People v. Luedemann, 100914.

Citation306 Ill.Dec. 94,857 N.E.2d 187,222 Ill.2d 530
Decision Date05 October 2006
Docket NumberNo. 100914.,100914.
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellant, v. Derek M. LUEDEMANN, Appellee.
CourtSupreme Court of Illinois

Lisa Madigan, Attorney General, Springfield, John E. Barsanti, State's Attorney, St. Charles (Gary Feinerman, Solicitor General, Linda D. Woloshin, David H. Iskowich, Assistant Attorneys General, Chicago, Norbert J. Goetten, Martin P. Moltz and Gregory L. Slovacek, Office of the State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor, Elgin, of counsel), for the People.

Brian E. Leach, of McNamee, Mahoney & Leach, Ltd., West Dundee, for appellee.

Gerald J. Sullivan, West Chicago, for amicus curiae Fraternal Order of Police of Illinois.

OPINION

Chief Justice THOMAS delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion:

Defendant, Derek M. Luedemann, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2) (West 2002)) and illegal transportation of alcohol (625 ILCS 5/11-502(a) (West 2002)). In a separate case, defendant was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance (a methylenedioxy amphetamine derivative) (720 ILCS 570/402(c) (West 2002)). Defendant moved to quash his arrest and suppress evidence in both cases. Additionally, he petitioned to rescind the statutory summary suspension of his driver's license. The basis for the motions was that there was no warrant for his arrest and that the arresting officer had neither probable cause nor a reasonable articulable suspicion that defendant was engaged in criminal activity. In the DUI case, the circuit court of Kane County granted both the motion to suppress and the petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension. Defendant then moved in the controlled substances case to bar the State from contesting the motion to suppress. The trial court granted the motion, ruling that the State was collaterally estopped from contesting the motion to suppress. The State filed a certificate of impairment and appealed, arguing that the trial court in the DUI case erred in granting the motion to suppress and that the trial court in the controlled substances case erred when it granted the motion to collaterally estop the State from contesting the motion to suppress. The appellate court, with one justice dissenting, affirmed in part and vacated in part. 357 Ill.App.3d 411, 293 Ill.Dec. 385, 828 N.E.2d 355. In the DUI case, the appellate court affirmed the trial court's granting of the motion to suppress. However, the court also held that the State was not collaterally estopped from contesting the motion to suppress in the controlled substances case because, at the time the trial court made the collateral estoppel ruling, the trial court's decision in the DUI case was on appeal and not yet final. 357 Ill.App.3d at 426, 293 Ill.Dec. 385, 828 N.E.2d 355. We allowed the State's petition for leave to appeal. 177 Ill.2d R. 315.

BACKGROUND

Officer Eric Pate of the Hampshire police department was the sole witness to testify at the hearing on defendant's petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension of his driver's license, and Officer Pate's testimony was also considered by the trial court in ruling on defendant's motion to suppress in the DUI case. Officer Pate testified that he was on patrol in a residential neighborhood on August 17, 2002, at approximately 2:40 a.m. He was driving west on Julie Street when he saw defendant sitting in the driver's seat of a car parked in front of 305 Julie Street. The car was legally parked and facing east. Officer Pate noticed that defendant was smoking a cigarette. As Officer Pate's car came closer to defendant's, he saw defendant reach toward the floorboard on the passenger side of the car. Officer Pate's car was approximately 25 to 30 feet away from defendant's car at this time. Defendant then returned to a seated position, and, as Officer Pate's car approached, defendant slumped down approximately six to eight inches in his seat.

Officer Pate drove past defendant's vehicle and parked in the center of the street, with his car still facing west. Officer Pate exited his vehicle and approached defendant's car from the rear driver's side. Defendant had his window rolled down, and he was listening to the car's stereo. As Officer Pate approached, defendant turned off the car's engine. Officer Pate had not asked him to do so. When Officer Pate was at the rear quarter panel of the vehicle, he noticed the neck of a brown glass bottle. The bottle was on the floor in front of the passenger seat. Officer Pate could see the top two or three inches of the bottle because he was illuminating the vehicle with his flashlight. Officer Pate noticed that the bottle was uncapped. Officer Pate asked defendant what he was doing there, and he also asked for defendant's identification. Defendant provided his identification and explained that he was waiting for his girlfriend to return home. Defendant pointed to his girlfriend's house but said that he did not know the address. Officer Pate explained that he had decided to question defendant about what he was doing because within the last week there had been vehicles damaged and three homes burglarized on Julie Street. The burglaries occurred between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. However, the police had no description of the perpetrator or of the perpetrator's vehicle.

