State v. Crisafi
Case # A151013
Full Text of Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A151013.pdf
Defendant Crisafi was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (“DUII”). Crisafi petitioned the trial court to allow him to enter the DUII diversion program, where Crisafi would plead guilty or not contest to DUII and participate in a drug and alcohol assessment and treatment program. If the court allows the petition, it accepts a defendant’s plea but withholds entry of judgment of conviction pending the defendant’s successful completion of the terms of the diversion agreement. If the defendant fails to complete the diversion terms, the court will terminate diversion, enter the guilty or no contest plea, and sentence the defendant.
Certain defendants are statutorily prohibited from participating in diversion. For example, ORS 813.215(1)(h) prohibits a person from participating in diversion if the person “hold[s] a [CDL] on the date of the commission of the offense.” A CDL, or commercial drivers license, allows a person to operate a commercial motor vehicle. In addition to a CDL, a person must also have a medical certificate to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
Crisafi held a CDL at the time he was arrested for DUII. At a hearing to determine whether Crisafi was eligible to participate in diversion, Crisafi argued that because he did not have a medical certificate when he last renewed his CDL, the CDL that ODOT issued to him was invalid. Consequently, he argued, ORS 813.215(1)(h) did not prevent him from entering diversion. The trial court denied Crisafi’s diversion petition, and he now appeals.
The Court of Appeals determines that a person who has an unexpired CDL that was issued by ODOT “holds” a CDL for purposes of ORS 801.307. In other words, “ORS 801.307 does not distinguish between properly and improperly issued licenses.” It is undisputed that Crisafi “held” a CDL issued by ODOT, and the CDL had not been expired or cancelled or revoked. Therefore, ORS 813.215(1)(h) disqualifies Crisafi from participating in the diversion program, and the trial court’s decision is affirmed.