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No. 2—09—0833

to protect the owner’s property, to protect the police from claims of lost, stolen, or vandalized

property, and to guard the police from danger; and (3) the inventory search must be conducted in

good faith pursuant to reasonable standardized police procedures and not as a pretext for an

investigatory search. Hundley, 156 Ill. 2d at 138.

A. The Impoundment

The threshold issue in considering whether the police have conducted a valid inventory search

incident to a tow is whether the impoundment of the vehicle was proper. See People v. Mason, 403

Ill. App. 3d 1048, 1054 (2010); Clark, 394 Ill. App. 3d at 348. Pursuant to their community-

caretaking function, police have authority to seize and remove from the streets vehicles impeding

traffic or threatening public safety and convenience. Opperman, 428 U.S. at 369; Mason, 403 Ill.

App. 3d at 1054; Clark, 394 Ill. App. 3d at 348. However, the fact that the defendant’s car would

be left unattended without the tow is not a sufficient reason for impoundment unless the vehicle

would be parked illegally. Mason, 403 Ill. App. 3d at 1054; Clark, 394 Ill. App. 3d at 348.

Hucker testified that he followed Zion police department guidelines that require an officer to

impound a vehicle and perform an inventory search when (1) the driver lacks a valid license, (2) there

is no proof of insurance, and (3) no other driver is available to take the vehicle. For the following

reasons, we determine that the Zion police department guidelines are consistent with the Illinois

Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/1—100 et seq. (West 2008)) and relevant case law regarding


Severalprinciples ofstatutory interpretation are relevant to the threshold issue of whether the

impoundment of the vehicle was proper pursuant to the Vehicle Code. The primary rule of statutory

construction is to ascertain and give effect to the intent of the legislature. People v. Donoho, 204 Ill.

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