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State v. Polsfuss

August 8, 2006

STATE OF MINNESOTA, RESPONDENT,
v.
BARBARA LYNN POLSFUSS, APPELLANT (A05-2108), ALLEN FERROZZO, APPELLANT (A05-2563).



Anoka County District Court. File No. T9-04-34155. Carver County District Court. File No. CR-04-501.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

Because the portion of the implied-consent law regarding prompt judicial review of license revocations that was declared unconstitutional in Fedziuk v. Comm'r of Pub. Safety, 696 N.W.2d 340 (Minn. 2005), does not affect the collecting of evidence, the use of chemical-test results in a related criminal DWI proceeding does not violate a criminal defendant's due-process rights.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Worke, Judge

Affirmed

Considered and decided by Worke, Presiding Judge; Kalitowski, Judge; and Hudson, Judge.

OPINION

In these consolidated appeals from convictions of DWI, appellants argue that chemical tests should have been suppressed because they were taken under an implied consent law that had been declared unconstitutional in Fedziuk v. Comm'r of Pub. Safety, 696 N.W.2d 340 (Minn. 2005), because it did not provide for prompt judicial review. Appellants also argue that decisions in the accompanying implied-consent proceedings, either rescinding the revocation of or reinstating the driver's license, should have collateral-estoppel effect in criminal proceedings, or should at least be given effect, based on public-policy considerations, in the criminal proceedings. Because the portion of the implied-consent law that was declared unconstitutional does not have any affect on the collecting of evidence, we affirm.

FACTS

Appellant Barbara Lynn Polsfuss

On October 9, 2004, a police officer stopped a vehicle driven by appellant Barbara Lynn Polsfuss because she was speeding. Appellant's eyes were bloodshot, watery, and glassy; she smelled strongly of an alcoholic beverage; and her speech was slow and slurred. Appellant failed several field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test. Appellant also admitted that she had had a couple of glasses of wine. The results of a blood test revealed that appellant's alcohol concentration was .13. Appellant was charged with fourth-degree DWI in violation of Minn. Stat. § 169A.27 (2004) and Minn. Stat. § 169A.20, subd. 1(5) (2004).

On July 18, 2005, appellant's driver's-license revocation was rescinded based on the holding in Fedziuk v. Comm'r of Pub. Safety, 696 N.W.2d 340 (Minn. 2005). Appellant then moved to suppress the test result and any evidence obtained after the test result was requested based on the fact that her driver's-license revocation was rescinded. Appellant argued that because she did not have an implied-consent hearing within 60 days, the test results should be suppressed in the criminal proceeding. The district court denied appellant's motion and the parties agreed to proceed with a stipulated-facts proceeding under State v. Lothenbach, 296 N.W.2d 854 (Minn. 1980). On October 10, 2005, the district court concluded that (1) collateral estoppel did not compel suppression of the blood test, (2) there was no basis for suppressing the blood test, (3) the 93-day delay from the time the implied-consent petition was filed to the hearing date did not affect the collection of evidence, and (4) the implied-consent procedure and the related criminal procedure were not inextricably linked so as to mandate suppression. The district court found appellant guilty of misdemeanor DWI.

Appellant Allen Ferrozzo

On September 11, 2004, a police officer received a report that an intoxicated male was leaving a restaurant in a black vehicle. The officer checked the vehicle's registration and drove to the registered owner's residence. The officer approached the vehicle after it entered the garage. While speaking with the driver, appellant Allen Ferrozzo, the officer detected the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on appellant's breath and observed that his eyes were watery and glassy, and that his face was flushed. Appellant also admitted to consuming beer. Appellant failed field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test. The officer read appellant the Minnesota Implied Consent Advisory and appellant took a breath test, which indicated an alcohol concentration of .262. Appellant was charged with third-degree DWI, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 169A.20, subd. 1(1), (5) (2004), and Minn. Stat. § 169A.26 (2004), and violation of restricted driver's license, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 171.09 (2004).

In September 2004, appellant moved to suppress the chemical test pending the outcome of Fedziuk. The district court ruled that appellant failed to show that his due-process rights had been violated and denied the motion. In September 2005, the parties agreed to submit the case to the district court on stipulated ...


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