Revocation of Driver's License of Olien, Matter of, 14662

CourtSupreme Court of South Dakota
Citation378 N.W.2d 262
PartiesIn the Matter of the REVOCATION OF the DRIVER'S LICENSE OF Greg R. OLIEN. . Considered on Briefs
Docket NumberNo. 14662,14662
Decision Date11 January 1985

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378 N.W.2d 262
Greg R. OLIEN.
No. 14662.
Supreme Court of South Dakota.
Considered on Briefs Jan. 11, 1985.
Decided Dec. 11, 1985.

Walter J. Bradsky, Rapid City, for appellant Olien.

Jeffrey P. Hallem, Asst. Atty. Gen., Mark V. Meierhenry, Atty. Gen., on brief, Pierre, for appellee State.

FOSHEIM, Chief Justice.

Greg R. Olien's (Olien) driver's license was revoked by the South Dakota Department of Public Safety (now the Department of Commerce and Regulation). After a trial de novo, the circuit court also ordered Olien's license revoked. We affirm.

Shortly after midnight on January 21, 1984, a highway patrol trooper, using his radar, clocked a vehicle going seventy miles-per-hour in a fifty mile-per-hour zone in Rapid City, South Dakota. In overtaking the vehicle the trooper estimated its speed at eighty miles per hour. The trooper stopped the vehicle and Olien got out. Olien had no difficulty producing his driver's license but was unsteady on his feet, smelled of alcohol, and his speech was slurred.

When asked to perform a number of field sobriety tests Olien walked heel to toe unsteadily. He was also unable to balance on one foot for more than two seconds. Olien failed a preliminary breath test. See SDCL 32-23-1.2.

When Olien was arrested the implied consent law was read to him verbatim from a card carried by the trooper. The card read that if Olien refused a blood test, the Department of Public Safety "can" revoke his driver's license. Olien was not informed and the card contained no advice that a refusal to take the blood test could be used in any manner as evidence against him. Because Olien refused the blood test, the Department revoked his license following an administrative hearing.

The criminal proceeding against Olien for driving while under the influence was eventually dismissed.

Olien first contends that his arrest was made without probable cause and, hence, that his driver's license could not be revoked because the prerequisite of a lawful arrest had not occurred as SDCL 32-23-10 requires. 1 See Kirby v. Dept. of Public Safety, 262 N.W.2d 49 (S.D.1978).

Probably cause for arrest exists where facts and circumstances within a police officer's knowledge of which he had reasonably trustworthy information "are sufficient in themselves to warrant a belief by a man of reasonable caution that a crime has been ... committed." Klingler v. United States, 409 F.2d 299, 303 (8th Cir.1969), cert. denied, 396 U.S. 859, 90 S.Ct. 127, 24 L.Ed.2d 110 (1969). As we stated in State v. Hermandson, 84 S.D. 208, 213, 169 N.W.2d 255, 258 (1969):

Officers are not required to know facts sufficient to prove guilt, but only knowledge of facts sufficient to show probable cause for an arrest or search. These are factual and practical considerations of everyday life on which reasonable

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and prudent men, not legal technicians, act.

See Anderson v. Sager, 173 F.2d 794 (8th Cir.1949).

State v. Fonder, 323 N.W.2d 131, 132-33 (S.D.1982), quoting State v. Oyen, 286 N.W.2d 317, 318-19 (S.D.1979). See Dept. of Public Safety v. Gates, 350 N.W.2d 59 (S.D.1984); In re Campbell, 250 N.W.2d 280 (S.D.1977). In this case ample probable cause existed to arrest Olien. Hence, the provisions of SDCL 32-23-10 were available to support the revocation of his license. See Kirby, supra.

Olien employs the dismissal of the criminal prosecution to support his argument that there was no probable cause for his arrest. We decline consideration of the effect of this dismissal, however, because the record reveals the only source of this information was Olien's vague testimony that he overheard "someone" say there was no reason to stop him. Important questions of law must be decided on more valid and specific evidence. Moreover, a prosecutor's determination of lack of probable cause is not controlling on this issue.

Olien also claims that his license could not be revoked because the trooper erroneously advised him of the consequences of his refusal by stating that the Department "can" revoke his driver's license instead of advising him that the Department "shall" revoke his license. We hold the officer's advice substantially complied with SDCL 32-23-10(2), which, among other things, requires that a driver be advised of the consequences of his refusal. See State v. Braunesreither, 276 N.W.2d 139 (S.D.1979) (Advice that driver's license "will be revoked" substantially complied with prior implied consent statutes);...

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1 cases
  • Butcher v. Miller, 30251.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • June 7, 2002 administrative hearing[.]" Id. The appellate court reinstated the suspension. In another case cited by the Commissioner, In re Olien, 378 N.W.2d 262 (S.D.1985), a driver had his license revoked after refusing a blood test. The driver contended on appeal that the officer misled him by sta......

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