Springfield is the capital of Illinois. As such, many state agency directors operate their motor vehicles in Springfield and surrounding Sangamon County. Warren C. Ribley is the director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Ribley was arrested for DUI in the Springfield area.
According to Leland Grove (a village adjacent to Springfield) police, Ribley initially made an illegal right turn on red. A police officer followed Ribley and paced him traveling 45 MPH in a 35 MPH zone. Finally, the officer claimed that Ribley changed lanes without signaling.
After pulling over Ribley, the officer detected an odor of alcohol on his breath. Ribley refused both standardized field sobriety testing and breath testing. He was then charged with DUI.
Police cannot stop you just because they think you “look suspicious”. Rather, they must have a reason, or they must have roadside safety checks set up with specific requirments about when, where and how they are run.
Leland Grove is a small, low crime enclave of Springfield. Police there are generally on the lookout for traffic infractions. After midnight, whether in Leland Grove or elewhere, even minor infractions take on added significance as law enforcement is looking to make DUI arrests.
Illegal right turn, speeding 10 miles over the limit and driving outside your lane are all minor offenses. In fact, in normal circumstances, many police officers would not even stop someone for such infractions. But minor offenses or not, each is enough to give police a legal basis to pull you over.
Once you are pulled over, police may, especially early in the morning, look for signs of intoxication. In this case, it was the driver’s breath. However, Ribley did not take any further tests so the state may have a hard time making the DUI charge stick. However, because he refused to take a breath test, Ribley will face a driver’s license suspension.