Archive | Driver’s license suspension

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City of Kalispell v. Omyer

City of Kalispell v. Omyer, 2016 MT 63 (March 15, 2016) (Wheat, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether § 61-5-212, MCA imposes absolute liability for driving with a suspended license; and (2) whether letters from the Motor Vehicle Department informing each appellant that their drivers’ licenses were suspended were improperly admitted testimonial hearsay or properly admitted copies of public records.

Short Answer: (1) Yes, and (2) the letters were properly admitted as copies of public records under Rules 803(8) and 902(4).


Facts: In this consolidated appeal, three defendants were charged with various traffic violations, including driving with a suspended license. In each of the three bench trials, the state introduced letters sent from the MVD to the defendant notifying him or her of the suspension.…

Kummerfeldt v. State

Kummerfeldt v. State, 2015 MT 109 (April 21, 2015) (Rice, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court properly denied Kummerfeldt’s petition for reinstatement of his driver’s license.

Short Answer: Yes.


Facts: Kummerfeldt was stopped after a sheriff’s deputy observed him driving fast, crossing the centerline, and swerving. Seeing Kummerfeldt’s glassy, bloodshot eyes, the deputy asked Kummerfeldt to take a preliminary breath test. Kummerfeldt did not answer immediately, instead discussing it for almost 20 minutes. He eventually took the test, which reported a BAC of .232%. The deputy arrested Kummerfeldt and took him to the county jail, where he attempted to administer a breath test but could not because of incomplete testing equipment. He therefore requested Kummerfeldt to submit to a blood test, which Kummerfeldt refused, saying he did not want to get poked by needles.…

Mitchell v. Dept. of Justice

Mitchell v. Dept. of Justice, 2015 MT 120 (Apr. 8, 2015) (Wheat, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether a momentary deviation from a lane of traffic violates § 61-8-328, MCA.

Short Answer: Yes.


Facts: Officer began following two cars one night near Red Lodge. After some time, car in front of officer passed Mitchell, who was two cars ahead of patrolman. As it was passed, Mitchell’s car crossed yellow center line. Before being passed, Mitchell’s vehicle crossed the fog line. Officer stopped Mitchell and cited him for crossing center line. Mitchell refused a breath alcohol test, resulting in suspension of his driver’s license.

Procedural Posture & Holding: A month later, Mitchell petitioned the district court to reinstate his license. After a hearing, lower court denied the petition, finding Mitchell’s car slightly crossed over the center yellow line in violation of § 61-8-328, MCA.…