may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Anthony J. Mussehl, petitioner,
Commissioner of Public Safety,
Filed February 24, 1998
Toussaint, Chief Judge
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 474918
Hubert H. Humphrey, III, Attorney General, Jeffrey S. Bilcik, Assistant Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 200, St. Paul, MN 55103 (for respondent)
Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.
Anthony J. Mussehl appeals from a district court order affirming the commissioner's disqualification of his privileges to drive a commercial vehicle. See Minn. Stat. § 169.123, subd. 5 (a)(b)(1996). Mussehl argues that he was not operating a commercial vehicle within the meaning of Minn. Stat. § 169.01, subd. 75 (1996). Because the cab/tractor component of a truck is by definition a commercial motor vehicle for purposes of the implied consent law, we affirm.
We review conclusions of law to determine whether the district court erroneously construed and applied the law to the facts of the case. Berge v. Commissioner of Pub. Safety, 374 N.W.2d 730, 733 (Minn. 1985).
The Minnesota Supreme Court has consistently construed the implied consent and related statutes broadly. Young v. Commissioner of Pub. Safety, 420 N.W.2d 585, 586 (Minn. 1988). Because the laws prohibiting driving while intoxicated are remedial, they are "liberally interpreted in favor of the public interest and against the private interests of the drivers involved." Id. (quoting Department of Pub. Safety v. Juncewski, 308 N.W.2d 316, 319 (Minn. 1981).
Minn. Stat. § 169.123, subd. 5(a)(b) (1996) governs implied consent law as applied to drivers of commercial motor vehicles:
On behalf of the commissioner of public safety, a peace officer requiring a test or directing the administration of a chemical test of a person driving, operating, or in physical control of a commercial motor vehicle shall serve immediate notice of intent to disqualify and of disqualification on a person who refuses to permit a test or on a person who submits to a test the results of which indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more.
Id. The term "commercial motor vehicle" is defined as
a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle:
has a gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds;
has a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds and the combination of vehicles has a combined gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds * * * .
Minn. Stat. § 169.01, subd. 75(a) (1996) (emphasis added). "Gross vehicle weight" is the greater of
the unloaded weight of a vehicle or the unloaded weight of a truck- tractor and semitrailer combination, plus the weight of the load; or
the value specified by the manufacturer as the maximum gross weight or gross vehicle weight rating.
Minn. Stat. § 169.01, subd. 46 (1996).
We hold that the district court correctly determined that the cab/tractor of Mussehl's truck is a commercial motor vehicle. The definition of "gross vehicle weight" includes "the value specified by the manufacturer as the gross vehicle weight rating" and the parties stipulated that the gross vehicle weight rating as specified by the manufacturer for the vehicle in question is more than three times the statutorily provided 26,000 pounds.
Mussehl argues that the definition of commercial motor vehicle should be read to include only hitched cabs/tractors and trailers. Nothing in Minn. Stat. § 169.01, subd. 75(a) requires the cab/tractor to be attached to the trailer. The definition for both "commercial motor vehicle" and "gross vehicle weight" contemplate both towed and untowed units. We do not agree with Mussehl's argument that Minn. Stat. § 169.01, subd. 75(a)(1)-(2) creates an inherent ambiguity. Subsection (a)(1) applies to all motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds, and subsection (a)(2) applies to a subset of that group--motor vehicles with a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds and the combination of vehicles has a gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds. When read in concert, these two provisions create a redundancy rather than an ambiguity.