While Officer Pate was speaking to defendant, he noticed that defendant's speech was slurred and that his eyes were bloodshot and glassy. Additionally, Officer Pate could smell alcohol on defendant's breath. Because Officer Pate observed signs of intoxication, he radioed for another officer to join him. Officer Pate then pulled his squad car directly behind defendant's car and activated his car's videotape system. Officer Harris arrived on the scene, and the two officers approached defendant's vehicle, one on each side. Harris found an open Miller Lite bottle on the floor of the passenger side of defendant's vehicle, in the same spot where Officer Pate had previously noticed an open bottle. Officer Pate asked defendant to step out of the vehicle. Officer Pate then asked defendant if he could pat him down for weapons, and defendant agreed. Officer Pate found no weapons. He then instructed Officer Harris to remove the bottle from the vehicle. Harris said that the bottle was one-third full and cool to the touch. Officer Pate could see condensation on the bottle.

Defendant admitted that he had been drinking, and he agreed to perform field sobriety tests. Defendant subsequently failed the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the nine-step walk-and-turn test, the one-leg stand test, and the finger-to-nose test. Officer Pate then told defendant that he believed defendant was under the influence of alcohol, and he placed defendant under arrest. Defendant protested that he had been parked, and Officer Pate explained to him that he had been in physical control of a motor vehicle. After defendant was arrested, the officers searched his vehicle and found a substance containing a methylenedioxy amphetamine derivative.

At the close of Officer Pate's testimony, the circuit court granted the petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension. The court found that Officer Pate had neither probable cause for an arrest nor a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity sufficient to justify a Terry stop. The State moved to reconsider, arguing that the court's ruling was erroneous because Officer Pate did not seize defendant until after he observed signs of intoxication. The State cited cases holding that the police do not violate the fourth amendment merely by approaching a person in public and asking him questions. See Immigration & Naturalization Service v. Delgado, 466 U.S. 210, 216, 104 S.Ct. 1758, 1762, 80 L.Ed.2d 247, 255 (1984); People v. Love, 199 Ill.2d 269, 278, 263 Ill.Dec. 808, 769 N.E.2d 10 (2002). Thus, according to the State, Officer Pate was entitled to approach defendant and ask him questions, provided that he did not make a show of authority sufficient to transform the encounter into a seizure. The State argued that no seizure occurred until Officer Pate asked defendant to step out of the car and, at that time, a Terry stop was warranted because Officer Pate had a reasonable suspicion that defendant was intoxicated while in control of a motor vehicle. Alternatively, the State argued that, even if Officer Pate did seize defendant prior to asking him to step out of the vehicle, defendant's behavior was sufficiently suspicious to justify a stop under Terry. The circuit court denied the motion in a written order, without comment.

Relying on the findings it made in granting the petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension, the circuit court later granted the motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence. The State moved for more detailed findings, arguing that the court's findings were insufficient in that there were no findings of fact or any determination as to when the stop occurred. The State also moved to reconsider the order quashing arrest and suppressing evidence.

At a hearing on the State's motions, the circuit court agreed to make more detailed findings. The court stated the following for the record:

"As I review the transcript the first witness to testify was Officer Eric Pate of the Hampshire police department. Officer Pate's testimony from Page 6 through Page 11 essentially says that he was driving his car and he saw a person sitting in a parked car smoking a cigarette, and that he saw him lean forward and then ultimately slouched down a little bit. And on that basis he made a U turn, pulled in behind him and essentially conducted a stop.1

The Court finds, for the record, that on that basis Officer Pate, using good policeman intuition, stopped the vehicle. But in fact, his intuition, while ultimately turned up something, was really nothing more than a hunch. And I think as I stated at the time...

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