may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Mark Cornelius Shelander, petitioner,
Commissioner of Public Safety,
Filed November 17, 1998
Chisago County District Court
File No. C1-98-306
Hubert H. Humphrey III, Attorney General, Joel A. Watne, Assistant Attorney General, Public Safety Division, 525 Park St., St. Paul, MN 55103 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Davies, Judge, and Amundson, Judge.
Appellant Mark Shelander challenges respondent Commissioner of Public Safety's denial of his petition for reinstatement of his driver's license following a statutory "second rehabilitation." Because the commissioner had sufficient cause to believe that Shelander had not abstained from alcohol for a three-year period, we affirm.
Shelander, whose license was cancelled a second time in 1994 following a series of alcohol-related offenses, applied for reinstatement of his driver's license, alleging completion of the requirements for a second rehabilitation. Minn. R. 7503.1700, subpts. 2, 5 (1997 & Supp. 1998). The commissioner denied the request for failure to remain abstinent for three years, based on three sheriff's reports filed during the three-year period of presumed abstinence.
The first report, in 1995, stated that Shelander had called about a horseback riding incident; the dispatcher noted that the caller sounded very intoxicated. In 1996, Shelander called the sheriff twice about a boat in distress signal he had picked up. The dispatcher wrote, "Mark is sounding very intoxicated each time he has called today." Also in 1996, a deputy sheriff was called to break up a fight in a bar parking lot. Although the participants had left by the time the sheriff arrived, one of the participants was identified as Shelander.
A person whose license has been cancelled may petition for reinstatement. Minn. Stat. § 171.19 (1996); Minn. R. 7503.1600 (Supp. 1998) (reinstatement conditioned on continued abstinence). If the commissioner has "sufficient cause to believe" that the applicant has not remained abstinent, reinstatement shall be denied. Minn. R. 7503.1300, subpt. 3 (1997). "Sufficient cause to believe" is defined as
grounds put forth in good faith which are not arbitrary, irrational, unreasonable, or irrelevant and which make the proposition asserted more likely than not, provided the grounds are based on at least one of the following sources:
* * * *
court documents and police records[.]
Minn. R. 7503.0100, subpt. 11 (1997).
A petition for reinstatement is reviewed by the district court, which may take testimony by affidavit or in person. Minn. Stat. § 171.19. There is a presumption of regularity and correctness when license matters are reviewed. Thorson v. Commissioner of Pub. Safety, 519 N.W.2d 490, 493 (Minn. App. 1994). The burden of proof is on the person seeking the reinstatement. Gardner v. Commissioner of Pub. Safety, 423 N.W.2d 110, 113 (Minn. App. 1988). On review, the appellate court will not reverse the decision of the lower court unless it is unsupported by substantial evidence or is arbitrary or capricious. Thorson, 519 N.W.2d at 493.
The standard "sufficient cause to believe" requires only that credible information, such as public records, make it more likely true than not that the reasons set forth by the commissioner are not arbitrary, irrational, unreasonable, or irrelevant. The law enforcement reports relied on by the commissioner in this case are a credible source of information. Because the behavior described in those reports is consistent with actions of an intoxicated person, based on speech, content, persistence, and location, Shelander's failed abstinence is more likely true than not.
Based on this standard, we find the commissioner's decision not arbitrary and capricious.