The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld a district court ruling involving drunk driving and a commercial driver’s licenses. Dustin Dickerson was stopped by a Newton police officer in January of 2009 and arrested for operating while intoxicated. The officer read the implied consent advisory to Dickerson to let him know he would lose his driver’s license if he refused to take a chemical test.
The officer did not read Dickerson the information on a commercial driver’s license. Dickerson refused the chemical test and the Iowa Department of Transportation revoked his regular driver’s license. Dickerson appealed the revocation of his license saying he was denied due process because the officer did not inform him of the consequences involving his commercial driver’s license.
The district court found the law required the officer to inform a person about the consequences to an ordinary driver’s license and the C-D-L. Because of this the court concluded Dickerson’s ordinary driver’s license should not be revoked. The court also found the failure to read the full implied consent advisory deprived Dickerson of his due process rights.
The D.O.T. appealed, saying the failure to give Dickerson the information on his C-D-L had no impact on revoking his driver’s license. But the Iowa Court of Appeals says the D-O-T overlooked the possibility that had the officer advised Dickerson about the C-D-L consequences, especially the lifetime disqualification for second offenders, Dickerson may have been motivated to submit a sample with the hope of testing under the limit and, thus, bearing no loss of driving privileges, either personal or commercial. Not fully informing Dickerson about the C-D-L consequences rendered his refusal involuntary and not a viable basis for either disqualifying his C-D-L or revoking his ordinary driver’s license.