State v. Gustafson

Decision Date30 July 1996
Docket Number95-1466,95-1303,95-1271,Nos. 95-1377,s. 95-1377
Citation76 Ohio St.3d 425,668 N.E.2d 435
PartiesThe STATE of Ohio, Appellant, v. GUSTAFSON, Appellee. The STATE of Ohio, Appellee, v. MILLER et al., Appellants. to 95-1305 and 95-1307.
CourtOhio Supreme Court

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. The Double Jeopardy Clauses of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Section 10, Article I of the Ohio Constitution do not preclude criminal prosecution and trial of motorists for driving in violation of R.C. 4511.19 based upon, and subsequent to, the imposition of an administrative license suspension pursuant to R.C. 4511.191.

[668 N.E.2d 437] 2. An administrative license suspension imposed pursuant to R.C. 4511.191, and a criminal driving-under-the-influence prosecution for violation of R.C. 4511.19, arising out of the same arrest, constitute separate proceedings for double jeopardy purposes.

3. For purposes of determining the protection afforded by the Double Jeopardy Clauses of the United States and Ohio Constitutions, an administrative license suspension imposed pursuant to R.C. 4511.191 ceases to be remedial and becomes punitive in nature to the extent the suspension continues subsequent to adjudication and sentencing for violation of R.C. 4511.19.

4. Because an administrative license suspension loses its remedial character upon judicial adjudication and sentencing for violation of R.C. 4511.19, the Double Jeopardy Clauses of the United States and Ohio Constitutions preclude continued recognition of an administrative license suspension following judicial imposition of criminal penalties for driving while under the influence of intoxicating drugs, including alcohol.

5. A court has judicial power pursuant to Sections 1 and 4, Article IV of the Ohio Constitution to order the termination of an administrative license suspension at the time of criminal sentencing for violation of R.C. 4511.19, in that continued recognition of the administrative license suspension would

result in an unconstitutional application of R.C. 4511.191 to the criminal offender

Before the court are consolidated causes presenting issues concerning application of the Double Jeopardy Clauses of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 10 of the Ohio Constitution to proceedings instituted following the arrest of drivers for alleged violation of Ohio's criminal drunk driving law, R.C. 4511.19. A summary of the facts of these causes follows:

Case No. 95-1377. At 12:15 a.m. on November 27, 1993, Robert D. Gustafson Jr. was arrested and charged with a speeding violation and violations of R.C. 4511.19(A)(1) and (3), which prohibits the driving of vehicles upon Ohio's public highways while under the influence of intoxicating substances, including alcohol ("DUI"). The DUI charge was Gustafson's first alcohol- or drug-related driving offense during the preceding five-year period.

Gustafson consented to a breath-alcohol test, and tested above statutory DUI limits at .115. Pursuant to R.C. 4511.191, the arresting officer immediately seized Gustafson's driver's license, and processed the necessary report to complete the administrative license suspension ("ALS") of Gustafson's license. By law, the duration of Gustafson's ALS, as a first offender who had failed a breath-alcohol test at the time of arrest, was ninety days. R.C. 4511.191(F)(1). At his arraignment on November 30, 1993, Gustafson waived the right to appeal the ALS provided him by R.C. 4511.191(H)(I). Gustafson further waived application of Ohio's speedy trial statutes to his criminal charges.

Although the ninety-day ALS period presumably expired at the end of February 1994, the record before us fails to disclose whether Gustafson subsequently secured his license, and if so, when. Nevertheless, on October 14, 1994 Gustafson filed a motion to dismiss the criminal DUI charge which remained, claiming that continued prosecution of that criminal charge would violate his constitutional right pursuant to the Eighth Amendment to be free from twice being placed in

jeopardy. The trial court granted the motion. The Seventh District Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of the criminal DUI charge on double jeopardy grounds

Case No. 95-1271. At 1:08 a.m. on March 26, 1994, Fred W. Miller, Sr. was arrested and issued three traffic tickets. Miller was charged with a speeding violation, a violation of R.C. 4511.19(A)(1) (DUI), and violation of R.C. 4511.19(A)(3) (driving with a prohibited level of alcohol as measured by breath). Miller consented to a breath-alcohol test, and tested at .166. Miller had twice before during the preceding five-year period been convicted of a DUI offense. The arresting officer imposed an ALS pursuant to R.C. 4511.191, and seized Miller's license. By law, the duration of Miller's ALS, as a third-time offender who had failed a breath-alcohol test [668 N.E.2d 438] at the time of arrest, was two years, i.e., until March 25, 1996. R.C. 4511.191(F)(3).

