The ruling released May 3 affirms a July 2020 District Court ruling in Kandiyohi County that suspended the driver’s license of Ray Danielson, 70, of Hawick.
Danielson was required to use the device for being inimical to public safety due to numerous offenses for driving while impaired .
He was on the program without a violation for six years when he failed a breath test. It registered an alcohol concentration of 0.044. About seven minutes later, he tried a retest and it registered an alcohol concentration of 0.012, but the person doing the test was out of the frame of the camera, as is required.
The commissioner of public safety suspended his license, and Danielson appealed to the District Court.
He argued during a hearing before the District Court that the device did not function properly and that he was ill at the time of the test.
He had used mouthwash for an infection in his mouth, and did not realize it contained alcohol. He had used mouthwash before without setting off the machine.
He also told the District Court that he had used hand sanitizer on occasions and the device had registered alcohol due to that.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the suspension by pointing to the District Court’s finding that the device was apparently functioning properly. The detection of alcohol from the mouthwash was evidence.
The Court of Appeals pointed out that the District Court allowed the defendant to testify and made a credible determination based on evidence. The commissioner of public safety did not act in an arbitrary or capricious manner as a result, the appeals court found.