People v. Ciborowski, 2016 IL App (1st) 143352 (June). Episode 194 (Duration 5:40)
You don’t always need a drug recognition expert on the scene to establish probable cause for a Drugged Driving DUI.
Defendant rear ended a car and causes a three car collision.
The officer ruled out alcohol and cannabis but noticed defendant had difficulty speaking, lethargic, and disheveled.
Then Defendant is asked if he was taking drugs and he admitted to taking Zoloft, Ambien, and Celexium.
Defendant failed SFTS and was arrested.
The officer only knew that Ambien is taken to help people sleep.
He knew nothing about the other drugs, this particular drug mixture, and was not a drug recognition expert.
The defense challenged this arrest by an officer untrained in the recognition of drugs and made without the aid of a drug recognition expert at the scene.
The reviewing court, however, held that when defendant admitted taking Ambien and other drugs, the officer had probable cause to believe that it had something to do with the conduct that the officer observed.
There is no requirement that an officer have individualized suspicion of drugs and/or alcohol before arresting one for drugged DUI.
In addition to the officer’s training and experience, the facts observed at the time he arrested defendant constituted probable cause to support the arrest.
These were the observations: Defendant was the cause of the rear-end automobile accident that rendered his own vehicle inoperable and severely damaged. Defendant was driving the easternmost vehicle, and the other two vehicles involved in the accident were in front of him proceeding westbound. Defendant rear-ended the vehicle in front of him, causing his license plate to stick to the other vehicle.
Something Was Wrong With Him
Defendant also exhibited signs of being under the influence of drugs including:
(1) dilated pupils,
(2) deliberate and lethargic movements,
(3) a disheveled appearance,
(4) difficulty keeping his eyes open and a sleepy appearance; and
(5) speech that was mush-mouthed and slurred.
Furthermore, defendant provided conflicting answers about where he lived, where he had been, and how the accident occurred. When asked for his insurance card, defendant repeatedly handed the officer his AARP card.
In addition, defendant failed each of the three field sobriety tests which the officer administered. Defendant nearly fell to the ground several times during the tests, two of which had to be terminated for safety purposes.
Defendant also admitted he was prescribed Zoloft, Celexium, and Ambien. These facts were ample for a reasonable person to believe that there was probable cause that defendant was under the influence of drugs to a degree that it rendered him incapable of driving safely.
You should also checkout my podcast with Sami Azhari where we talked about this exact issue.
It was podcast episode 184. Click here to see it now.