Yesterday I had a Statutory Summary Suspension rescinded, (thrown out) based upon the Illinois State Trooper not having probable cause to believe that my client was driving under the influence of alcohol.
At the hearing, the only witness I called was the Illinois State Trooper. The police officer is the only person you want to call because probable cause is based upon what the officer knew at the time of arrest. If my client had physical problems that would account for the way he performed the test, it would not matter at this stage (it does matter at trial) if the client did not inform the police officer of physical problems or issues. Therefore, it is what the officer knew that counts so this is why he is the only witness I call.
The Illinois State Trooper testified that he followed my client’s vehicle for 3/4 of a mile and pulled my client over because of three lane infractions, (crossing the double yellow line). The trooper testified that my client had a very strong smell of alcohol and watery eyes. My client denied drinking any alcohol and refused the field sobority tests and a breath test.
The Trooper admitted that he should have asked my client why he was smelling alcohol when my client stated he did not consume any alcohol and that he (the Trooper) should have asked why my client’s eyes were watery. Although there was a DVD video of the arrest, I decided not to show it to the court because after the Trooper testified, I thought the video could only hurt our case.
The Judge found that the Illinois State Trooper did not have enough evidence to believe my client may have been driving drunk because there were only 3 lane violations is 3/4 of a mile, and the only indicators of intoxication was the smell of alcohol and the watery eyes.