Janes v. State, No. 104

CourtCourt of Appeals of Maryland
Writing for the CourtArgued before BELL; WILNER
PartiesVincent B. JANES v. STATE of Maryland. ,
Docket NumberNo. 104
Decision Date01 September 1997

Page 284

350 Md. 284
711 A.2d 1319
Vincent B. JANES
v.
STATE of Maryland.
No. 104, Sept. Term, 1997.
Court of Appeals of Maryland.
June 26, 1998.

[711 A.2d 1320]

Page 286

James N. Papirmeister, Assigned Public Defender (Joseph F. Vallario, Jr., Assigned Public Defender, on brief), Baltimore, for appellant.

Thomas K. Clancy, Asst. Atty. Gen. (J. Joseph Curran, Jr., Atty. Gen., on brief), Baltimore, for appellee.

Argued before BELL, C.J., and ELDRIDGE, RODOWSKY, CHASANOW, RAKER, WILNER and CATHELL, JJ.

WILNER, Judge.

The issue before us is collateral estoppel--whether the State is precluded from prosecuting appellant, Vincent Janes, for driving while intoxicated and other related offenses because, in an earlier proceeding before the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), conducted to determine whether Janes's driver's license should be suspended by reason of his refusal to take a breath test, an administrative law judge determined that Janes was not driving the vehicle. We shall hold that the State is not precluded from proceeding with the criminal case.

Page 287

RELEVANT STATUTORY FRAMEWORK

There are three principal statutes bearing on Maryland's effort to keep drunk and drugged drivers off the State's roads, each being codified in the Transportation Article of the Maryland Code (1998 Repl.Vol.). The first-- § 21-902--prohibits a person from driving or attempting to drive (1) while intoxicated (§ 21-902(a)(1)), (2) while intoxicated per se (§ 21-902(A)(2)), (3)1 while under the influence of alcohol (§ 21-902(b)), (4) while so far under the influence of any drug, any combination of drugs, or a combination of a drug or drugs and alcohol that the person cannot drive a vehicle safely (§ 21-902(c)), or (5) while under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance (§ 21-902(d)). A violation of any of those provisions is a misdemeanor punishable by fine and imprisonment, the severity of the punishment depending on the offense and whether the person is a repeat offender. See § 27-101.

The second statute is § 16-205, which permits, but does not require, MVA to revoke or to suspend for varying periods the driver's license of a person convicted of an offense under § 21-902. Revocation is allowed for the more serious offenses--those under § 21-902(a) or (d)--and for a conviction under § 21-902(b) or (c) if, within the three years preceding the conviction, the person had been convicted of any combination of two or more violations of § 21-902. Otherwise, suspension for up to 60 days is allowed for a first conviction, and of up to 120 days for a second conviction. A revocation or suspension under § 16-205 can occur only after a criminal conviction; it is a collateral, civil consequence of the conviction. 2

[711 A.2d 1321]

Page 288

The third statute is § 16-205.1, which provides for the suspension of a person's driver's license for either (1) refusing to take a test for the presence of alcohol or drugs upon request of a police officer having reasonable grounds to believe that the person has committed an offense under § 21-902, or (2) for taking a test that reveals an alcohol concentration of 0.10 or more. This is the statute principally at issue here. Unlike § 16-205, it is not tied to a criminal conviction but operates independently of both § 21-902 (and § 27-101) and § 16-205. An appreciation of the collateral estoppel argument made by appellant requires a deeper analysis of § 16-205.1.

The precursor of § 16-205.1 was first enacted in 1969, by 1969 Md. Laws, ch. 158. Under that law, each applicant for the issuance or renewal of a driver's license had to sign a statement under oath or affirmation consenting (1) to take a chemical test to determine the alcoholic content of his or her blood, breath, or urine if detained upon suspicion of driving while intoxicated or impaired by alcohol, and (2) to having his or her driver's license suspended for up to 60 days for refusing to take the test. If the person, upon being detained by an officer upon reasonable suspicion that the person was driving while intoxicated or impaired, refused to take the test upon the officer's request, MVA had the authority, after a hearing upon 15 days notice, to suspend the person's driver's license for up to 60 days. Suspension was discretionary, not mandatory, however. With a number of amendments added over the

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years, that law remained in effect until replaced by the 1989 law now before us. See 1989 Md. Laws, ch. 284.

