Illinois DUI – Statutory Summary Suspension Case Law Update

In the case, People v. Pollitt, a driver, with a commercial driver’s license, was arrested for suspected DUI.  He took a breathalyzer test on Sept. 3 and failed and thus should have received the notice of the summary suspension of his driver’s license immediately after he failed the test on the 3rd.  The police report, however, stated that the notice of the summary suspension was provided on Sept. 2.

The driver filed a petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension of his driver’s license.  Although not plead in his petition, the driver argued that starting the summary suspension one day early (due to the police report indicating Sept 2 not Sept 3) denied him due process.  The State argued it was a scrivener’s error, however, at no time was the report amended.

The Appellate Court reasoned that an officer’s sworn report is similar to a complaint in a civil case, the jurisdictional step which starts the proceeding.  In the case, the officer’s sworn report failed to establish on its face the validity of the suspension because, similar to People v. Cooper, the report indicated that notice was given before the defendant completed the breath test. The police report was not amended for the scrivener’s error. Defects in an officer’s sworn report can usually be corrected by amendment either before or at the suspension hearing; in this case it was never amended.

The Appellate Court upheld the judgment of the trial court granting the defendant driver’s petition to rescind and denying the State’s motion to reconsider.

The Birt Group often helps individuals with in need of continuing care while a DUI case is pending or in response to a recent DUI arrest and subsequent consequences.  For private individual substance abuse counseling and/or for continuting care services, which can supplement the court ordered education and counseling services, please contact The Birt Group, Inc. at 630-891-2478.


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