from the District Court of Burleigh County, South Central
Judicial District, the Honorable Bruce B. Haskell, Judge,
J. Vinje, Bismarck, N.D., for appellee.
Douglas B. Anderson, Assistant Attorney General, Bismarck,
N.D., for appellant.
1] The North Dakota Department of Transportation appealed a
district court judgment reversing the Department's
decision to suspend Jim DeForest's driving privileges. We
reverse the district court's judgment and reinstate the
Department's suspension of DeForest's driving
privileges for 91 days.
2] In November 2017, Deputy Jared Lemieux stopped DeForest
for exceeding the speed limit by ten miles per hour. During
the stop, DeForest exhibited signs of intoxication. After
conducting field sobriety tests, Lemieux arrested DeForest
for driving under the influence of alcohol. Lemieux read
DeForest Miranda warnings and a post-arrest implied
consent advisory, omitting reference to criminal penalties
for refusal of breath or urine tests. Lemieux then requested
a blood test. Prior to Lemieux's advisory and request,
DeForest had asked for a chemical blood test. DeForest
consented to a blood test.
3] During the administrative hearing, DeForest objected to
admission of the blood test result, arguing non-compliance
with the required implied consent advisory procedure. The
hearing officer admitted the blood test evidence over the
objection and found Lemieux "read the implied consent
advisory in accordance with N.D.C.C. section
4] DeForest appealed to the district court, arguing the
implied consent advisory given was incomplete and thus the
blood test evidence was inadmissible. The district court
concluded the hearing officer erred in admitting the blood
test evidence and reinstated DeForest's driving
privileges. The Department appeals.
5] The standard of review for an administrative hearing to
suspend or revoke a driver's license is governed by the
Administrative Agencies Practice Act, N.D.C.C. ch. 28-32.
Haynes v. Director, Dep't of Transp., 2014 ND
161, ¶ 6, 851 N.W.2d 172. When a district court's
review of a department's decision is on appeal before
this Court, we review the department's original decision.
Our review is limited and we give great deference to the
agency's findings. We do not make independent findings of
fact or substitute our judgment for that of the agency;
instead, we determine whether a reasoning mind reasonably
could have concluded the findings were supported by the
weight of the evidence from the entire record.
Id. (citations omitted). "Once the facts are
established, their significance presents a question of law,
which we review de novo." McCoy v. N.D.
Dep't of Transp., 2014 ND 119, ¶ 8, 848 N.W.2d 659
(citations and internal quotations omitted). We must ...