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Carter v. Director of Revenue

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, First Division

September 23, 2019

BOBBY J. CARTER, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
DIRECTOR OF REVENUE, STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent-Respondent.

          APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF MISSISSIPPI COUNTY Honorable Samuel R. Barker, Associate Circuit Judge

          OPINION

          WILLIAM W. FRANCIS, JR., J.

         Bobby J. Carter ("Carter") appeals the judgment of the trial court dismissing his "Petition for Review of Suspension of Driving Privilege" in one point relied on. Finding no merit to Carter's point, we deny the same and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         On February 14, 2018, Carter was arrested for driving while intoxicated (along with multiple other charges). A blood sample showed Carter's blood alcohol content at 0.166 percent. Thereafter, Carter received notice from the Director of Revenue (the "DOR") that his commercial driver's license ("CDL") and base driving privileges would be suspended. He requested an administrative hearing before the DOR, pursuant to section 302.530, [1] which was conducted on September 4, 2018.

         The hearing officer sustained the suspension. On September 5, 2018, the DOR mailed to Carter, and his attorney, a notice reflecting the hearing officer's decision to Carter and his attorney.[2] The notice contained a "FINAL ORDER COVER SHEET, " which, in relevant part, recites:

Enclosed is the outcome of your hearing. Your privilege to drive a Class A, B or C motor vehicle will be disqualified on October 07, 2018. Your base privilege (Class E, F or M) to drive will be suspended on September 20, 2018, for 30 days followed by a 60 day restricted driving period. If your privilege to drive was suspended before your hearing, you have been given credit for that time.
You may be eligible for an immediate restricted driving privilege if you install an approved ignition interlock device. The restricted driving privilege will not allow you to drive a Class A, B or C motor vehicle during your disqualification period. See Restricted Driving Privilege Information on the back of this letter.
To reinstate your privilege to drive, send the REINSTATEMENT REQUIREMENTS listed on the back of this letter to the Driver License Bureau, PO Box 200, Jefferson City, MO 65105-0200, before your suspension or revocation period ends. For complete reinstatement information visit our website at http://dor.mo.gov/drivers/ or call (573) 526-2407.
Please read all enclosed information carefully. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

         The hearing officer's "Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law" (also mailed to Carter and his attorney as part of the notice), directed in relevant part that Carter's "privilege to drive in the state of Missouri is hereby suspended as authorized and required by Sections 302.505[3] and 302.525[.]"[4] Following directly after and on the same page, the hearing officer indicated that the "Date of Mailing to Petitioner" was September 5, 2018, and that the "Date of Suspension" was "September 20, 2018." A "NOTICE" at the bottom of the same page stated:

If you do not agree with the decision made by the department, you may file a petition for Trial DeNovo in the Circuit Court in the county of arrest. You must file the petition with the court by the effective date of your suspension/revocation.
The Administrative Decision is independent of any criminal charges resulting from this arrest. Your license may be suspended or revoked based upon points assessed if you are convicted of a criminal charge.

         The notice also contained a "Notice of Disqualification of Your Driving Privilege From Operating Class A, B and/or C Commercial Motor Vehicle, " which indicated, in relevant part, as follows:

On October 07, 2018, [y]our privilege to drive a commercial motor vehicle will be disqualified for one year based on the outcome of your administrative hearing for driving with a blood alcohol content which exceeded the legal limits. (Sections 302.700 and 302.755, RSMo)[.]
This disqualification will end at midnight October 07, 2019. At the end of your disqualification, our office will issue a notice that your commercial driving privilege has been restored, provided you are not suspended, revoked, cancelled, disqualified or denied a license for any other reason.
When your commercial driving privilege is restored, you must take the complete commercial driver license examination if you wish to reapply for a Class A, B or C driver license. You must also reinstate your base driving privilege (Class E, F or M) in order to take the CDL test.
This is the final decision of the Director of Revenue. You have 30 days from September 05, 2018, to appeal this decision to the circuit court in your county of ...

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