Police officer had probable cause to believe that defendant was driving a commercial motor vehicle in violation of the law, and thus officer’s traffic stop of defendant was lawful. Officer testified that he was trained and experienced in enforcing Alaska’s commercial motor vehicle laws, and that he had stopped vehicles similar in size and proportions to the one defendant was driving that had been rated over the 10,001 pound threshold. Officer’s estimate was close, in that defendant’s truck’s gross vehicle rating was 9,990 pounds. Officer’s belief that the truck was a commercial motor vehicle was supported by evidence that the truck was registered to what appeared to be a commercial business. U.S.C.A. Const.Amend. 4.
Defendant was convicted in the District Court, Fourth Judicial District, Bethel, Dennis P. Cummings, J., of driving under the influence. He appealed. Holdings: The Court of Appeals, Mannheimer, J., held that:  defendant’s spinning of his vehicle’s tires did not create reasonable suspicion that defendant had committed negligent driving;  stop of defendant’s vehicle was not justified under community caretaker doctrine; and  spinning of vehicle’s tires, without more, did not support a reasonable suspicion that defendant was driving while intoxicated. Reversed.
A jury convicted Leland S. Cluff of driving a commercial motor vehicle without a commercial driver’s license, a class A misdemeanor. AS 28.33.150(a)(1). Cluff appeals his conviction, raising three related contentions: that his conduct was not prohibited by AS 28.33 .150; that AS 28.33.150 is vague if it is construed to prohibit his conduct; and that there was insufficient evidence at trial to support his conviction under AS 28.33.150. Affirmed.
Defendant argued that the State had no authority to enforce the federal law regulating commercial motor vehicles. The appellate court found that the adopted portions of the federal regulations were now state law and were enforced by various state agencies. By expressly adopting the pertinent portions of the federal regulations and revising them as necessary to apply them to Alaska roadways, the State Department of Transportation acted consistently with its statutory authority and the legislature’s objective. The evidence showed that defendant was operating a commercial motor vehicle where defendant presented no evidence that his vehicle was exempt from the state regulations because it was used “exclusively” for non-commercial purposes. Defendant was using his tractor-trailer to haul property belonging to another person or persons. Even if he did not receive monetary compensation, defendant was engaged in activities that were incidental to and done in furtherance of his business. Defendant did not show that the State failed to turn over exculpatory evidence, nor did he show that he was prejudiced in any way. Defendant was not entitled to a jury trial. The judgment was affirmed.
Before the trial court and on appeal, defendant argued that former Alaska Stat. § 28.33.140 did not authorize the revocation of a commercial driver’s license for a conviction of driving under the influence unless the motorist was operating a commercial vehicle at the time of the offense. On review, the court held that former Alaska Stat. § 28.33.140 did not allow the disqualification of a commercial driver’s license for a conviction involving a non-commercial motor vehicle. Because Alaska Stat. § 28.33.140(a) and (b) were reasonably susceptible of two contradictory interpretations–one allowing revocation of a commercial license upon a conviction for driving a private vehicle while under the influence and a second allowing revocation only if the conviction for driving a motor vehicle while under the influence was committed while driving a commercial vehicle–the statute was ambiguous. Under the rule of lenity, resolution of the ambiguity required adoption of the meaning most favorable to defendant. The portion of the district court judgment disqualifying defendant from driving a commercial motor vehicle was vacated. The remainder of the judgment was affirmed.
A jury convicted Larry Varilek of driving a commercial motor vehicle without a commercial driver’s license, a class A misdemeanor. AS 28.33.150(a)(1). Varilek appeals, contending that District Court Judge Peter G. Ashman should have suppressed the evidence arising from an unlawful search of his vehicle by a commercial vehicle enforcement officer whose commission as a special officer had temporarily lapsed. Varilek also contends that Judge Ashman incorrectly instructed the jury on the evidence required to establish that Varilek had been driving a “commercial motor vehicle.” Affirmed.
There are no additional resources.