Court throws out blood test in judge's DUI case
An appellate court has ruled that Lake County's former chief judge David Hall will once again face DUI charges, but the court agreed with an earlier decision to bar blood evidence gathered while Hall was in the hospital after the arrest.
The latest appeal overturned Kane County Circuit Judge F. Keith Brown's ruling that the DUI charge against Hall should be dropped, but agreed with Brown's decision to bar the blood sample on grounds that the vial at the hospital did not contain a preservative for the blood.
The decision whether or not to allow blood drawn at Advocate Condell Medical Center has been disputed since Sept. 2009, when an earlier court ruled the evidence could be used against Hall.
The sample tested at a blood alcohol content of .107 — above the legal threshold of 0.08 percent — but was tested 18 or 19 days after the blood was drawn.
Although medical professionals who handled the blood testified that it was not contaminated, law states the vial must contain an anticoagulant, which it did, but lacked the preservative.
Hall was arrested by Vernon Hills police in the early morning hours of April 28, 2008, as he was driving home from a social function. He was pepper sprayed in the process when police said he refused to get out of his vehicle.
Am ambulance was called to the scene and Hall was taken to the Libertyville hospital where he was found to have an irregular heart beat, leading doctors to take a blood sample for medical reasons.
Medical professional drew at least three vials of blood unbeknown to police, but when the Illinois Attorney General took over the case to sidestep a conflict of interest, prosecutors learned the hospital had Hall's blood samples.
The samples were obtained on May 14, and tested on May 15.
If prosecutors move forward with the trial on DUI charges, along with charges of interfering with a police officer, failing to yield at an intersection and improper lane usage, they will be without their likely main witness. The officer who made the stop and pepper sprayed Hall died of a heart attack two months after the arrest.
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