People v. Robledo, 2018 IL App (2d) 151142 (February). Episode 470 (Duration 7:10)
Defendant blew .082 she argued the margin of error of the machine means the state didn’t prove she was .08.
Officer Michael Bond of the Mundelein Police Department observed defendant driving a car with only one headlight illuminated. He followed the car onto a residential street, where it pulled into a driveway.
She walked behind a house and came back out. At that moment, defendant reappeared and informed Bond that she pulled into the driveway because her license was suspended and she did not want to be arrested.
Bond smelled a moderate odor of alcohol on defendant’s breath, and he noticed that her eyes were bloodshot and “droopy.” Defendant displayed no other signs of intoxication.
Defendant told Bond that she had drunk “a couple” of Mike’s Hard Lemonades and a “swig” of Corona.
Bond arrested defendant for driving with a suspended license, and she agreed to perform field sobriety tests at the police station. Following defendant’s performance of the field sobriety tests, Bond informed defendant that she was “borderline.”
Defendant agreed to take a breath test.
Bond observed defendant for 20 minutes, during which she did not put anything into her mouth. Defendant then blew into an Intox EC/IR-II machine, with a result of 0.082.
Bond explained that a dry gas container inside the machine is calibrated to give a result of 0.079.
According to Bond, the machine did internal checks and performed certification tests on September 2, 2014, and October 1, 2014, and both tests accurately measured the alcohol concentration in the dry gas container at 0.079.
Bond testified that the machine has a margin of error of plus or minus 0.005.
Defendant contends that she was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt where her BAC could have been as low as 0.077, given the machine’s margin of error.
Section 11-501.2(a) of the Code provides in relevant part that evidence of the concentration of alcohol in a person’s breath is admissible in a criminal prosecution under section 11-501. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2(a).
Section 11-501.2(a) further states that a chemical analysis of a person’s breath is considered valid if it was performed according to standards promulgated by the Department of State Police (Department). 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2(a). To lay a proper foundation for the admission of the result of a breath test, the prosecution must establish that the breath test was performed in accordance with those standards. People v. Olson, 2013 IL App (2d) 121308, ¶ 9.
We, therefore, look to the Department’s standards, as set forth in administrative regulations.
Administrative regulations have the force and effect of law. People v. Clairmont, 2011 IL App (2d) 100924, ¶ 17. Section 1286.200 of Title 20 of the Illinois Administrative Code provides that the following procedures establish the accuracy of breath-testing instruments:
(1) The instrument was approved at the time of the subject test,
(2) The performance of the instrument was within the accuracy tolerance according to the last accuracy check prior to the subject test,
(3) No accuracy check has been performed since the subject test, or the next accuracy check after the subject test was within the accuracy tolerance, and
(4) Accuracy checks have been done in a timely manner, meaning not more than 62 days passed between the last accuracy check and the subject test.
20 Ill. Adm. Code 1286.200 (2009).
When these conditions are met, a rebuttable presumption exists that the instrument was accurate at the time of the subject test. 20 Ill. Adm. Code 1286.200 (2009). “The obvious legislative intent in enacting section 11-501(a)(1) was to impose a strict liability on drivers found to be impaired by an alcohol concentration of [0.08] or above.” People v. Ziltz, 98 Ill. 2d 38, 42 (1983).
Essentially, defendant argues that we must, in all cases, require the prosecution to prove that a test result exceeds 0.08 by the margin of error recognized in the testing process.
Defendant arrives at this conclusion because, according to defendant, section 11-501(a)(1) requires the prosecution to prove a defendant’s actual BAC, as opposed to merely a breath-test result. By focusing solely on the language in section 11-501(a)(1), however, defendant ignores the other pertinent provisions of the Code.
A statute must be read as a whole, and all relevant parts should be considered. Section 11-501.2(a) provides that a chemical analysis is considered valid when it is performed according to the standards promulgated by the Department.
Defendant’s interpretation would eliminate that provision. Under defendant’s interpretation, her breath-test result of 0.082 would have to be presumed invalid, the opposite of what the legislature intended. We cannot rewrite a statute.
We reiterate that defendant did not object to the breath-test result’s admission into evidence.
If the evidence shows that the scientific procedures used gave an unreliable result, the court can exclude the evidence. Here, the jury heard that the breath-test machine was subject to a 0.005 margin of error, and the jury also heard Bond’s testimony and received the printouts of the readings showing the results of the accuracy tests and defendant’s result.
The jury was properly instructed.
Consequently, the weight to be given the prosecution’s evidence was for the jury to decide. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found that defendant was guilty of driving with a BAC of 0.08 or more, based upon the reading taken from the breath-test machine.
For the foregoing reasons, the judgment of the circuit court of Lake County is affirmed.