County District Court File No. 02-CR-17-5003
Ellison, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Kurt B.
Glaser, Lexington City Attorney, Catherine A. Crane,
Assistant City Attorney, Smith & Glaser, LLC,
Minneapolis, Minnesota (for respondent)
P. Sarratori, Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices, P.A.,
Coon Rapids, Minnesota (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Bratvold, Presiding Judge;
Rodenberg, Judge; and Reilly, Judge.
driver's license revocation is "present" for
the purposes of enhancing a criminal violation of the driving
while impaired laws under Minnesota Statutes section 169A
when the license revocation is effective, which occurs when
the driver receives notice of the license revocation.
Steven Jeffrey Anderson challenges his judgment of conviction
of second-degree driving while impaired (DWI), under Minn.
Stat. § 169A.25, subd. 1(b) (2016), which required the
state to prove one aggravating factor in addition to proving
that Anderson refused to submit to chemical testing under
Minn. Stat. § 169A.20, subd. 2 (2016). Anderson argues
that his DWI conviction must be overturned for two reasons.
First, Anderson contends that the district court erred in
denying his probable-cause challenge to the complaint because
his prior license revocation does not satisfy the
aggravating-factor element for second-degree DWI. He argues
the relevant DWI statute requires that, to be used as an
aggravating factor, his prior license revocation must be
"present" at the time that the current DWI
"violation was committed." Minn. Stat. §
169A.25, subd. 1(b). Second, Anderson argues that his prior
license revocation was not present because his revocation was
pending judicial review at the time he committed the DWI
violation, therefore, his due-process rights were violated.
conclude that Anderson's prior license revocation was
effective at the time the commissioner notified him of the
revocation in October 2016, and, therefore, the prior license
revocation was present at the time of his DWI offense. And
because Anderson had an opportunity for judicial review of
his prior license revocation before the state served him with
the DWI complaint, Anderson's due-process rights were not
violated. Thus, we affirm.
enforcement arrested Anderson for DWI on two separate dates
in late 2016. The first arrest occurred on October 2, 2016
(2016 license revocation). About a week after the arrest, the
commissioner of public safety notified Anderson that it had
administratively revoked his license under Minnesota's
implied-consent law for one year. No criminal charges
resulted from this arrest. Anderson timely filed a petition
for judicial review of the 2016 license revocation. In April
2017, Anderson waived his right to further judicial review of
the 2016 license revocation at a hearing and the district
court sustained the revocation.
second arrest occurred on Sunday, December 18, 2016 (2016
DWI). Two officers in a marked squad car were on patrol on
Restwood Road in the City of Lexington when a male flagged
them down and informed them that Anderson "was drunk and
about to leave" a bar in the area. The male described
Anderson's car as a silver Mercedes and told the officers
where the car was parked. The officers found the Mercedes,
checked its license plate, and learned that its registered
owner was Anderson, who had a limited license that prohibited
him from driving on Sundays.
officers parked under a streetlight outside the bar and soon
observed a man exit the bar and enter the Mercedes. When the
Mercedes drove past them, one of the officers noted that the
front windows were "almost completely black" and he
"could not see into the cabin at all." Based on his
experience, the officer believed that the front windows were
illegally tinted. After following the vehicle, the officer
also noticed that Anderson's rear license plate lights
were "very dim." The officers activated their
emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop, and the Mercedes
"stop[ped] in the middle of the road" before
pulling over to the shoulder.
officers approached the Mercedes, identified Anderson, and
noted that he had "bloodshot, watery" eyes and a
strong odor of alcohol on his breath. The officers informed
Anderson that he was violating the terms of his limited
license. Anderson initially denied "drinking
anything" but later admitted that he had "a few
beers." The officers asked Anderson to perform field
sobriety tests, which he agreed to and performed poorly. The
officers then administered a preliminary breath test, but
Anderson failed to provide a proper sample.
officers arrested Anderson, transported him to the Centennial
Lakes Police Department, and read him the implied-consent
advisory. After making a phone call, Anderson agreed to take
a breath test, but blew "around the mouthpiece" and
otherwise prevented officers from obtaining a proper sample,
which the officers deemed to be a refusal. Anderson's
license "was again revoked-this time for two
state did not charge Anderson until August 7, 2017-about four
months after he waived judicial review. The state served
Anderson with a complaint that had two DWI counts: count one
was for second-degree DWI (test refusal) under Minn. Stat.
§ 169A.25, subd. 1(b), and count two was for
third-degree DWI (operating motor vehicle while impaired)
under Minn. Stat. § 169A.26, subd. 1(a)
(2016). Each count alleged as the aggravating
factor Anderson's 2016 license revocation.
moved to dismiss counts one and two, arguing that the state
lacked probable cause because there was "insufficient
evidence" to prove enhancement of the offense. Anderson
also contended that the state had violated his due-process
rights by using the 2016 license revocation as an ...