Section Newsletter Articles on Traffic Laws

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.
Condition, cause AND foreseeability By Albert E. Durkin Tort Law, April 2010 When an attorney is faced with questions as to when conduct is a cause and when it is only a condition, close attention must be paid to a plaintiff’s conduct.
Defending tickets given for passing a school bus By Rachel J. Hess Traffic Laws and Courts, March 2010 In Illinois, the driver of a vehicle shall stop such vehicle before meeting or overtaking, from either direction, any school bus stopped at any location for the purpose of receiving or discharging pupils.
Failure to comply with Rule 431(b)’s Direction to Inquire of Jurors of the Defendants’ Enumerated Rights may be reversible error By J. Randall Cox Traffic Laws and Courts, March 2010 Rule 431(b) requires a trial court to ask each potential juror individually, or in a group, whether each understands and accepts four principles.
FMCSA bars driver “texting” while driving By William D. Brejcha Energy, Utilities, Telecommunications, and Transportation, March 2010 Electronic devices used for texting are prohibited under current FMCSR safety regulations.
How to avoid multiple court appearances By Ted P. Hammel and Sarah M. Vahey Traffic Laws and Courts, March 2010 The recent Third District Appellate Court Opinion of People v. Ziobro, 2010 WL 184073 (Ill.App. 3 Dist. Jan 13, 2010), reinforces the right of a defendant charged with a DUI, or other traffic offense, who expressly follows the procedures in Supreme Court Rules 504 and 505, to have a trial on the merits on the first appearance date (or now, on the first “clerk” scheduled trial date).
People v. McDonough, 395 Ill.App.3d 194, 334 Ill.Dec.764 (4th Dist. 2009) By David B. Franks Traffic Laws and Courts, March 2010 In this DUI case, the trial court granted Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence on the ground that the State Trooper had improperly seized Defendant. Because the State Trooper did not engage in any police misconduct, the 4th District Appellate Court reversed the trial court, ruling that the exclusionary rule did not apply to this case.
Recent cases and cases of interest By Thomas M. Moran Traffic Laws and Courts, March 2010 Summaries of recent traffic law cases.
Sufficiency of proof for a conviction of DUI and reliability of Field-Sobriety Tests in proving intoxication By J. Brick Van Der Snick Traffic Laws and Courts, March 2010 In an opinion authored by Justice Steigmann, the court reviewed the evidence introduced at trial to determine whether it proved Defendant guilty of DUI beyond a reasonable doubt and also analyzed the Defendant’s claim that the field-sobriety tests were unreliable.
Admissibility of vehicle impact photographs By Timothy W. Kelly Tort Law, February 2010 The standard for the admissibility of photographs of a motor vehicle collision depicting minimal damage to the vehicles in a personal injury trial has been debated since the First District Appellate Court’s opinion inDicosola v. Bowman, 342 Ill. App. 3d 530 (1st Dist. 2003).
Home field advantage in the ICU or neutral setting? Police questioning in hospital ICU did not require Miranda warnings: People v. Vasquez, 393 Ill. App. 3d 185, 913 N.E.2d 60 (2nd Dist. 2009) By Sean D. Brady and Daniel Egan Traffic Laws and Courts, December 2009 In People v. Vasquez, 393 Ill. App. 3d 185, 913 N.E.2d 60 (2nd Dist. 2009), the Kendall County State’s Attorney appealed the trial court’s order suppressing videotaped statements made by defendant Vasquez to two police officers assigned to the Kendall County Major Crimes Task Force who interviewed the defendant in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital after the defendant was involved in a single-car accident that resulted in the deaths of five of the passengers.
Probable cause and driving while revoked—An evolving standard and split between appellate districts By Larry A. Davis Traffic Laws and Courts, December 2009 For many too young to remember, there was a time in the jurisprudence of this state when in order to effectuate a stop for the offense of driving while revoked or suspended absent an independent basis for the stop, e.g., observation of a violation of the vehicle code, the law enforcement officer was required to possess independent knowledge that the individual operating the motor vehicle was, in fact, revoked or suspended.
Recent traffic cases By Thomas M. Moran and James J. Ahern Traffic Laws and Courts, December 2009 Decisions related to recent traffic cases. 
Recent traffic cases By Thomas M. Moran and James J. Ahern Traffic Laws and Courts, September 2009 Recent cases of interest to traffic laws practitioners.
Use and misuse of the MDDP By Lisa L. Dunn Traffic Laws and Courts, September 2009 This article will discuss: (1) the parameters of the MDDP program; (2) the MDDP offender’s responsibilities in conjunction with the use of the MDDP; (3) violations of the MDDP program; (4) sanctions authorized for violations of the MDDP program; and (5) the right to a hearing to contest the cancellation of the MDDP or extension of the summary suspension.
Brainlash: Be aware of this insidious disorder By Scott A. Berndtson Tort Law, June 2009 When you interview your next whiplash-injured client be alert for other latent problems resulting from a brainlash as well and what to do if they exist.
Recent traffic cases By Thomas M. Moran and James J. Ahern Traffic Laws and Courts, June 2009 Recent cases of interest to traffic laws practitioners.
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.