APPEAL FROM THE NINETEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, FOR THE
PARISH OF EAST BATON ROUGE
case concerns the constitutionality of La. R.S. 32:667,
particularly paragraphs La. R.S. 32:667 (H)(3) and (I)(1)(a).
Plaintiff, David T. Carver, alleged these paragraphs violated
the Due Process Clauses of the United States and Louisiana
Constitutions. Following the District Court's finding
that the paragraphs violated the Due Process Clauses, the
Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Office of Motor
Vehicles (the State) directly appealed that finding to this
Court. For the reasons that follow, we find that the
applicable paragraphs do not violate the Due Process Clauses
of the United States and Louisiana Constitutions. Thus, we
reverse the District Court's judgment of
unconstitutionality and remand the matter for proceedings
consistent with this holding.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
2009, Plaintiff was arrested for driving while intoxicated
(DWI) pursuant to La. R.S. 14:98. Plaintiff refused to submit
to a chemical test for intoxication and his license was
suspended for 180 days. The arrest did not result in a
conviction, as Plaintiff participated in a pre-trial
2014, Plaintiff was again arrested for DWI and charged with a
violation of La. R.S. 14:98. At the time of the arrest,
Plaintiff again refused to submit to a chemical test for
intoxication. Plaintiff later pled guilty to the DWI charge.
The District Court deferred Plaintiff's sentence and
placed him on one-year probation. After more than one year,
the District Court dismissed the charge.
result of the arrest and refusal to take the chemical test
for intoxication, the State again suspended Plaintiff's
driver's license, this time for one year. Plaintiff
presented the District Court dismissal to the State in an
attempt to reinstate his driver's license privileges. The
State denied unrestricted reinstatement based on La. R.S.
32:667 (H)(3), which prohibits reinstatement of driving
privileges if the person refused to submit to an approved
chemical test upon a second or subsequent arrest, and upon
the facts that Plaintiff was twice arrested for DWI and twice
refused to submit to a chemical test for intoxication. The
State then required Plaintiff to install an ignition
interlock device on his vehicle as a condition to
reinstatement pursuant to La. R.S. 32:667 (I)(1)(a) on the
basis he had refused to submit to the chemical test for
filed a written request for an administrative hearing to
review the State's suspension of his driving privileges
with the Division of Administration (DOA). After the hearing,
the administrative law judge affirmed the State's ruling.
then filed a petition for judicial review of the State's
ruling suspending his driver's license. The petition
alleged that the DOA ruling violated constitutional and
statutory provisions, exceeded the DOA's authority, and
constituted an arbitrary and capricious exercise of
Plaintiff filed a motion for declaratory judgment, seeking to
have La. R.S. 32:667 (H)(3) and (I)(1)(a) declared
to the hearing, the District Court informed the parties that
any constitutional challenge would be preserved until after a
ruling on the merits of the case, and only if necessary.
After a hearing, the District Court affirmed the
administrative judge's decision to suspend
Plaintiff's driving privileges, ordered Plaintiff's
driver's license suspended for 730 days pursuant to La.
R.S. 32:667, ordered Plaintiff was eligible for a hardship
driver's license, and required Plaintiff to have an
interlock ignition device for the duration of the suspension
period. The District Court also declined to declare La. R.S.
32:667 (H)(3) unconstitutional and refused to declare La.
R.S. 32:667 (I)(1)(a) unconstitutional as an ex post
then filed a motion for consideration of the constitutional
challenge, re-urging his constitutional challenge of La. R.S.
32:667 (I)(1)(a) based on the District Court's decision
to defer a ruling on the issues of due process and double
jeopardy until after a ruling on the merits.
19, 2017, the District Court declared La. R.S. 32:667
(I)(1)(a) unconstitutional on the ground it violated due
process. On May 25, 2017, the District Court amended its
judgment to hold that both La. R.S. 32:667 (H)(3) and
(I)(1)(a) were unconstitutional, as violating the Due
Process Clauses of the United States and Louisiana
Constitutions, as these provisions "mandate punitive
duplicitous measures based entirely on a previous arrest,
rather than on previous illegal conduct proven by any
recognized burden." The District Court expressly
declined to address the issue of whether La. R.S. 32:667
(H)(3) and (I)(1)(a) violate the Double Jeopardy Clause of
the United States and Louisiana Constitutions.
State directly appealed the District Court's ruling to
this Court as allowed by Article V, § 5, Paragraph D of
the Louisiana Constitution.