DUI/Illinois Supreme Court
3:03 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

How bad do you have to drive to get stopped for a DUI check?

Reporting from WUIS' Rachel Otwell used in this report.

The Illinois Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on just how bad one has to drive before police are justified in stopping to check for Driving Under the Influence, or DUI.

Dennis Hackett was driving in Joliet when his car twice crossed "slightly" into another lane. A sheriff's deputy saw it, followed the driver for a while and eventually pulled him over.

The man was charged with driving drunk and on a revoked license. But a trial judge threw out the case after finding the deputy did not have enough grounds to justify the traffic stop.

Part of the decision was based on the fact that the deputy did not see additional violations as he continued to follow the driver.

David Iskowich represents the prosecution in its appeal to the Supreme Court. He says when a driver is swerving without an obvious and reasonable cause immediate reaction from authorities is needed.

"People who are staying in their lane are paying attention, it's important that drivers pay attention to what they are doing," Iskowich said. "And one of the most important ways to pay attention is to remain within your lane line."

Iskowich acknowledged at times there are reasons for responsible drivers to swerve, like a branch in the road.

But he says the deputy testified there were no such obstacles on the night in question.