may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
James Jon Galonski, petitioner,
Commissioner of Public Safety,
Filed April 22, 1997
St. Louis County District Court
File No. C496100853
Mark C. Weir, Weir Law Office, 414 Main Street, P.O. Box 416, Tower, MN 55790 (for Appellant)
Hubert H. Humphrey, III, Attorney General, Joel A. Watne, Assistant Attorney General, 200 Capitol Office Building, 525 Park Street, St. Paul, MN 55103 (for Respondent)
Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge, Crippen, Judge, and Peterson, Judge.
James Galonski argues that (1) the agreement to abstain from alcohol use that he signed as a condition for reinstatement of his driver's license was an invalid contract of adhesion, and (2) the cancellation of his driver's license was arbitrary and capricious. We affirm.
In March 1996, after the Commissioner received a police report that Galonski had violated his restricted license by consuming alcohol, Galonski's driver's license was canceled as inimical to public safety.
Galonski filed a petition for license reinstatement with the district court. At the hearing, Galonski admitted that he had consumed alcohol. The district court refused to reinstate Galonski's license.
A person whose driver's license has been canceled may file a petition for license reinstatement with the district court. Minn. Stat. § 171.19 (1994). The court must determine whether, considering the rules, the Commissioner's decision was arbitrary and capricious. Magoon v. Commissioner of Pub. Safety, 494 N.W.2d 922, 924 (Minn. App. 1993).
1. Galonski argues that the document he was required to sign in 1984 as a condition of his license reinstatement was an invalid contract of adhesion. We disagree. The document Galonski signed was not a contract; it was an acknowledgement that Galonski understood the conditions under which his license was reinstated. Because the document was not a contract, the rules of contract law do not apply to it.
2. Galonski next argues that the cancellation of his driver's license was arbitrary and unreasonable because he consumed only one drink after 13 years of sobriety. But when the Commissioner had sufficient cause to believe Galonski had consumed any alcohol in violation of the total abstinence restriction on his driver's license, the Commissioner was required to cancel Galonski's driver's license. See Minn. R. 7503.1300, subpt. 3 (1995) (Commissioner shall cancel reinstated license when Commissioner has sufficient cause to believe driver has consumed alcohol in violation of total abstinence restriction; Minn. Stat. 645.44, subd. 16 (1994) ("_[s]hall_ is mandatory").
We previously have determined that the Commissioner has the "authority to require total abstinence from alcohol as a condition of reinstatement." Askildson, 403 N.W.2d at 677. Although application of the Commissioner's rules can produce harsh results in some cases, the rules advance the public policy of uniformity in the Commissioner's decision-making and ensure that offenders have clear notice of the consequences of their actions and are treated similarly by the Commissioner. Magoon, 494 N.W.2d at 925. Accordingly, the Commissioner did not act arbitrarily or unreasonably in applying Minn. R. 7503.1300, subpt. 3 to cancel Galonski's driver's license when Galonski violated the total abstinence restriction on the license.
Galonski also argues that the cancellation of his license was a disproportionate punishment. A driver's license, however, is a privilege and cancellation of the license is a remedial act designed to protect the public rather than to punish the offender. See State v. Hanson, 543 N.W.2d 84, 88-89 (Minn. 1996) (revocation of license under implied consent statute is remedial act designed to protect public from drunk drivers rather than to punish offender). Thus, the cancellation of Galonski's license was not a punishment.
Finally, Galonski argues that he will not be accepted for chemical dependency treatment because he is not chemically dependent. Therefore, he never will be rehabilitated and never will be eligible for license reinstatement. See Minn. R. 7503.1700, subpt. 6 (1995) (driver's license canceled for the second time shall not be reinstated until person completes rehabilitation). But, as the Commissioner argues, Galonski has not yet tried to attend chemical dependency treatment. Thus, this issue is not ripe for review and we will not address the issue. See Sinn v. City of St. Cloud, 295 Minn. 532, 533, 203 N.W.2d 365, 366 (1972) (appellate court does not issue advisory opinions).