Section Newsletter Articles on Traffic Laws

Chicago red light cameras scheme constitutional By Patti Gregory-Chang Administrative Law, March 2009 In Chicago, red light cameras take pictures of cars whose drivers run red lights and make illegal turns at intersections. Owners of vehicles, with the exception of leased vehicles, are liable for tickets.
Supreme Court broadens law enforcement investigatory powers By Michael D. Bersani Local Government Law, March 2009 In an historical decision rendered on January 26, 2009, the United States Supreme Court in Arizona v. Johnson, unanimously upheld the authority of the police to “stop and frisk” a passenger detained pursuant to a valid traffic stop, when the officer reasonably suspects that the person is armed and dangerous but does not suspect criminal activity.
Your client’s driver’s license will be suspended for failure to have vehicle insurance, if they are convicted of driving without vehicle insurance By Ava George Stewart General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, January 2009 Effective July 2, 2007 the Illinois Vehicle Code was changed, causing a mandatory three-month suspension of driving privileges for anyone convicted of driving without insurance.
Minimal property damage as evidence of non-injury By John B. Kincaid Civil Practice and Procedure, December 2008 Despite the youth of the century, the Twenty-First has already spawned six cases from four Appellate Court districts dealing with defense efforts to establish lack of plaintiff’s injury by showing minimal vehicle contact.
Motions to vacate guilty plea after license suspension by Secretary of State By Rachel J. Hess Traffic Laws and Courts, December 2008 This article addresses the practical use of the ‘2-1401’ motion to vacate a guilty plea.
Frye on HGN—Part I By Edward M. Maloney Traffic Laws and Courts, September 2008 Everyone in the DUI field knows that the Supreme Court, in People v. McKown, ordered a Frye hearing on whether the HGN test had been generally accepted as a reliable indicator of alcohol impairment.
Illinois Supreme Court extends “Hot Pursuit” Doctrine to include misdemeanors By Ashley Kwasneski Traffic Laws and Courts, September 2008 In People v. Wear, 2008 WL 2840571 (Ill.Sup.Ct. 2008), the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the defendant’s driving under the influence conviction finding that probable cause existed to place him under arrest while the defendant was still in a public place and that the defendant’s subsequent arrest inside his home was justified by the “hot pursuit” doctrine.
Legal issues to be aware of in representing drivers under age 21 By Steve Baker Traffic Laws and Courts, September 2008 Two traffic “convictions” within any two year period results in a 3-month license suspension (as opposed to 3 convictions in one year for an adult). 625 ILCS 5/6-206 (a) 36.
New MDDP rules By Edward M. Maloney Traffic Laws and Courts, September 2008 Starting January 1, 2009, Judicial Driving Permits will go the way of the dinosaur having been destroyed by the MADD comet.
People v. James C. Ewing, No. 4-07-0184: An informant tip received by telephone may form the basis of a Terry stop if the tip is reliable and the tip allows the police officer to reasonably infer that a person was involved in criminal activity By David B. Franks Traffic Laws and Courts, September 2008 In January 2007, Defendant, James C. Ewing, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a) (2).
Physical actions control verbal responses in determining a refusal in statutory summary suspension hearings By J. Brick Van Der Snick Traffic Laws and Courts, September 2008 People v. Severson, 379 Ill. App. 3d 699 (2nd Dist 2008). On March 7, 2008 the Illinois Appellate Court Second District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of DeKalb County, Illinois granting defendant’s petition to rescind statutory summary suspension.
Creating and perfecting a security interest in a vehicle: Illinois Vehicle Code checkmates Article 9 of the UCC By Adela C. Lucchesi Young Lawyers Division, June 2008 Typically, Article 9 governs when creating and perfecting a security interest in collateral. However, as always, there are exceptions to the general rule.
Recent traffic cases By James J. Ahern and Thomas M. Moran Traffic Laws and Courts, June 2008 According to the First District Appellate Court, a defendant’s right to a speedy trial is not violated when, after charging the defendant with domestic battery and aggravated battery upon a police officer, prosecutors withdrew, or nolle-prossed the charges after the defendant demanded trial and later re-filed a charge of aggravated battery after the defendant was released from the Illinois Department of Corrections for a parole violation. People v. Castillo, 372 Ill.App.3d 77, 865 N.E.2d 208, 309 Ill.Dec.845 (1st Dist 2007).
New legislation By Steve Baker Traffic Laws and Courts, February 2008 Amends the Criminal Code of 1961. Provides that in cases involving reckless homicide in which the defendant unintentionally kills an individual while driving in a posted school zone or in a construction or maintenance zone, the trier of fact may infer that the defendant’s actions were performed recklessly where he or she was also either driving at a speed of more that 20 miles per hour in excess of the posted speed limit or violation the DUI provisions of the Illinois Vehicle code.