Section 16-205.1(a)(2) now provides, in relevant part, that any person "who drives or attempts to drive a motor vehicle on a highway or on any private property that is used by the public in general in this State is deemed to have consented ... to take a test if the person should be detained on suspicion of driving [in violation of § 21-902]." 3 Notwithstanding the statutorily implied consent, § 16-205.1(b)(1) makes clear that a person "may not be compelled to take a test." If the person refuses to take the test, however, § 16-205.1(b) requires MVA to suspend the person's driver's license for 120 days, if it is the person's first offense, and for one year, if it is the person's second or subsequent offense. The mandated suspension, for the longer period of time, was one of the major changes effected by the 1989 law. Another significant change made by the 1989 law was a mandated suspension if the person takes the test and the test reveals an alcohol concentration of 0.10 or more, but the suspensions in that situation are for shorter periods (45 days for a first offense, 90 days for a subsequent offense).

Section 16-205.1 goes on, at considerable length, to set forth procedures and requirements relating to the test and to the consequences both of refusing to take it and of taking and failing it. With an exception not relevant here, § 16-205.1(b)(2) provides that, if a police officer stops or detains "any person who the police officer has reasonable grounds to believe is or has been driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle [in violation of § 21-902]," the officer must (1) detain the person, (2) request that the person submit to a test, and (3) advise the person of the administrative sanctions imposed, both for refusing to take the test and for a test result indicating an alcohol concentration of 0.10 or more. If the

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person refuses to take the test, or takes a test that reveals an alcohol concentration of 0.10 or more, the law imposes seven additional duties on the officer: (1) to confiscate the person's driver's license; (2) acting on behalf of MVA, to serve an order of suspension on the person; (3) to issue the person a temporary license to drive; (4) to inform the person that the temporary license allows the person to drive for only 45 days; (5) to inform the person of his or her right to request a hearing before MVA "to show cause why the driver's license should not be suspended," (6) to advise the person of the administrative sanctions that will be imposed [711 A.2d 1322] if the person refuses to request or attend such a hearing or upon an adverse finding by the hearing officer; and (7) within 72 hours after issuing an order of suspension, to send the confiscated license, a copy of the order, and a sworn statement to MVA.

The sworn statement required by § 16-205.1(b)(2) must contain three assertions--that the officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the person had been driving in violation of § 21-902, that the person either refused to take a test when requested by the officer or submitted to a test that indicated an alcohol concentration of 0.10 or more, and that the person was advised of the sanctions for refusing to take the test and for taking and failing the test. Section 16-205.1(f) permits a person, within certain time limits, to submit a written request for hearing before an administrative law judge acting as an MVA hearing officer.

If a hearing is not timely requested, MVA is required to impose the mandated suspension. If a hearing is timely requested, subject to long and detailed provisions regarding postponements, one must be held within 45 days after receipt of the request. The hearing is to be conducted as a contested case hearing under the Administrative Procedure Act. 4 Section 16-205.1(f)(7) limits the issues, however, to the following:

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"1. Whether the police officer who stops or detains a person had reasonable grounds to believe the person was driving or attempting to drive [in violation of § 21-902];

2. Whether there was evidence of the use by the person of alcohol, any drug, any combination of drugs, a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol, or a controlled dangerous substance;

3. Whether the police officer requested a test after the person was fully advised of the administrative sanctions that shall be imposed ...;

4. Whether the person refused to take the test;

5. Whether the person drove or attempted to drive a motor vehicle while having an alcohol concentration of 0.10 or more at the time of testing; or

6. If the hearing involves disqualification of a commercial driver's license, whether the person was operating a commercial motor vehicle."