At his arraignment on March 31, 1994, Miller appealed the ALS pursuant to R.C. 4511.191(H)(1). On April 1, 1994, Miller requested continuance of the ALS hearing.

On July 14, 1994, Miller entered a plea of no contest to the charge of violation of R.C. 4511.19(A)(3), and a judgment of conviction was entered on that charge. The speeding charge and the R.C. 4511.19(A)(1) DUI charge were dismissed.

On September 13, 1994 Miller filed a motion seeking to reverse the judgment of conviction and to bar the imposition of criminal penalties, claiming further sentencing would violate double jeopardy principles. The trial court overruled the motion.

Miller was thereafter sentenced to one year in jail and a fine of $500. The court ordered all but thirty days of the jail sentence to be suspended conditioned on compliance with imposed terms of probation. In addition, Miller's vehicle was ordered immobilized for one hundred eighty days retroactive to the date of arrest. The ALS was ordered terminated, and, in consequence of his conviction, the court ordered Miller's license suspended for ten years, retroactive to the date of arrest, as authorized by R.C. 4507.16.

The Third District Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence imposed by the trial court.

Case No. 95-1303. At 12:45 a.m. on September 10, 1994, Michael T. Smith was arrested and issued three traffic tickets. Smith was charged with a violation of R.C. 4511.19(A)(1) (DUI), violation of R.C. 4511.19(A)(3) (driving with a prohibited level of breath-alcohol), and violation of R.C. 4511.19(A)(4) (driving with a prohibited level of urine-alcohol). Smith's breath-alcohol test registered .146. The DUI charge was Smith's first offense within the preceding five-year period. The arresting officer imposed an ALS pursuant to R.C. 4511.191, and seized

Smith's license. By law, the duration of Smith's ALS, as a first offender who had failed a breath-alcohol test at the time of arrest, was ninety days. R.C. 4511.191(F)(1)

At his arraignment Smith appealed the ALS. Thereafter, Smith requested continuance of the ALS hearing. Smith was granted limited driving privileges enabling him to drive to and from work and for household needs.

On January 18, 1995, defendant moved to dismiss the criminal DUI charges pending against him on double jeopardy grounds. Upon denial of his motion, Smith entered a plea of no contest to the charge of violation of R.C. 4511.19(A)(3), and a judgment of conviction was entered on that charge. The remaining charges were dismissed.

Smith was sentenced to three days in jail and a fine of $500. The court ordered the jail sentence and $300 of the fine to be suspended conditioned on compliance with imposed terms of probation. The ALS was ordered terminated, but the court, pursuant to R.C. 4507.16, ordered Smith's driver's license suspended for six months retroactive to the date of arrest. Work and household-need driving privileges were continued.

The Third District Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence imposed by the trial court.

Case No. 95-1304. On May 3, 1994, James L. Brown was arrested and issued two traffic tickets. Brown was charged with violations of R.C. 4511.19(A)(1) (DUI) and 4511.19(A)(3) (driving with a prohibited level of breath alcohol). Brown's breath-alcohol tests registered .186. The DUI charge was Brown's third offense within the preceding five-year period. The arresting officer seized Brown's license pursuant to R.C. 4511.191. By law, the duration of Brown's ALS, as a third-time offender who had failed a breath-alcohol test at the time of arrest, was two years, i.e., until May 2, 1996. R.C. 4511.191(F)(3).

Brown appealed the ALS, and requested a continuance of the ALS hearing.

Brown filed a motion to dismiss the criminal DUI charges pending against him on double jeopardy grounds, which was denied. Upon denial of his motion, Brown entered a plea of no contest to the charge of violation of R.C. 4511.19(A)(3), and a judgment of [668 N.E.2d 439] conviction was entered on that charge. The remaining charge was dismissed.

Brown was sentenced to one year in jail and a fine of $500. His driver's license was judicially suspended for ten years, retroactive to the date of arrest. His vehicle was ordered immobilized for six months, retroactive to the date of arrest. The ALS was ordered terminated. Matters of probation were taken under advisement.

The Third District Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence imposed by the trial court.

Case No. 95-1305. On June 17, 1994, Kenneth L. Roth was arrested and issued two traffic tickets. Roth was charged with violations of R.C. 4511.19(A)(1) (DUI) and 4511.19(A)(2) (driving with a prohibited level of blood alcohol). It appears Roth refused to take a chemical breath test of his breath. The arresting officer imposed an ALS pursuant to R.C. 4511.191, and seized Roth's license.

The DUI charge was Roth's third...

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