543 N.W.2d 84 (Minn. 1996), C1-95-531, State v. Hanson

Docket Nº:Randy Charles HANSON, Petitioner, Appellant (C1-95-531),
Citation:543 N.W.2d 84
Opinion Judge:The opinion of the court was delivered by: Keith
Party Name:STATE of Minnesota, Respondent, v.
Attorney:Donald H. Nichols, John A. Fabian, Paul J. Lukas, Minneapolis, Mn, (For Appellant Hanson); Samuel A. McCloud, Kelly Vince Griffitts, Shakopee, Mn, (For Appellant Burns).
Case Date:January 19, 1996
Court:Supreme Court of Minnesota
 
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543 N.W.2d 84 (Minn. 1996)

STATE of Minnesota, Respondent,

v.

Randy Charles HANSON, Petitioner, Appellant (C1-95-531),

and

Joseph Michael Burns, Petitioner, Appellant (5-95-564).

Nos. C1-95-531, C5-95-564.

Supreme Court of Minnesota.

January 19, 1996

Syllabus by the Court

Civil driver's license revocation for driving under the influence does not bar subsequent criminal prosecution for the same conduct under double jeopardy principles because the civil driver's license revocation can fairly be characterized as remedial, and does not constitute "punishment" under the Double Jeopardy Clauses of the United States and Minnesota Constitutions.

Donald H. Nichols, John A. Fabian, Paul J. Lukas, Minneapolis, for appellant Hanson.

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Samuel A. McCloud, Kelly Vince Griffitts, Shakopee, for appellant Burns.

Elliott B. Knetsch, Andrea M. Poehler, Eagan, Hubert H. Humphrey III, Nancy Bode, Office of the Atty. Gen., St. Paul, Thomas D. Hayes, Thomas C. McNinch, Sherbourne County Attorney's Office, Elk River, for respondent,

Heard, considered and decided by the court en banc.

OPINION

KEITH, Chief Justice.

This consolidated appeal raises the issue of whether Minnesota's statutory scheme of civil driver's license revocation followed by criminal prosecution for driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances is unconstitutional under the Double Jeopardy Clauses of the United States and Minnesota Constitutions. In these two cases, appellants had their driver's licenses revoked for 90 days under Minnesota's implied consent statute, Minn.Stat. § 169.123 (1994) ("implied consent statute"), and subsequently faced criminal charges for violating Minnesota's DUI statute, Minn.Stat. § 169.121 (1994) ("DUI statute"). Because civil license revocation pursuant to the implied consent statute can fairly be characterized as remedial, we hold that Minnesota's statutory scheme of civil license revocation followed by criminal prosecution is constitutional under double jeopardy principles.

The facts are generally undisputed. Appellant Randy Charles Hanson ("Hanson") was driving in Sherburne County when he was pulled over for erratic driving. Hanson was arrested for driving under the influence after failing a breath test, and he then took a urine test, which disclosed an alcohol concentration of 0.17. Based on this test result, he was charged with driving under the influence, driving with an alcohol concentration of 0.10 or more, and driving within two hours of having an alcohol concentration of 0.10 or more, in violation of Minn.Stat. § 169.121, subds. 1(d) and (e). Hanson's driver's license was revoked for 90 days pursuant to the implied consent statute. Hanson then moved to dismiss the subsequent criminal charges on the grounds that pursuing the criminal charges after revoking his driver's license constituted double jeopardy. The district court denied the motion, but certified the double jeopardy question to the court of appeals.

Appellant Joseph Michael Burns ("Burns") was arrested for driving under the influence in Lakeville. Burns submitted to a breath test, which disclosed an alcohol concentration of 0.15. Based on this test result, he was charged with driving under the influence, driving with an alcohol concentration of 0.10 or more, and driving within two hours of having an alcohol concentration of 0.10 or more, in violation of Minn.Stat. § 169.121, subds. 1(d) and (e). Burns' driver's license was revoked for 90 days pursuant to the implied consent statute. Burns first challenged the implied consent license revocation pursuant to Minn.Stat. § 169.123, subd. 5c, but the district court sustained the revocation. Burns then moved to dismiss the criminal charges on the grounds that pursuing the criminal charges after revoking his driver's license constituted double jeopardy. The district court granted his motion and certified the double jeopardy question to the court of appeals.

The court of appeals consolidated the two appeals and held that:

A 90-day implied consent driver's license revocation for a driver who has failed the chemical test is rationally related to the remedial purpose of protecting public safety by removing intoxicated drivers from the highways and is not so "overwhelmingly disproportionate" to the threat posed to public safety that it is "punishment" for purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause.

State v. Hanson, 532 N.W.2d 598, 599 (Minn.App.1995).

On appeal to this court, appellants argue that civil driver's license revocation is "punishment" under the Double Jeopardy Clause, and therefore bars any subsequent criminal charges for the same conduct. The state counters that license revocation is remedial, not "punishment," and is rationally related to the legitimate governmental purpose of removing

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drunk drivers from Minnesota's streets and highways.

I.

The Double Jeopardy Clauses of the United States Constitution and the Minnesota Constitution protect a criminal defendant from three distinct abuses: a second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal; a second prosecution for the same offense after conviction; and multiple punishments for the same offense. United States v. Halper, 490 U.S. 435, 440, 109 S.Ct. 1892, 1897, 104 L.Ed.2d 487 (1989); State v. Fuller, 374 N.W.2d 722, 726-27 (Minn.1985). At issue here is whether civil driver's license revocation followed by criminal punishment for driving under the influence constitutes multiple punishments for the same offense.

The constitutional prohibitions against double jeopardy will bar either appellant's criminal prosecution only if: (1) punishment is for the same offense; (2) license revocation and criminal prosecution occur in separate proceedings; and (3) license revocation constitutes punishment. Halper, 490 U.S. at 441, 109 S.Ct. at 1898. Because the civil driver's license revocation and criminal prosecution seek redress for the commission of...

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