Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Traffic Laws

A primer on motions to vacate in traffic cases By Lisa L. Dunn Traffic Laws and Courts, September 2012 A properly pled §5/2-1401 petition to vacate can be a highly effective and expeditious means to “correct” your client’s actions from failing to appear in court and the resulting suspension of his driver’s license.
Relief from a mandatory revocation for causing death by violation of the vehicle code By J. Randall Cox Traffic Laws and Courts, September 2012 relatively new section of the Vehicle Code provides for the mandatory revocation of driving privileges if someone violates a provision of the Vehicle Code, and that violation proximately causes the death of another.
Uncounseled misdemeanor convictions may lead to felonies charges under People ex rel. Glasgow v. Kinney By Ted P. Hammel and Sarah M. Vahey Traffic Laws and Courts, September 2012 In the recent Illinois Supreme Court case of People ex rel. Glasgow v. Kinney, the Court held that prior uncounseled misdemeanor DUI convictions may be considered in determining whether a latter offense will be elevated to a nonprobationable Class 2 felony.
Analyzing People v. Smith: Is the key to improper lane usage what is in the officer’s mind? By Rachel J. Hess Traffic Laws and Courts, May 2012 Even though the case was decided more than 15 years ago, what actually constitutes a violation of improper lane usage is still hotly debated among the districts.
People v. Smulik By David B. Franks Traffic Laws and Courts, May 2012 The Appellate Court concluded that the anonymous tip in the matter at bar lacked predictive value. The Appellate Court concluded that the informant did not predict anything; the informant merely reported contemporaneous observations as to the description and location of a vehicle she was following.  
People v. Barwan, et al By David B. Franks Traffic Laws and Courts, March 2012 Three unrelated cases, involving the same issue, were consolidated for decision. Each of three defendants were charged by indictment with driving under the influence of alcohol.
People v. Price By David B. Franks Traffic Laws and Courts, March 2012 The arresting officer’s testimony regarding the size of the air freshener, how it swayed back and forth, and that it would have obstructed defendant’s view based on defendant’s sitting position, provided the arresting officer reasonable suspicion, based on a material obstruction, to justify the arresting officer stopping defendant’s vehicle.  
Review of People v. Hall By Donald J. Ramsell Traffic Laws and Courts, March 2012 In this case, because the defendant was a judge, the Illinois Attorney Generals’ office was brought in to handle the matter. Two weeks later, after the assistant attorney general learned that the blood samples were still at the hospital, they were ordered to be released to authorities for testing at the Illinois State Police laboratory. The samples did not contain a preservative.  
Sixty-two days means exactly that! By J. Brick Van Der Snick Traffic Laws and Courts, March 2012 A discussion of the ramifications of the People v. Clairmont & Fernandez decision.
Summary suspension notice through the mail By Edward M. Maloney Traffic Laws and Courts, March 2012 Counsel should advise clients that if they receive a postcard indicating that they have a letter for certified mail, they should contact their attorney first before accepting and signing for the letter.
You think your client is going to lie on the stand—The classic dilemma of a criminal defense lawyer By Juliet Boyd Traffic Laws and Courts, March 2012 If faced by this dilemma, a lawyer should review the cases, the approaches and the rules of professional conduct. The lawyer must carefully analyze the facts of their situation. It may also be helpful to call the confidential hot line at the ARDC for advice or to pose a hypothetical to an experienced colleague. Unfortunately there is no simple resolution to this question.
HOUSE BILLS—Criminal, Juvenile & Traffic By Steve Baker Criminal Justice, February 2012 Recent cases of interest to criminal law practitioners.
Primer on Standardized Field Sobriety Tests & Preliminary Breath Tests for DUI arrests By J. Brick Van Der Snick Traffic Laws and Courts, December 2011 A basic outline of the SFSTs and PBT in the State of Illinois. 
People v. Geier By David B. Franks Traffic Laws and Courts, August 2011 Initial probable cause did not dissipate merely because Arresting Officer continued to follow motorist for two to four miles, after observing traffic violation, before stopping motorist.
Summary suspension after a motor vehicle accident By Lisa L. Dunn Traffic Laws and Courts, August 2011 A discussion of the recent appellate case of Odom v. White, in which the injuries suffered in two motor vehicle accidents met the statutory definition of a type A injury, which confers implied consent for a blood-alcohol test.
