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Decision on Lake Co. judge's DUI case expected Oct. 1
By Tony Gordon | Daily Herald Staff

David Hall

 

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Published: 9/17/2008 4:23 PM

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A Kane County judge said Wednesday he will announce Oct. 1 if the drunken driving case against Lake County Judge David Hall can go forward.

Hall, 55, was arrested by Vernon Hills police in the early morning hours of April 26 and charged with DUI and resisting arrest.

His attorneys Douglas Zeit and Jason Mercure are seeking to have the arrest thrown out because they say there is no evidence Hall did anything while in Vernon Hills to warrant a police stop of his car.

Officer Mark Sosnoski, the second officer on the scene of Hall's arrest, testified Wednesday that Hall's car was stopped about 1 mile outside the Vernon Hills village limits when he arrived.

Officer Jesse Goldsmith, who died of an apparent heart attack in June, told him that he had been following Hall's car and saw it swerve from the eastbound lanes of Route 60 into the westbound lanes, Sosnoski said.

However, Sosnoski said Goldsmith never pinpointed the location where the swerving took place, which could be critical because Vernon Hills ends at about the point the Des Plaines River crosses Route 60.

If Goldsmith and Hall were outside the village limits when the traffic violation that led to the stop of Hall's car took place, the defense attorneys claim, the traffic stop was illegal.

"We have no idea where these lane violations took place," Zeit told Judge F. Keith Brown. "The state has no evidence whatsoever that my client did anything wrong in Vernon Hills.

But prosecutors countered that Sosnoski learned from Goldsmith that Goldsmith had been following Hall and three other cars as they drove north on Route 21 before reaching the intersection with Route 60.

And it was at that intersection, Sosnoski said Goldsmith told him, that all four vehicles made a "wide right turn" onto the lanes of Route 60 for eastbound traffic.

Sosnoski said Goldsmith told him the four cars turned from the right lane on Route 21 into the left lane on Route 60, instead of turning from right lane into right lane.

"He (Goldsmith) told me all four cars went into the far left lane and the defendant's car left its lane several times," Sosnoski said. "He said he pulled over the defendant's car because he was the worst driver of the bunch."

Assistant Attorney General William Elward argued that the "wide right turn" at Routes 21 and 60, which is inside the Vernon Hills village limits, was all the reason Goldsmith needed to stop Hall's car.

"You have reliable evidence that the defendant drove his car outside his lane in Vernon Hills," Elward said. "That gives the Vernon Hills police department jurisdiction."

Sosnoski went on to testify that just after he arrived, Goldsmith told him that he had smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Hall and had told Hall to get out of his car.

"He (Goldsmith) told me that the defendant would not get out of his car," Sosnoski said. "Once I arrived on the scene, he told me that the defendant was coming out of that car one way or another, because he believed his driving was impaired."

Sosnoski said Goldsmith eventually used pepper spray on Hall, and told him later that he had done so because he believed Hall was attempting to roll up his car window.

Hall was taken to Condell Medical Center for treatment, and prosecutors say blood taken from him there showed a blood-alcohol level of .10 percent, above the legal level of intoxication of .08 percent.