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No. 2—09—0833 Opinion iled March 31, 2011 - page 21 / 24





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No. 2—09—0833

be released to any licensed driver upon a showing of proof of insurance for the vehicle that was

impounded and the notarized written consent for the release by the vehicle owner.” (Emphasis

added.) 625 ILCS 5/6—303(e) (West 2008). Thus, neither the Zion police department policy nor

the statute requires an of icer to investigate the presence of a licensed driver and facilitate the

showing of proof of insurance.

Even ifwe were to read into the Zion police department impoundment policy and the Vehicle

Code the requirement of asking passengers whether they possess valid driver’s licenses, the reason

for the tow (the failure to show proof of insurance) would not be cured. This case is distinguishable

from Young, where proof of insurance was never at issue. We decline to extend Young to require an

of icer to ask a passenger to produce proof of insurance for a car when the driver cannot produce it.

B. The Inventory Search

Our determination that section 6—303(e) of the Vehicle Code mandated the impoundment

does not end our analysis, as defendant argues that the inventory search was a fourth amendment

violation. Hucker testified that, consistent with the police department’s procedures for impounding

and inventorying vehicles, the officers prepared the vehicle tow report, which included defendant’s

information, the condition of the vehicle, and a description of property found inside. Hucker testified

that an officer must conduct an inventory search if a vehicle is impounded; the entire car is searched

for any items of value, and the items are noted on the tow report to protect the defendant’s property

and to protect the department from false claims of loss. He further testi ied that the search is not

designed to discover narcotics or other kinds of contraband.

We hold that the State met the three criteria for a valid warrantless inventory search of a

vehicle. First, section 6—303(e) of the Vehicle Code and the Zion police department guidelines

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