This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Andrew David Lee,
Filed April 16, 2002
Steele County District Court
File No. T0-01-186
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suit 500, St. Paul, MN 55103; and
Douglas L. Ruth, Steele County Attorney, Dawn Elizabeth Johnson, Assistant County Attorney, 3093 South Cedar, Owatonna, MN 55060 (for respondent)
Andrew David Lee, c/o 2184 Northwest 50th Street, Medford, MN 55049 (appellant pro se)
Considered and decided by Schumacher, Presiding Judge, Toussaint, Chief Judge, and Parker, Judge.
This appeal arises from four consolidated criminal files in which appellant Andrew David Lee was convicted of several offenses, including driving while under the influence, driving after revocation, and leaving the scene of an accident. We have received Lee’s personal brief written without benefit of counsel and attempt to address all identifiable issues. He contends, among other arguments, that the state lacks jurisdiction over him because he is a sovereign person, that the statute revoking his license restricts his constitutional right to travel, and that he was unlawfully seized when the police detained him, administered a breath test, and subsequently arrested him. We affirm.
When initially stopped by the police following one incident, Lee produced a false international driver’s license. He appears to have attempted to renounce his birth certificate and filed papers with the Secretary of State’s office to declare himself a sovereign person. He argues that, as a “sovereign free man,” he is not subject to the jurisdiction of the Minnesota courts. He is in error. Although the people at large are sovereign in this state, under our representative form of government the legislature authorizes the law, the executive carries it out, and the courts have jurisdiction to try civil and criminal matters. The Minnesota Constitution provides that “[t]he district court has original jurisdiction in all civil and criminal cases and shall have appellate jurisdiction as prescribed by law.” Minn. Const. art. VI, § 3. Under Minnesota law, a person may be convicted and sentenced under the laws of this state if that person “[c]ommits an offense in whole or part within this state.” Minn. Stat. § 609.025(1) (2000).
Lee’s contention that Minn. Stat. § 171.24 (2000), under which his driver’s license was revoked, unconstitutionally restricts his right to travel, must also fail. The Minnesota Supreme Court has held that permission to operate a motor vehicle on the public roads of this state is “not embraced within the term ‘civil rights’ and is in the nature of a license or privilege.” Anderson v. Comm’r of Highways, 267 Minn. 308, 317, 126 N.W.2d 778, 784 (1964). This license or privilege is subject to regulation by public authority under the police power in the interest of public safety and welfare. Id. Further,a statute does not restrict a person’s right to travel when it merely regulates one mode of transportation. See State v. Cuypers, 559 N.W.2d 435, 437 (Minn. App. 1987) (mandatory insurance law did not implicate right to travel because driving a motor vehicle represented only one of many ways to travel).
Lee further alleges that he was unlawfully seized after a property damage accident when the police asked him to leave his vehicle, subjected him to a breath test, and subsequently arrested him. An investigative seizure is justified if the officer can point to specific and articulable facts which, along with reasonable inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant the intrusion. State v. Barber, 308 Minn. 204, 206, 241 N.W.2d 476, 477 (1976). In this case, after receiving a report of a property damage accident, police officers observed a vehicle in the immediate area moving erratically at a high rate of speed. When police stopped the car, they found Lee in a passenger seat. Investigation at the accident scene revealed that another party had given Lee permission to drive the car suspected in the property damage accident. Lee displayed indicia of intoxication, and after checking his driver’s license the police officers found that it had been revoked. Under these circumstances, the officers had more than the required articulable suspicion to justify Lee’s seizure. The subsequent administration of a preliminary breath test and Lee’s admission that he had consumed alcoholic beverages were sufficient to constitute probable cause for his arrest.
Lee’s further arguments concerning the lack of an enacting clause in the driving after revocation legislation, the applicability of the Uniform Commercial Code, and other issues have been examined and found to be without merit.
* Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.