Recent traffic cases By James J. Ahern and Thomas M. Moran Traffic Laws and Courts, February 2008 Section 12-503(c) of the Illinois Vehicle Code prohibits a person from operating a vehicle: …with any objects placed or suspended between the driver and the front windshield, rear window, side wings or side windows immediately adjacent to each side of the driver which materially obstructs the driver’s view. (Emphasis added).
Did People v. McKown “Frye” the HGN test? By Christopher B. Klis Traffic Laws and Courts, December 2007 The old saying be careful of what you ask for because you just might get it, applies to all DUI practitioners. If you object at trial to the admission of the HGN based on Frye, be prepared to conduct a full hearing regarding the test. The attorneys from both sides who are the first to conduct a full Frye hearing regarding the admission of the HGN, will inevitably change the course of future DUI trials in the state.
Recent traffic cases By James J. Ahern and Thomas M. Moran Traffic Laws and Courts, December 2007 The trial court has authority to order that bond funds be used to provide restitution notwithstanding the fact that the bond is posted by someone other than the defendant.
Legislative update: Ten new Public Acts that affect general practice By J.A. Sebastian General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, November 2007 The following is a summary of recent legislative action of interest to members of the ISBA General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm Section.
High-speed pursuits after Scott v. Harris By Jenette M. Schwemler Local Government Law, August 2007 This article examines the reasoning behind the Supreme Court’s decision, as well as implications it has on current policies and procedures involving high-speed pursuits.
Can a single strand of beads hanging from the rearview mirror form the basis for a legitimate traffic stop? By J. Brick Van Der Snick Traffic Laws and Courts, March 2007 In People v. Ronald Cole, the Illinois Appellate Court for the Fourth District held that a single strand of beads hanging from a defendant’s rearview mirror, without materially obstructing the defendant’s view, could not form a legitimate basis for a traffic stop of the defendant.
New law abolishes judicial driving permits By Edward M. Maloney Traffic Laws and Courts, March 2007 Recently, MADD, AAIM and other support groups came to the conclusion that the increased use of BAIID or SCRAM devices would reduce the DUI recidivist rate.
The saga of admissibility of vehicular post-collision photographs continues By Stephen C. Buser Civil Practice and Procedure, March 2007 The First District Appellate Court decided nearly four years ago in Dicosola v. Bowman, 342 Ill.App. 3d 530, 794 N.E. 2d 875, 276 Ill.Dec.625 (1st Dist. 2003) that vehicular post-collision photographs were not admissible in automobile accident litigation absent expert testimony.
Admonitions in the criminal court: Waiver of Counsel, Jury Demand, and Noncitizen Guilty Pleas By Patrick M. Kinnally Traffic Laws and Courts, January 2007 Whether one agrees with the requirement of advising noncitizens about the immigration consequences relating to a plea of guilty is not the issue, but the law.
Community caretaking: No longer the third tier of police-citizen encounters By Steven J. Block Traffic Laws and Courts, January 2007 In Illinois, the appropriate test in determining whether a seizure has occurred for a person seated in a parked vehicle is well settled.
Recent cases and cases of interest By James J. Ahern and Thomas M. Moran Traffic Laws and Courts, January 2007 Recent cases of interest to traffic lawyers.
Summary of traffic-related decisions published in the official reports By Hon. Daniel M. Locallo Traffic Laws and Courts, May 2006 NOTE: This is the first half of the Traffic-Related Decisions Summary. The second half will be published in the next edition of the Newsletter
Terry stops: the riddle of Fourth and Fifth Amendment jurisprudence By Patrick M. Kinnally General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, September 2004 Benny Bogain has come to see you. Over the years, he has experienced a few problems with local law enforcement officers. A DUI, a battery charge, and most recently a minor ordinance violation for possessing a 12-pack in Lincoln Park.
Recent cases By Thomas M. Moran and James J. Ahern Traffic Laws and Courts, April 2004 A police officer has authority to stop a vehicle when the driver remains at a standstill for 20 seconds after the traffic control signal turns green. In People v. Kelly, No. #2-02-0274, ___ Ill.App.3d ___, 802 N.E.2d 850, 280 Ill.Dec. 599 (2d Dist. 2003), after the officer observed the defendant's vehicle remain stopped at an intersection for approximately 20 seconds after the light turned green.
A preliminary breath screening test (PBT) is admissible in a hearing in a motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence and in a petition to rescind statutory summary suspension By Sean D. Brady Traffic Laws and Courts, December 2001 The general rule in a driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) case is that the State cannot admit into evidence the results of a preliminary breath-screening test (PBT) in its case in chief.
“Primary stop” ordinances: home rule power By Lawrence W. Terrell Traffic Laws and Courts, January 2001 According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45 percent and reduce the risk of serious injury by 50 percent. Nevertheless, nearly one-third of all Americans still do not buckle up.