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No. 2—09—0833

because (1) the car was legally parked and did not hinder traffic, (2) Hucker should have investigated

whether the teenage passenger could have driven the car from the scene, and (3) the car actually was

insured. The State responded that, at the time of the stop, Hucker had no affirmative duty to

investigate defendant’s undocumented claim that the car was insured or to ask the teenage passenger

if she was eligible to drive the car from the scene. In fact, the State argued that defendant, not

Hucker, had the burden of showing proof of insurance and that her failure to meet that burden created

a presumption that the car was uninsured. According to the State, defendant’s suspended license

and the presumption of a lack of insurance required that the car be impounded.

The trial court agreed with defendant and suppressed the evidence. The court emphasized

that, although there was no insurance card in defendant’s vehicle, the car was, in fact, insured. The

court found that, when the car was stopped, it was legally parked in a residentialarea. The court also

found that there was evidence of a Zion police department oral policy that called for towing and

impounding a vehicle when the driver lacks insurance and a valid driver’s license, but that there was

“no evidence” of a written policy or an ordinance.

The court found that the department’s oralpolicy provided for no exceptions to towing, such

as when proof of insurance “could be readily available,” the car is parked legally, and the car could

be removed by a passenger or someone else. The court found that, while there was “no evidence”

that the teenage passenger was a licensed driver, she might have been licensed and the of icer did not

investigate the matter.

The trial court held that “there were alternative means here that were reasonable for the

of icer to have taken that would not violate the fourth amendment.” The court emphasized that,

before initiating the tow, Hucker should have determined whether the teenage passenger could

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