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Dabrowski v. State, Transportation Department

Court of Appeals of Idaho

September 4, 2013

THEODORE D. DABROWSKI, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IDAHO, TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT, Respondent.

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

2013 Unpublished Opinion No. 658

Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District, State of Idaho, Bonner County. Hon. Jeff M. Brudie, District Judge.

Decision of the district court, affirming an administrative order suspending a driver's license for failing blood alcohol concentration test, affirmed.

Fred R. Palmer, Sandpoint, for appellant.

Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Susan K. Servick, Special Deputy Attorney General, Coeur d'Alene, for respondent.

MELANSON, Judge.

Theodore D. Dabrowski appeals from the district court's decision, upon judicial review, affirming the Idaho Transportation Department's order suspending Dabrowski's driver's license. Dabrowski also challenges the district court's decision affirming the Idaho Transportation Department's denial of Dabrowski's motion for reconsideration of the suspension of his driver's license. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURE

On May 2, 2011, a witness reported leaving a pharmacy and observing Dabrowski's vehicle had rear-ended her vehicle. She also observed Dabrowski in the driver seat of his vehicle, passed out at the wheel. Dabrowski was transported to the hospital. The reporting officer, suspecting Dabrowski had been driving while impaired, conducted a number of field sobriety tests on him. While evaluating Dabrowski's eyes, the officer noticed a lack of smooth pursuit, distinct and sustained nystagmus at maximum deviation, and the onset of nystagmus prior to forty-five degrees. When the officer asked Dabrowski to recite the alphabet from E to Q, Dabrowski was unable to begin the evaluation. The officer then offered Dabrowski the opportunity to recite the alphabet from A to Z. Dabrowski again was unable to recite the alphabet. During a counting test, Dabrowski successfully counted backwards from 86 to 66. However, the officer noted the counting was slow and deliberate. The officer also made a number of visual observations. Specifically, the officer noted Dabrowski had body tremors, his speech was slow and deliberate, and his pupils were equal in size and slow to react to light. The officer skipped the walk-and-turn evaluation and one-legged stand evaluation because Dabrowski had pain in his back and was having trouble lifting his legs.

Dabrowski consented to a blood draw for a drug recognition evaluation. Prior to the draw, officers notified Dabrowski of the consequences of a refusal or failure of the test and provided Dabrowski a notice of suspension. The test results indicated the presence of morphine, carisprodol, meprobromate, diazepam, nordiazepam, and carboxy-THC.

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) sent notice of an administrative license suspension to Dabrowski, who thereafter requested a hearing. The ITD held the hearing on September 8, 2011, and the hearing officer received evidence which included reports from police and the results of the drug test. Dabrowski also testified at the hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, Dabrowski requested that the record be left open so that he could supplement the record with additional evidence. The hearing officer granted this request. On November 16, 2011, counsel retained by Dabrowski contacted the hearing officer and requested that the record be left open until December 5. The hearing officer issued its decision on November 22 and then issued an order denying the request to keep the record open on November 25.

The hearing officer sustained the suspension of Dabrowski's license. On December 5, Dabrowski filed a motion for reconsideration.[1] The motion was denied and on December 19, Dabrowski petitioned the district court for review of the order suspending his license and the denial of his motion for reconsideration.[2] The district court issued a decision affirming the ITD's order suspending ...


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