Administrative Hearing Commission
State of Missouri
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC SAFETY, )
vs. ) No. 07-1594 PO
STACIE E. RUDLOFF, )
Stacie E. Rudloff is subject to discipline because she committed two criminal offenses.
On September 25, 2007, the Director of the Department of Public Safety (“the Director”) filed a complaint seeking to discipline Rudloff’s peace officer license. On October 3, 2007, Rudloff was served with a copy of the complaint and our notice of complaint/notice of hearing by certified mail. On October 29, 2007, Rudloff filed an answer to the complaint.
On March 6, 2008, we held a hearing on the complaint. Assistant Attorney General Christopher R. Fehr represented the Director. Neither Rudloff nor anyone representing her appeared. The matter was ready for our decision on March 7, 2008, when the reporter filed the transcript.
Findings of Fact
Rudloff is licensed as a peace officer. Her license was current and active at all relevant times.
On July 30, 2005, around midnight, Highway Patrol Trooper Richard Dowd observed a vehicle passing another vehicle and failing to return to the driving lane. Dowd observed the vehicle starting to go back to the driving lane, but then crossing the center line back into the passing lane. The driver drove the vehicle off the road several times.
Dowd activated his emergency lights, but the vehicle continued in the passing lane. Dowd followed the vehicle until it pulled over. Rudloff was driving the vehicle. Rudloff’s eyes were bloodshot and watery, and Dowd could smell intoxicants in the car and on her breath. Rudloff got out of the car and swayed as she walked. She admitted to drinking three or four beers, but refused a field sobriety test. Rudloff told Dowd that there were weapons in the vehicle. Dowd arrested Rudloff for driving while intoxicated.
Under the front seat of the vehicle, officers found two guns, a Glock 17 (9 millimeter) with 17 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber, and a Glock 27 (.40 caliber) with 9 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. Both guns were holstered. In the rear of the vehicle, Rudloff had an unloaded SKS rifle.
Dowd took Rudloff to the Cole County Sheriff’s Department where she refused a Breathalyzer test and refused to answer questions on the Alcohol Influence Report. Dowd charged Rudloff with driving while intoxicated and felony possession of firearms while intoxicated.1
On July 30, 2005, Rudloff committed the criminal offenses of driving while intoxicated and unlawful use of weapons.
Conclusions of Law
We have jurisdiction to hear this complaint.2 The Director has the burden of proving that Rudloff has committed an act for which the law allows discipline.3
The Director argues that there is cause for discipline under § 590.080, which states:
1. The director shall have cause to discipline any peace officer licensee who:
* * *
(2) Has committed any criminal offense, whether or not a criminal charge has been filed[.]
The Director argues that Rudloff committed the crime of driving while intoxicated in violation of § 577.010, RSMo 2000, which states:
1. A person commits the crime of “driving while intoxicated” if he operates a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated or drugged condition[;]
and unlawful use of weapons in violation of § 571.030, which states:
1. A person commits the crime of unlawful use of weapons if he or she knowingly:
* * *
(5) Possesses or discharges a firearm or projectile weapon while intoxicated[.]
The Director’s evidence is Dowd’s testimony and a certified copy of Rudloff’s driving records, which are admissible pursuant to §§ 536.070(10)4 and 490.130. In addition, where no objection is made, hearsay evidence can and must be considered in administrative hearings.5
There is no chemical evidence that Rudloff was intoxicated, but courts have determined that this is not always necessary.6 The court in State v. Blumer stated:
Although chemical test results are also admissible to show intoxication in a prosecution for driving while intoxicated . . . such evidence is not needed to make a submissible case.
The court in State v. Bradley8 found that evidence that the defendant was uncooperative, smelled strongly of liquor, had glassy eyes, was staggering and slurring his speech, refused to submit to a breath test, had been observed speeding, and admitted that he had been drinking was evidence that he was intoxicated.
In this case, Rudloff was observed driving off the road, smelled of intoxicants, had bloodshot, watery eyes, swayed when she walked, refused to take both a field sobriety and a breathalyzer test, and admitted that she had consumed alcohol. We find that the Director proved that she was intoxicated. The Director’s evidence shows that Rudloff drove a vehicle and possessed weapons while intoxicated.9
Rudloff committed two criminal offenses. She is subject to discipline under § 590.080.1(2).
We find cause to discipline Rudloff’s peace officer license under § 590.080.1(2).
SO ORDERED on April 4, 2008.
JOHN J. KOPP