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Hawkins v. Idaho Transportation Department

Court of Appeals of Idaho

November 15, 2016

CRAIG WILLIAM HAWKINS, Petitioner-Respondent,
v.
IDAHO TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT, Respondent-Appellant.

         2016 Opinion No. 74

          Appeal from the District Court of the Second Judicial District, State of Idaho, Nez Perce County. Hon. Jeff M. Brudie, District Judge.

         Order of the district court on intermediate appeal vacating driver's license suspension, reversed and case remanded.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Edwin L. Litteneker, Special Deputy Attorney General, Lewiston, for appellant.

          Blewett Mushlitz LLP; Jonathan D. Hally, Lewiston, for respondent.

          GUTIERREZ, Judge

         The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) appeals from the district court's order vacating the hearing officer's decision to sustain the suspension of Craig William Hawkins' driver's license. The ITD contends the district court erred in determining that the procedure utilized by the ITD violated Hawkins' constitutional right to procedural due process. We reverse the decision of the district court and remand.

         I.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         An officer stopped a vehicle driven by Hawkins after observing that the vehicle's windshield was cracked. During the course of the stop, the officer came to suspect that Hawkins may be driving under the influence. The officer requested that Hawkins participate in field sobriety tests, which Hawkins refused. Hawkins was then transported to the county jail where he submitted two blood alcohol concentration (BAC) breath samples measuring at 0.168 and 0.161. The ITD then administratively suspended Hawkins' license, pursuant to Idaho Code § 18-8002A, based upon his failure of evidentiary testing.

         Hawkins filed a timely request for an administrative hearing to contest his license suspension. As part of that request, he asked the court to issue subpoenas for the production of the BAC instrument logs and calibration records and all audio and video recordings of the stop, detention, arrest, and administration of the breath test.

         On April 23, 2015, the hearing officer issued a notice for a telephonic hearing to be held on May 4, 2015. On the same date, the hearing officer also issued two subpoenas duces tecum to the Lewiston Police Department requiring production of the requested evidence. Both subpoenas had compliance dates of May 5, 2015, one day after the scheduled hearing date. The subpoenas also specified that the evidence was to be sent via U.S. Mail to the ITD office in Boise, not to Hawkins or his attorney in Lewiston. On May 1, 2015, the ITD received a DVD from the Lewiston Police Department and mailed it to Hawkins on the same day.

         A telephonic hearing was held on May 4, 2015. At this hearing, Hawkins argued his license suspension should be vacated on several statutory grounds, as required by and set forth in I.C. § 18-8002A(7). During the hearing, Hawkins objected to not having received the subpoenaed video recording of the arrest prior to the hearing.

         In sustaining the administrative license suspension, the hearing officer found that the ITD's failure to provide Hawkins with the video recording prior to the hearing did not violate his right to due process, nor did it provide grounds for vacating the suspension. The hearing officer concluded that Hawkins failed to meet his burden of ...


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