Although the person charged may present evidence and may compel testimony by subpoena, the sworn statement of the officer, submitted under § 16-205.1(b)(2)(vii), is prima facie evidence of a test refusal. Section 16-205.1(f)(8) requires MVA to suspend the license, after a hearing, if (1) "[t]he police officer who stopped or detained the person had reasonable grounds to believe the person was driving or attempting to drive [in violation of § 21-902]"; (2) there was evidence of the use by the person of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol; (3) "[t]he police officer requested a test after the person was fully advised of the administrative sanctions that shall be imposed"; and (4) the person refused to take the test or took and failed the test.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

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32 practice notes
  • Rourke v. Amchem Products, Inc., No. 130 September Term, 2003.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • December 14, 2004
    ...is conclusive in a subsequent action between the parties, whether on the same or a different claim."). See also Janes v. State, 350 Md. 284, 295, 711 A.2d 1319, 1324 (1998); MPC, Inc. v. Kenny, 279 Md. 29, 32, 367 A.2d 486, 489 (1977); Frontier Van Lines v. Md. B. & Tr. Co., 274 Md. 621, 62......
  • Colandrea v. Wilde Lake, No. 24
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • November 8, 2000
    ...that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred. Accordingly, the above-referenced complaint is hereby dismissed." In Janes v. State, 350 Md. 284, 711 A.2d 1319 (1998), we stated Collateral estoppel, or issue preclusion, began life and retains life as a common law doctrine. A common and......
  • Campbell v. LAKE HALLOWELL, No. 1132
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • July 2, 2004
    ...that determination conclusive in a subsequent action between the parties, whether on the same or a different claim.'" Janes v. State, 350 Md. 284, 295, 711 A.2d 1319 (1998) (quoting Murray Int'l Freight Corp. v. Graham, 315 Md. 543, 547, 555 A.2d 502 (1989)). To invoke the doctrine of colla......
  • Crane v. Puller, No. 1772, September Term, 2004.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • May 31, 2006
    ...issue was actually litigated on its merits in the earlier case. Focusing on collateral estoppel or issue preclusion, Janes v. State, 350 Md. 284, 295, 711 A.2d 1319 (1998), provided a good working Collateral estoppel, or issue preclusion, began life and retains life as a common law doctrine......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
32 cases
  • Rourke v. Amchem Products, Inc., No. 130 September Term, 2003.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • December 14, 2004
    ...is conclusive in a subsequent action between the parties, whether on the same or a different claim."). See also Janes v. State, 350 Md. 284, 295, 711 A.2d 1319, 1324 (1998); MPC, Inc. v. Kenny, 279 Md. 29, 32, 367 A.2d 486, 489 (1977); Frontier Van Lines v. Md. B. & Tr. Co., 274 Md. 621, 62......
  • Colandrea v. Wilde Lake, No. 24
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • November 8, 2000
    ...that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred. Accordingly, the above-referenced complaint is hereby dismissed." In Janes v. State, 350 Md. 284, 711 A.2d 1319 (1998), we stated Collateral estoppel, or issue preclusion, began life and retains life as a common law doctrine. A common and......
  • Campbell v. LAKE HALLOWELL, No. 1132
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • July 2, 2004
    ...that determination conclusive in a subsequent action between the parties, whether on the same or a different claim.'" Janes v. State, 350 Md. 284, 295, 711 A.2d 1319 (1998) (quoting Murray Int'l Freight Corp. v. Graham, 315 Md. 543, 547, 555 A.2d 502 (1989)). To invoke the doctrine of colla......
  • Crane v. Puller, No. 1772, September Term, 2004.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • May 31, 2006
    ...issue was actually litigated on its merits in the earlier case. Focusing on collateral estoppel or issue preclusion, Janes v. State, 350 Md. 284, 295, 711 A.2d 1319 (1998), provided a good working Collateral estoppel, or issue preclusion, began life and retains life as a common law doctrine......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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