Getting Drunk Drivers Off Illinois Roadways: Addressing the Split of Authority Regarding 911 Tips & Investigatory Traffic Stops
Getting drunk drivers off the road continues to be a major policy goal for police departments and the citizens they aim to protect. This is especially true in Illinois, where the number of motorists killed by drunk drivers every year remains a prevalent concern. Although the U.S. Supreme Court has failed to provide much guidance, many state courts and at least one federal circuit court have determined that police officers can pull over a suspected drunk driver based solely on a 911 caller's tip. That said, Illinois has yet to fully adopt this open-minded approach, which has left the courts, attorneys, and police officers with a patchwork of authorities regarding the issue.
This Comment will argue that the Illinois Supreme Court should adopt a clear drunk driving standard; one that allows police officers—based solely on a 911 caller’s tip—to pull over a suspected driver without having to independently observe the driver commit a traffic offense or otherwise engage in some other criminal activity. In short, this blanket rule would allow all Illinois police officers responding to a 911 call alleging drunk driving to pull over a suspect without having to independently observe erratic driving, avoiding a potentially-fatal outcome for the suspected drunk driver and other law-abiding motorists.
Andrew J. Sheehan,
Getting Drunk Drivers Off Illinois Roadways: Addressing the Split of Authority Regarding 911 Tips & Investigatory Traffic Stops,
S. Ill. U. L.J.
Available at: https://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/siulj/vol39/iss3/5