Harold J. Olson, Appellant
North Dakota Department of Transportation, Appellee
from the District Court of Morton County, South Central
Judicial District, the Honorable Richard L. Hagar, Judge.
R. Gillette (argued), New Town, ND, for appellant.
E. Nicolai (argued) and Michael T. Pitcher (appeared), Office
of the Attorney General, Bismarck, ND, for appellee.
1] Harold Olson appeals a district court order affirming the
North Dakota Department of Transportation's
("Department") revocation of his driving privileges
for two years, following an arrest for driving under the
influence. We reverse the district court's order and
reinstate Olson's driving privileges.
2] A deputy with the Mountrail County Sheriff's
Department testified he received a call from a Three
Affiliated Tribes, also known as the Mandan, Hidatsa and
Arikara Nation ("MHA"), officer on May 13, 2017
requesting assistance with a non-Indian he stopped and
detained on tribal land. The MHA officer told the deputy he
detained the individual because he was parked in the middle
of the road asleep at the wheel. The MHA officer asked the
deputy to complete an investigation.
3] The deputy identified the driver as Harold Olson. The
deputy noted a strong odor of what appeared to be an
alcoholic beverage, administered field sobriety tests,
determined he had probable cause to arrest Olson, and then
arrested Olson for driving under the influence. The deputy
read Olson his Miranda rights and the implied consent
advisory. Olson refused to take a breath test. The deputy
issued Olson a report and notice form under N.D.C.C. ch.
4] Olson timely requested an administrative hearing. At the
administrative hearing, the deputy testified that tribal
police investigate and arrest an individual for crimes on
tribal land, such as driving under the influence, if the
individual is an enrolled member of a tribe. The deputy and
the MHA officer were not aware Olson was a member of any
tribe at the time of the arrest.
5] At the administrative hearing, Olson offered his tribal
identification card, which indicated he was a member of the
Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe. Olson did not have his tribal
identification card in his vehicle when the MHA officer
stopped him. Olson said he was "pretty sure" he
told the MHA officer he was an enrolled member of a tribe.
Olson testified he understood a tribal police officer would
have investigated him, instead of calling county or state
police, if he knew Olson was an enrolled member of a tribe at
the time of the stop.
6] The administrative hearing officer concluded the deputy
had reasonable grounds to believe Olson was driving or in
actual physical control of the vehicle while under the
influence of intoxicating liquor and had authority to arrest
Olson because of the MHA officer's request for
assistance. Olson's driving privileges were thereafter
revoked for a period of two years. The district court
affirmed the Department's decision finding the deputy was
acting under a request for assistance, which extended the
deputy's authority to arrest onto tribal land.
7] The parties do not dispute the following facts: (1) Olson
was discovered in his vehicle by a MHA officer on tribal land
within the Fort Berthold Reservation, (2) the MHA officer
requested assistance from the Mountrail County Sheriff's
Department, (3) the deputy completed an investigation and
arrested Olson for driving under the influence on tribal land
within the Fort Berthold Reservation, (4) Olson is an
enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe, and
(5) the MHA officer and the deputy did not know Olson was an
enrolled member at the time of the arrest.
8] This Court reviews an administrative driver's license
revocation under N.D.C.C. § 28-32-46. Vanlishout v.
N.D. Dep't of Transp., 2011 ND 138, ¶ 12, 799
N.W.2d 397. Proceedings under N.D.C.C. ch. 39-20, which
relate to the revocation of driving privileges, are civil in
nature and separate from criminal proceedings. Beylund v.
Levi, 2017 ND 30, ¶ 17, 889 N.W.2d 907. We must
affirm the Department's order for revocation unless:
1. The order is not in accordance with the law.
2. The order is in violation of the constitutional rights of
3. The provisions of this chapter have not been complied with
in the proceedings ...