Field Sobriety: No Expert Testimony Needed

Case Name: People v. Hires (.pdf)

Court: Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District

Date Decision Filed: 12/08/09

In this case, the State charged the defendant with Aggravated DUI because the defendant had eight prior DUI convictions.   The defendant did not submit to chemical testing, so the evidence consisted of the arresting officer’s observations of the defendant prior to and after the officer stopped the defendant’s vehicle.   The defendant challenged his conviction based on the sufficiency of the evidence and based on the unreliability of the field-sobriety tests administered to him.  The Court rejected both arguments.   The Court rejected the defendant’s sufficiency of the evidence challenge because “a rational jury could reasonably have inferred that [the] defendant’s erratic driving, slurred speech, and poor coordination stemmed from intoxication.”  The Court rejected the defendant’s field-sobriety argument because the jury, on its own, was able to evaluate the field-sobriety evidence without the assistance of an expert.  It also should be noted that the defendant received a 24-year sentence in prison for this DUI conviction (again, this was his ninth DUI conviction).

Jeremy Richey

Jeremy J. Richey, Attorney at Law
© Jeremy J. Richey and The East Central Illinois Criminal Law & DUI Weblog, 2008-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.