Prosecutors Attempt To use administrative breathalyzer results at DUI trials 01/18/08
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has made it clear that it will seek to introduce the administrative breathalyzer test results against any Chicago Police Officer who is charged with a DUI. The State has already done this on a previous case and at a bond hearing on January 17, 2008, the State propounded its intent on using an administrative result in an upcoming case. Several months ago, the State attempted to use these results in a case against a CPD officer. The Lodge immediately intervened and filed a motion to bar the administrative result. The Lodge outlined its argument in great detail and on November 15th, 2007, the Judge ruled in our favor when he determined that the State could not use the results of the breath test. The State announced that it will appeal the decision and the Lodge will again take the arguments to the Appellate Court. Until there is a ruling from the Appellate Court, the State will continue in its efforts to use these results. The Lodge will fight them in each and every case. However, officers must realize the State’s Attorney will attempt to use these results if an officer is arrested for a DUI. Although the Lodge, and at the very least the Judge who ruled in our favor this past November, believe that results from an administrative breath test must be barred at a criminal proceeding similar to administrative statements, there is a recent Illinois Appellate Court decision that ruled that administrative test results should not be afforded the same protections as do administrative statements. The Lodge believes it is a difference without distinction. The State views it differently. The Appellate Court will ultimately decide.
In the interim, officers must be cognizant of the fact that even though the State will seek to introduce the breath test results, officers should comply with the administrative breath test after being given a direct order to do so. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office believes that Chicago Police Officers should be treated as a sub-class of citizens who are not entitled to the same rights as others, such as those afforded to state’s attorneys. The Lodge is confident the Appellate Court will disagree with the opinion of our state’s attorneys. Until the decision, we will continue to fight the State on a case-by-case basis.
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