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No. 2—09—0833 Opinion iled March 31, 2011 - page 14 / 24





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No. 2—09—0833

Defendant relies on United States v. Duguay, 93 F.3d 346 (7th Cir. 1996), in arguing that the

impoundment was not a proper exercise of community caretaking. We note that Illinois state courts

are not bound to follow federal court decisions, but such decisions can provide guidance and serve

as persuasive authority. Lamar Whiteco Outdoor Corp. v. City of West Chicago, 355 Ill. App. 3d

352, 360 (2005).

In Duguay, a violent-crimes task force set up a roadblock as part of a sweep in and around

federally funded housing projects in Alton. The police saw Duguay riding as a passenger in a car

driven by his girlfriend, who was a resident of a housing project. The of icers recognized Duguay as

someone who (1) had sold crack to undercover agents in the past, (2) had been associated with a

certain narcotics distribution ring, and (3) was a resident of a different housing project. Duguay, 93

F.3d at 348, 350. To avoid the roadblock, the woman parked the car and the two occupants exited

and walked toward her apartment. The police approached the couple, an argument ensued, Duguay

struck an of icer, and he was arrested. The disturbance attracted a crowd, including Duguay’s

brother. Duguay told his girlfriend not to surrender the car keys. An officer told the woman that he

was going to impound the car and demanded the keys. The woman refused and was arrested for

obstruction of justice. Within 10 minutes of Duguay’s arrest, the officers unlocked the car and began

an inventory search, which disclosed a substantial amount of crack cocaine. Duguay, 93 F.3d at 349.

A ter affirming the district court’s decision that the officers had a reasonable suspicion for the

investigative stop, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that the impoundment and subsequent

warrantless inventory search of the vehicle were illegal. The Seventh Circuit concluded that (1) the

conflicting testimony of the of icers indicated that the Alton police department did not use a

standardized impoundment procedure (Duguay, 93 F.3d at 352), and (2) even if the department had

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