542 N.W.2d 563 (Iowa 1996), 94-1945, Dressler v. Iowa Dept. of Transp.

Docket Nº:94-1945.
Citation:542 N.W.2d 563
Party Name:Richard A. DRESSLER, Appellant, v. IOWA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, State of Iowa, Appellee.
Case Date:January 17, 1996
Court:Supreme Court of Iowa
 
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Page 563

542 N.W.2d 563 (Iowa 1996)

Richard A. DRESSLER, Appellant,

v.

IOWA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, State of Iowa, Appellee.

No. 94-1945.

Supreme Court of Iowa.

January 17, 1996

Page 564

William Jeffrey Crispin of Wilson & Adams, P.C., Des Moines, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, David A. Ferree, Special Assistant Attorney General, and Kerry Anderson, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

Considered by HARRIS, P.J., and LARSON, LAVORATO, SNELL, and ANDREASEN, JJ.

LAVORATO, Justice.

Richard A. Dressler appeals from the district court's denial of his petition for a writ of certiorari against the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT). In his petition, Dressler challenges as unconstitutional 1993 Iowa Acts chapter 16, section 4, codified at Iowa Code section 321.209(8) (1995). Section 321.209(8) authorizes the IDOT to revoke the driver's license of a person convicted of certain drug, drug tax, or drug-related offenses.

We reach only Dressler's contention that section 321.209(8) violates double jeopardy guarantees. We conclude section 321.209(8) is constitutionally infirm under the federal Double Jeopardy Clause. We reverse the district court's order denying Dressler's petition for a writ of certiorari. We remand to allow the district court to enter an order granting the writ.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

In March 1994 Dressler pleaded guilty to the possession of a controlled substance. See Iowa Code § 124.401(3). About six weeks later, the IDOT notified Dressler in writing that his driving privileges were revoked for 180 days pursuant to Iowa Code section 321.209(8). The notice also informed Dressler that he was not entitled to a preliminary hearing on the matter.

Dressler then filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the district court. In the petition he asked the court to find section 321.209(8) unconstitutional on the three grounds he urges here. Dressler appeals from the court's order dismissing the writ.

II. Scope of Review.

A writ of certiorari is proper under Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure 306 when one "exercising judicial functions ... is alleged to have ... acted illegally." Our review of certiorari actions is generally at law. Grant

Page 565

v. Iowa Dist. Ct., 492 N.W.2d 683, 685 (Iowa 1992). Because Dressler alleges a constitutional violation, our review is de novo. State v. Clarke, 475 N.W.2d 193, 194 (Iowa 1991).

III. Applicable Law.

Iowa Code section 321.209(8) pertinently provides that

[t]he department shall upon twenty days' notice and without preliminary hearing revoke the license or operating privilege of an operator...

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