Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Lachowski v. Petit

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Portage

August 19, 2019

STEPHEN M. LACHOWSKI, Appellee,
v.
DONALD J. PETIT, REGISTRAR, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, BUREAU OF MOTOR VEHICLES, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Portage County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2018 CV 00430.

         Judgment: Affirmed.

          Robert G. Walton, and Gretchen A. Ebner, The Law Office of Robert G. Walton, 1or Appellee.

          David Yost, Ohio Attorney General, 30 East Broad Street, 16th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215, Dale Thomas Vitale, Assistant Attorney General, and Brian R. Honen, Assistant Attorney General (For Appellant).

          OPINION

          THOMAS R. WRIGHT, P.J.

         {¶1} Appellant, Donald J. Petit, Registrar of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, appeals the trial court's decision reversing disqualification of Stephen M. Lachowski's commercial driver's license because disqualification is not authorized. We affirm.

         {¶2} The facts are undisputed.

         {¶3} On January 6, 2018, Lachowski was arrested in Portage County, Ohio for operating his personal vehicle, a 2005 Saturn, under the influence in a private parking lot. The administrative license suspension/CDL disqualification form, completed by the officer and admitted at the hearing, states that Lachowski failed the field sobriety tests and refused to submit to a chemical test for alcohol and/or controlled substances. The form also indicates that Lachowski's driver's license and commercial driver's license were seized. Lachowski signed the document agreeing that the advice on the back of the form was read to him.

         {¶4} The investigative report supplement, completed by the arresting officer and admitted at the hearing, provides that upon the officer's arrival at the VFW parking lot, Lachowski was "sitting in the driver seat with the vehicle's engine still running. * * * Stephen admitted he was driving the vehicle, and as a result of his reckless driving, [his car] got stuck in a snow bank." He was arrested and charged with OVI, refusal, and failure to maintain reasonable control.

         {¶5} Following receipt of the disqualification form, the Ohio BMV recorded Lachowski's administrative license suspension under R.C. 4511.191, and it separately began the disqualification process regarding his CDL via R.C. 4506.17.

         {¶6} The administrative license suspension (ALS) of Lachowski's regular driver's license, under R.C. 4511.191, was subsequently "terminated" in his related Portage County Municipal Court criminal case. The ALS appeal hearing transcript confirms that the prosecuting attorney agreed with Lachowski's argument that R.C. 4511.191 did not apply because Lachowski was on private property at the time of his OVI arrest. The trial court acknowledged the parties' agreement and held that Lachowski's "Administrative License Appeal is granted."

         {¶7} The corresponding Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles ALS Court Disposition Notification form, signed by the municipal court judge and dated February 18, 2018, states that "the appeal was granted," and the box is checked next to the preprinted text stating: "ALS terminated per plea agreement, ALS reinstatement fee not to be collected."

         {¶8} The Ohio BMV notice sent to Lachowski regarding his pending CDL disqualification states that his CDL is being disqualified for one year based on a "conviction" for ALS/refusal based on R.C. 4506.17. Lachowski appealed the disqualification to the Bureau arguing that neither R.C. 4511.191 nor R.C. 4506.17 applied, and as such, the disqualification of his CDL was contrary to law. He argued that R.C. 4511.191 did not apply because he was operating his personal vehicle on private property at the time of his OVI arrest. Lachowski also argued that R.C. 4506.17 did not apply because a plain reading of R.C. 4506.17(B) establishes that this statute only applies when an individual is operating or driving a commercial motor vehicle.

         {¶9} Following an administrative hearing, the hearing examiner disagreed with Lachowski's arguments and found that because Lachowski was the "holder of a commercial driver's license, R.C. 4506.17(A) applied and was the applicable implied consent statute. She recommended a one-year disqualification of his CDL. Lachowski objected, but Petit nevertheless adopted the hearing ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.