This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Peter Michael Prasher, petitioner,
Commissioner of Public Safety,
Filed December 27, 2005
Chippewa County District Court
File No. C6-04-464
John E. Mack, Special Assistant State Public Defender, Mack & Daby, P.A., 26 Main Street, P.O. Box 302, New London, MN 56273 (for appellant)
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, Jeffrey F. Lebowski, Joel A.
Watne, Assistant Attorneys General, 1800
Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge; Dietzen, Judge; and Huspeni, Judge.*
Appellant challenges the district court order and judgment dismissing his petition for reinstatement of his driving privileges under Minn. Stat. § 171.19 (2004), which had been canceled by the Commissioner of Public Safety upon the determination that there was sufficient cause to believe that appellant had consumed alcohol in violation of the total abstinence restriction on his driver’s license. Because the district court properly applied the law and did not abuse its discretion, we affirm.
November 2003, appellant Peter Michael Prasher was stopped by a
to appellant’s arrest, appellant had several alcohol-related incidents
occurring in March 1984, October 1984, and March 1985, resulting in the
revocation of his driving privileges under DWI and implied consent laws. In addition, appellant’s driver’s license was
“canceled” and “denied” as “inimical to public safety” until appellant
demonstrated his “rehabilitation” in accordance with standards set by
respondent Commissioner of Public Safety (commissioner).
Based upon appellant’s arrest and charge in November 2003 for DWI, the commissioner concluded that sufficient cause existed to believe that appellant had consumed alcohol in violation of the total abstinence restriction on his driving privileges. Consequently, his driving privileges were “canceled” and denied as “inimical to public safety.”
Meanwhile, in the DWI proceedings, appellant challenged the validity of the investigatory stop that led to his November 2003 arrest. The district court concluded that the investigatory stop of appellant was illegal and dismissed the criminal charges in February 2004. Appellant also challenged the validity of the implied consent revocation proceeding. In that case, the district court upheld the stop and sustained the implied consent revocation. Appellant appealed that order to this court. Subsequently, the commissioner agreed to administratively rescind the implied consent revocation in exchange for dismissal of the appeal. The appeal was then dismissed.
In October 2004, appellant petitioned for judicial review of the cancellation of his license under section 171.19 and filed an amended petition in November 2004. In the proceedings before the district court, appellant argued that the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule should apply, arguing that administrative proceedings under section 171.19 should be subject to the constitutional protections against illegal stops and searches. Appellant also argued that the doctrine of res judicata barred a different result from the DWI decision. Following a hearing, the district court denied appellant’s petition for judicial review. The district court concluded, inter alia, that the exclusionary rule does not apply to cancellation of driver’s privileges for violation of a total abstinence provision and that res judicata is not a bar to the proceeding. This appeal follows.
D E C I S I O N
Appellant raised two issues on appeal. First, appellant argues that evidence obtained as a result of an investigatory stop that was illegal under the Fourth Amendment’s exclusionary rule should be excluded in a proceeding for reinstatement of a driver’s license under Minn. Stat. § 171.19 (2004).
is a presumption of regularity and correctness when license matters are reviewed
by this court.” Thorson v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, 519 N.W.2d 490, 493 (
The United States Supreme Court has summarized the use of the exclusionary rule as follows:
The exclusionary rule is  a judicially created means of deterring illegal searches and seizures. As such, the rule does not proscribe the introduction of illegally seized evidence in all proceedings or against all persons, but applies only in contexts where its remedial objectives are thought most efficaciously served. Moreover, because the rule is prudential rather than constitutionally mandated, it applies only where its deterrence benefits outweigh the substantial social costs inherent in precluding consideration of reliable, probative evidence.
