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Roger Raus v. State of Ohio Bmv

September 28, 2011

ROGER RAUS APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF OHIO BMV APPELLEE



APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE AKRON MUNICIPAL COURT COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. 10 CV 02075

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Moore, Judge.

Cite as Raus v. Ohio Bur. of Motor Vehicles,

ss:

DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

{¶1} Appellant, Roger Raus, appeals the order of the Akron Municipal Court that denied his petition to obtain an Ohio driver's license. This Court reverses.

{¶2} Mr. Raus had many convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol over the course of at least twenty years. In 1988, he was convicted in the state of Florida. Thereafter, he renewed his Ohio driver's license once with no problems, but in 2008, he could not renew his license because the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles' database indicated that his license had been blocked as a result of the Florida conviction. Mr. Raus petitioned the Akron Municipal Court for permission to apply for a new license. The trial court denied his petition, and Mr. Raus appealed.

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

"THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN APPLYING O.R.C. SECTION 4510.54 TO AN OHIO DRIVER WHOSE LICENSE WAS PERMANENTLY REVOKED BY THE STATE OF FLORIDA AND WAS BASED ON APPELLANT'S HAVING FOUR DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL CONVICTIONS, INCLUDING ONE IN FLORIDA IN 1988; THE TRIAL COURT SHOULD HAVE APPLIED O.R.C. 4507.08(D)(5) AND O.R.C. SECTION 4510.61 WHICH REQUIRE THAT OHIO COURTS TREAT SUSPENSIONS OR REVOCATIONS FROM OTHER STATES AS THOUGH THE CONDUCT GIVING RISE TO THE FLORIDA REVOCATION HAD OCCURRED IN OHIO. SINCE OHIO HAS NEVER PROVIDED FOR A LIFETIME SUSPENSION FOR MISDEMEANOR OVI CONVICTIONS, THE TRIAL COURT SHOULD HAVE ORDERED THE OHIO BMV TO PERMIT APPELLANT TO TEST TO RENEW HIS OHIO DRIVER'S LICENSE."

{¶3} Mr. Raus' assignment of error is that the trial court erred by applying the Interstate Driver's License Compact to his case in conjunction with R.C. 4510.54(A), leading to the conclusion that he could not apply for a driver's license until 2016. We agree that the trial court erred, but for a different reason.

{¶4} This matter involves the interaction of three statutes. R.C. 4510.61 enacts the Interstate Drivers License Compact, which seeks, in part, to "[m]ake the reciprocal recognition of licenses to drive and eligibility therefor more just and equitable" with respect to uniform compliance with motor vehicle laws from state-to-state. R.C. 4510.61, Article I, Section (b)(2). To that end, the Compact requires "[t]he licensing authority in the home state *** [to] give the same effect to the conduct reported, pursuant to Article III of this compact, as it would if such conduct had occurred in the home state" for driving under the influence of alcohol. R.C. 4510.61, Article IV, Section (a)(2).

{¶5} R.C. 4507.08 and R.C. 4510.54, on the other hand, describe how an Ohio driver whose license has been suspended or revoked may obtain driving privileges again. Under R.C. 4510.54, a driver whose license has been suspended for life or for a period greater than fifteen years may petition the sentencing court to modify the term of the suspension. R.C. 4510.54(A). In addition to demonstrating financial responsibility and, in the case of a suspension for driving under the influence, completion of a substance abuse treatment program and resulting sobriety, a driver who petitions under the statute must demonstrate two things related to the passage of time. First, the driver must show that at least fifteen years have passed since the suspension began.

R.C. 4510.54(A)(1). Second, the driver must show that he or she has had no felonies, moving violations, or any drug or alcohol-related offenses in the fifteen years preceding the petition.

R.C. 4510.54(A)(2) and (A)(4)(c).

{ΒΆ6} Under R.C. 4507.08, a person whose driver's license is cancelled or revoked, regardless of the jurisdiction in which the revocation occurred, is not eligible to apply for a new Ohio driver's license until one year after the revocation. R.C. 4507.08(D)(5). A driver in that situation may, however, petition the municipal court with jurisdiction over his residence to permit the application. Id. The petition should allege "that the conduct involved in the offense that resulted in suspension, cancellation, or revocation in ...


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