People v. Aronson: Missing video results in rescission due to inferences drawn in favor of the defendant By Sean D. Brady Traffic Laws and Courts, May 2011 A summary of the recent case of People v. Aronson.
Revenue sharing analysis for traffic citations By Marty Shanahan Local Government Law, January 2011 A look at how revenues are shared among the different departments within a municipality.
People of the State of Illinois v. Marina Kladis, No. 1-09-0686. Discovery sanctions in a misdemeanor DUI case can bar testimony of an arresting officer when a videotape has been discovered By Ava George Stewart Traffic Laws and Courts, November 2010 Kladis provides a roadmap for practitioners to avoid the destruction of discovery as well as what to do in the event the discovery is inadvertently destroyed.
People v. Maldonado By David B. Franks Traffic Laws and Courts, November 2010 The appellate court concluded that the DUI statute was ambiguous because it prescribed mutually exclusive sentencing schemes for a defendant who has been convicted of committing a sixth or subsequent DUI.
A primer on breath, blood, and urine testing when performed for law enforcement purposes By Nancy G. Easum Traffic Laws and Courts, November 2010 A discussion of the rules regarding chemical testing in Illinois.
The appellate court affirms grand jury’s subpoena power to issue subpoenas in DUI cases By J. Brick Van Der Snick Traffic Laws and Courts, August 2010 An examination of the 5th District Appellate Court opinion of People v. Bauer.
Back to the basics: Challenging the accuracy of field sobriety tests By Rachel J. Hess Traffic Laws and Courts, August 2010 Generally, in order for a “test” to be considered valid, it must be supported by a reasonable degree of validity in accordance with Frye v. United States.
Defending “unlicensed” drivers in the State of Illinois and creation of an Illinois Special Driver’s License Certification Program By Neal Connors Traffic Laws and Courts, August 2010 Establishing a special driver’s license certification program which is legally verifiable, fee-based, and state-administered, ensures that tens of thousands of unlicensed drivers in Illinois obtain driving privileges subject to regulations established to protect the citizens of the State of Illinois.
The Illinois Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of suspension of driving privileges if a person receives court supervision for unlawful consumption of alcohol under 21 years of age By Lisa L. Dunn Traffic Laws and Courts, August 2010 Section 6-206(a)(43) of the Illinois Vehicle Code requires suspension of driving privileges if a person receives court supervision for unlawful consumption of alcohol under 21 years of age.
Illinois appellate court affirms suppression of Garrity statements in police official misconduct case Local Government Law, July 2010 In its decision, the Third District Appellate Court concluded that “the ‘Garrity Warnings’ standing alone are sufficient to support the application of Garrity immunity.”
Defendant’s failure to appear in court during a speedy trial demand causes waiver of demand By J. Brick Van Der Snick Traffic Laws and Courts, June 2010 The First District Appellate Court reversed the trial court's finding that Defendant’s failure to appear in court temporarily suspended but did not waive the 160-day speedy trial period.
People of the State of Illinois v. Samuel McPeak, No. 2080572: There must be evidence of the presence of cannabis in the blood, breath, or urine to be found guilty of a DUI based on 11-501(a)(6) By Ava George Stewart Traffic Laws and Courts, June 2010 This decision seems to put the brakes on the statute’s requirement of “any amount of drugs” in the body being sufficient to convict for a DUI.
People v. Nunez, Docket No. 108189, SUPREME COURT OF ILLINOIS 2010 Ill. LEXIS 280 By David B. Franks Traffic Laws and Courts, June 2010 The Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court finding, holding that Defendant was properly convicted of both aggravated DUI and DWLR, and that DWLR is not a lesser-included offense of aggravated DUI.
SCRAM: A sentencing option in alcohol-related offenses By Hon. Gregory Paul Vazquez Traffic Laws and Courts, June 2010 An explanation of SCRAM technology.
Fifth District revisits admissibility of vehicle photograph in auto accident litigation for the third time in three years By Stephen C. Buser Civil Practice and Procedure, May 2010 The Illinois Supreme Court may finally decide to provide lawyers involved in auto accident litigation with a “rigid line” or at least sufficient guidelines of when an expert is or is not required to have vehicle photographs admitted into evidence.