People v. Wuckert, 2015 IL App (2d) 150058 (December). Episode 124 (Duration 3:46)
Trial court’s suppression of hospital drug test is reversed because 625 ILCS 5/11-501.4 trumps hospital policy that the results should not be used for legal purposes.
This was a one car accident.
Police find a drug pipe in the car and it smells like cannabis. Trial judge suppressed the state blood because there was no probable cause for the arrest.
At The Hospital
However, the hospital told defendant that their lab tests could only be used for medical reasons and not for any legal purposes. Relying, in part, on this hospital policy the trial judge suppressed the hospital drug tests.
However, the reviewing court said that 625 ILCS 11-501.4 trumps the hospital policy.
The relevant section reads:
“(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the results of blood, other bodily substance, or urine tests performed for the purpose of determining the content of alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof, of an individual’s blood, other bodily substance, or urine conducted upon persons receiving medical treatment in a hospital emergency room are admissible in evidence as a business record exception to the hearsay rule”
The fact that the trial court was perturbed that defendant consented to the test under a misimpression created by the hospital personnel, however unfortunate, is not a legally sound basis to suppress the test results.
Here, because the test results here were procured by a nurse who was not acting as a State agent, neither the test nor the hospital’s disclosure of the results to the police, as the statute required, violated defendant’s rights.
Civil In Nature
Additionally, no fourth amendment analysis was appropriate here because these blood results were a completely civil process.
Even assuming the arrest was improper, these results were coming in because no state actor was involved in their procurement.