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No. 2—09—0833 Opinion iled March 31, 2011 - page 22 / 24





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No. 2—09—0833

mandated the original impoundment of the vehicle. Second, the trialcourt heard unrebutted evidence

that the purpose of the inventory search was to protect the owner’s property and to protect the police

from claims of lost, stolen, or vandalized property. Third, the trial court found that Hucker

conducted the inventory search in good faith. The inventory search was pursuant to reasonable

standardized police procedures and was not a pretext for an investigatory search. See Hundley, 156

Ill. 2d at 138. Thus, the trial court erred in entering the suppression order.


In conclusion, we hold that the trial court erroneously suppressed the evidence. Section

6—303(e) of the Vehicle Code required the officer to impound the vehicle because (1) defendant was

driving with a suspended license (see 625 ILCS 5/6—303(a) (West 2008)) and (2) defendant was

deemed to be operating an uninsured vehicle, because she failed to show proof of liability insurance

(see 625 ILCS 5/3—707(b) (West 2008)). See 625 ILCS 5/6—303(e) (West 2008). Because the

impoundment was mandated by the Vehicle Code and the officer testified in detail regarding his

adherence to the procedures for impounding and inventorying the vehicle, we conclude that the

search was reasonable. Under these circumstances, where the teenage passenger of undetermined

age did not attempt to establish at the scene that the vehicle could be removed legally, the fourth

amendment did not require the officer to investigate methods to facilitate the removal of the vehicle

to avoid the impoundment.

For the preceding reasons, the judgment of the circuit court of Lake County is reversed and

the cause is remanded for further proceedings.

Reversed and remanded.

JUSTICE BOWMAN, dissenting:

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