Supreme Court Summaries
Opinions filed July 24, 2008
No. 104181 People v. Wear
Appellate citation: 371 Ill. App. 3d 517.
JUSTICE FITZGERALD delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Chief Justice Thomas and Justices Garman and Karmeier concurred in the judgment and opinion.
Justice Burke specially concurred, with opinion, joined by Justices Freeman and Kilbride.
In 2006, a police officer in White Hall saw this driver speeding, swerving, failing to use a turn signal when required, and rolling through a stop sign. The officer activated his rotator lights and spot lights and followed the driver for several blocks, but the driver never pulled over. Instead, the driver drove to his intended destination, disembarked, and was entering a house when the officer told him to get back in the vehicle. The officer, on approaching the driver, could smell alcohol. The driver entered the house and was arrested there.
In the circuit court of Greene County, charges were filed for DUI and a turn signal violation pursuant to tickets written by the officer at the scene. The driver pled guilty to the latter. The DUI charge was ultimately resolved in his favor.
The driver had refused to submit to chemical testing when he was arrested. Because of this, the officer gave him a notice that his driver’s license was summarily suspended. That is what is at issue here. In civil proceedings in the circuit court, the driver claimed his license should not be suspended for refusing chemical testing because there had been no valid DUI arrest. Generally, a warrant is required to arrest a person within a residence, and probable cause, alone, is not sufficient. However, there are exceptions. One of these is the doctrine of “hot pursuit.” In this case, the driver had claimed his arrest without a warrant was invalid because it took place after he had parked his car and had gone inside the residence where he intended to spend the night.