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Jangula v. North Dakota Department of Transportation

Supreme Court of North Dakota

June 30, 2016

Jody James Jangula, Petitioner and Appellant
v.
North Dakota Department of Transportation, Respondent and Appellee

         Appeal from the District Court of Burleigh County, South Central Judicial District, the Honorable James S. Hill, Judge.

          Chad R. McCabe, for petitioner and appellant.

          Michael T. Pitcher, Office of the Attorney General, for respondent and appellee.

          OPINION

          Daniel J. Crothers, Justice.

         [¶ 1] Jody Jangula appeals from a district court judgment affirming a Department of Transportation hearing officer's decision suspending his driving privileges for two years. We affirm, concluding the hearing officer did not abuse its discretion in admitting the analytical report of a blood sample into evidence at the administrative hearing.

         I

         [¶ 2] In January 2015 Jangula was charged with actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence. Jangula was issued a report and notice form, notifying him of the Department's intent to suspend his driving privileges. Jangula requested an administrative hearing.

         [¶ 3] At the February 2015 hearing the Department offered a number of exhibits into evidence, including exhibit 1 showing Jangula's blood alcohol concentration of.226 percent by weight. Jangula objected, contending the analytical report had not been certified or authenticated and the Department had not complied with the relevant statutes and rules of evidence. The hearing officer overruled Jangula's objections and admitted the exhibit into evidence.

         [¶ 4] The hearing officer suspended Jangula's driving privileges for two years. Jangula appealed to the district court, which affirmed.

         II

         [¶ 5] Our review of an administrative agency decision to suspend a person's driving privileges is governed by the Administrative Agencies Practice Act, N.D.C.C. ch. 28-32. Painte v. Dir., Dep't of Transp., 2013 ND 95, ¶ 6, 832 N.W.2d 319. We review the agency decision under N.D.C.C. § 28-32-49 in the same manner as the district court under N.D.C.C. § 28-32-46. We will affirm the agency's decision unless:

"1. The order is not in accordance with the law.
2. The order is in violation of the constitutional rights of the appellant.
3. The provisions of this chapter have not been complied with in the proceedings ...

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