ill.Dec. 387, 564 N.E.2d 842. A similar instruction, however, was deemed erroneous by the Third District Appellate Court in People v. Atteberry (1991), 213 Ill.App.3d 851, 157 ... ...
  • People v. Joyce
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • March 28, 1991
    ... ... (County Court v. Allen (1979), 442 U.S. 140, 157, 99 S.Ct. 2213, 2225, 60 L.Ed.2d 777, 792; People v. Haas (1990), 203 Ill.App.3d 779, 793-94, 148 Ill.Dec. 667, 560 N.E.2d 1365.) A permissive presumption leaves the trier of fact free to accept or reject the connection between the presumed fact and the basic fact. (County Court, 442 U.S. at 157, 99 S.Ct. at 2224-25, 60 L.Ed.2d at 792.) In criminal ... ...
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT