Texas Dept of Public Safety v. Varme
262 S.W.3D 34, 2008.TX.0005078
State of Wisconsin in Supreme Court
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We decide whether dismissal of criminal prosecution charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI) requires civil reinstatement of driving privileges suspended under the "Implied Consent" provisions of chapter 724 of the Transportation Code. Appellant, the Department of Public Safety (DPS), challenges a lower-court order vacating an order by an administrative law judge (ALJ). After conducting a contested-case hearing at Varmes request, the ALJ suspended the drivers-license privileges of appellee, Byron Kahrs Varme, for 180 days, based on Varmes refusal to submit a breath sample. Varme had been stopped in Houston traffic for speeding and was arrested for DWI, but refused to submit a breath specimen. See Tex. Transp. Code Ann. Â§Â§ 724.011, .032, .035(a)(1) (Vernon 1999 & Supp. 2007). In two issues on appeal, DPS contends that the court below erred as a matter of law in reversing Varmes suspension, whether by crediting Varmes contention that dismissal of related DWI charges by a criminal court barred the ALJs order, or by impermissibly substituting its judgment for the judgment of the ALJ. We reverse and render judgment reinstating suspension of Varmes license.