Bd. of Prob. & Parole v. Scott, 524
Here, appellant argues that there is no reasonable basis to distinguish between criminal proceedings in which one is charged with DWI under Minn. Stat. § 169A.20 (2004), review of implied consent revocation proceedings for test refusal under Minn. Stat. § 169A.53 (2004), and review of cancellation of driving privileges or other adverse action by the commissioner under Minn. Stat. § 171.19. Respondent argues that the proceedings are separate and distinct.
prosecution for DWI under Minn. Stat. § 169A.20 requires that the court
apply the exclusionary rule to exclude evidence obtained as a result of an investigatory
stop. See, e.g., State v. Carver, 577 N.W.2d 245 (
acknowledges that the case of Ascher v.
Comm’r of Pub. Safety, 527 N.W.2d 122 (
Ascher v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, 505
N.W.2d 362 (
appeal, we held that the potential for future unlawful police conduct in
establishing illegal check points was adequately deterred by application of the
exclusionary rule to DWI and implied consent proceedings.
statute has not changed, and Ascher II
is still good law, we conclude that the exclusionary rule does not apply to the
administrative proceedings under section 171.19. A DWI proceeding is separate and distinct
from a proceeding to “cancel” and “deny” for violation of the total abstinence
restriction. The DWI charge requires a
lawful arrest arising out of driving conduct.
The cancellation proceeding does not require a lawful arrest but rather focuses
on whether the total abstinence restriction was violated. The consequence is also different; for a DWI
conviction, the result can be criminal penalties and revocation of driver’s
privileges, but a violation of the total abstinence restriction may result in a
cancellation of driver’s privileges. Compare
further argues that cancellation proceedings under Minn. Stat. § 171.19 are
comparable to vehicle forfeitures. See
Appellant argues that the commissioner is barred by the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel from using evidence that was obtained in violation of the exclusionary rule to cancel his driver’s license under Minn. Stat. § 171.19 (2004).
judicata is the legal principle that judgment on the merits is an absolute bar
to a second suit on the same cause of action and is conclusive between the
parties as to every issue that was or could have been litigated. Dorso
Trailer Sales, Inc. v. Am. Body & Trailer, Inc., 482 N.W.2d 771, 774 (
to the second criterion, i.e., a second suit involving the same cause of
action, Ascher II is dispositive. Ascher
II held that res judicata does not apply to separate proceedings involving
implied consent revocation and review of petitions for reinstatement under
section 171.19. 527 N.W.2d at 125. The Ascher
II court reasoned that “[s]ince the statutes are mutually exclusive, a
cause of action under one does not encompass a cause of action under the
contends that the commissioner is precluded by collateral estoppel from using
evidence that was obtained in violation of the exclusionary rule to cancel
appellant’s license under section 171.19.
But appellant did not raise collateral estoppel as a bar against the commissioner;
rather he raised res judicata. This
court will generally not consider matters not argued and considered in the
district court. Roby v. State, 547 N.W.2d 354, 357 (
of collateral estoppel is a mixed question of law and fact subject to de novo
review. Falgren v. State Bd. of Teaching, 545 N.W.2d 901, 905 (
that the case of State v. Victorsen
supports his position that respondent is collaterally estopped from using the
evidence obtained in violation of the exclusionary rule. But Victorsen
is easily distinguishable. In Victorsen, we analyzed the effect of a
prior determination of an issue in an implied consent matter to a DWI
prosecution. State v. Victorsen, 627 N.W.2d 655, 660 (
Pursuant to the first criterion, we review whether the issue in the prior DWI proceeding is identical to the issue in the section 171.19 administrative reinstatement proceeding. Although the DWI and implied consent revocation proceedings require that the court apply the exclusionary rule to determine the legality of the stop, section 171.19 provides for no such inquiry. Here, the issue litigated in appellant’s DWI and implied consent revocation proceedings was the legality of the police officer’s stop, not appellant’s failure to abide by the abstinence provision. Consequently, we are persuaded that the issue of whether the commissioner had good cause to believe appellant violated the total abstinence restriction on his driver’s license was not litigated in the prior DWI and implied consent revocation proceeding. Because the first criterion is not met, it is not necessary to address the other criterion.
has the statutory authority to cancel any driver’s license where “at the time
of cancellation, [the driver] would not have been entitled to receive a license
under the provisions of section 171.04.”
* Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.