MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER delivered the opinion of the Court.
The question presented by this appeal is whether a Massachusetts statute that mandates suspension of a driver's license because of his refusal to take a breath-analysis test upon arrest for driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor is void on its face as violative of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Commonly known as the implied consent law, the Massachusetts statute provides:
While driving a vehicle in Acton, Mass., appellee Donald Montrym was involved in a collision about 8:15 p. m. on May 15, 1976. Upon arrival at the scene of the accident an Acton police officer observed, as he wrote in his official report, that Montrym was "glassy eyed." unsteady on his feet, slurring his speech, and emitting a strong alcoholic odor from his person. The officer arrested Montrym at 8:30 p. m. for operating his vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, driving to endanger, and failing to produce his motor vehicle registration upon request. Montrym was then taken to the Acton police station.
As mandated by the statute, the officer's report recited (a) the fact of Montrym's arrest for driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, (b) the grounds supporting that arrest, and (c) the fact of his refusal to take the breath-analysis examination. As required by the statute, the officer's report was sworn to under penalties of perjury, and endorsed by the arresting officer and another officer present when Montrym refused to take the test; it was counterendorsed by the chief of police. The report was then sent to the Massachusetts Registrar of Motor Vehicles pursuant to the statute.
On June 2, 1976, a state court dismissed the complaint brought against Montrym for driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor.
According to Montrym's affidavit incorporated by reference in the state court's dismissal order, he was visited by an attorney at 9:05 o'clock on the night of his arrest; and, after consulting with counsel, he requested a breath-analysis test. The police, however, refused the requests made by Montrym and his counsel between 9:07 and 10:07 p.m.
Montrym's attorney immediately advised the Registrar by letter of the dismissal of this charge and asked that the Registrar stay any suspension of Montrym's driver's license. Enclosed with the letter was a copy of Montrym's affidavit attesting to the officer's refusal to administer a breath-analysis test at his request. However, Montrym's attorney did not enclose a certified copy of the state court's order dismissing the charge.
The Registrar, who has no discretionary authority to stay a suspension mandated by the statute,
Under the Massachusetts statute, Montrym could have obtained an immediate hearing before the Registrar at any time after he had surrendered his license; that hearing would have resolved all questions as to whether grounds existed for the suspension.
Four days later, Montrym's counsel made demand upon the Registrar by letter for the return of his driver's license. The letter reiterated Montrym's acquittal of the driving-under-the-influence charge, asserted that the state court's finding that the officer had refused to administer a breath-analysis test was binding on the Registrar, and declared that suspension of Montrym's license without first holding a hearing violated his right to due process. The letter did not contain a copy of the state court's dismissal order, but did threaten the Registrar with suit if the license were not returned immediately. Had Montrym's counsel enclosed a copy of the order dismissing the drunken-driving charge, the entire matter might well have been disposed of at that stage without more.
Thereafter, forgoing his administrative appeal scheduled for hearing on July 6, Montrym brought this action asking the convening of a three-judge United States District Court. The complaint alleges that § 24 (1) (f) is unconstitutional on its face and as applied in that it authorized the suspension of Montrym's driver's license without affording him an opportunity for a presuspension hearing. Montrym sought a temporary restraining order enjoining the suspension of his license, compensatory and punitive damages, and declaratory and injunctive relief on behalf of all persons whose licenses had been suspended pursuant to the statute without a prior hearing.
On July 9, 1976, a single District Judge issued the temporary restraining order sought by Montrym and directed
With one judge dissenting, the three-judge District Court granted Montrym's motion. Relying principally on this Court's decision in Bell v. Burson, 402 U.S. 535 (1971), the District Court concluded that Montrym was entitled as a matter of due process to some sort of a presuspension hearing before the Registrar to contest the allegation of his refusal to take the test. In a partial summary judgment order issued on April 4, and a final judgment order issued on April 12, the District Court certified the suit under Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 23 (b) (2) as a class action on behalf of all persons whose licenses to operate a motor vehicle had been suspended pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws Ann., ch. 90, § 24 (1) (f) (West Supp. 1979). The court then declared the statute unconstitutional on its face as violative of the Due Process Clause, permanently enjoined the Registrar from further enforcing the statute, and directed him to return the driver's licenses of the plaintiff class members. Montrym v. Panora, 429 F.Supp. 393 (Mass. 1977).
After taking timely appeals from the District Court's judgment orders, the Registrar moved the District Court for a stay and modification of its judgment, which motions were denied. After release of our opinion in Dixon v. Love, 431 U.S. 105 (1977), upholding the constitutionality of an Illinois statute authorizing the summary suspension of a driver's license prior to any evidentiary hearing, the Registrar moved for reconsideration of his motions for a stay and modification of judgment.
In a second opinion issued October 6, 1977, the District Court reasoned the Love was distinguishable on several grounds and denied the Registrar's motion to reconsider; the
We noted probable jurisdiction following the submission of supplemental briefs by the parties. Sub nom. Panora v. Montrym, 435 U.S. 967 (1978). We reverse.
The Registrar concedes here that suspension of a driver's license for statutorily defined cause implicates a protectible property interest;
We conclude that Love cannot be materially distinguished from the case before us. Both cases involve the constitutionality of a statutory scheme for administrative suspension of a driver's license for statutorily defined cause without a presuspension hearing. In each, the sole question presented is the appropriate timing of the legal process due a licensee. And, in both cases, that question must be determined by reference to the factors set forth in Eldridge.
The first step in the balancing process mandated by Eldridge is identification of the nature and weight of the private interest affected by the official action challenged. Here, as in Love, the private interest affected is the granted license to operate a motor vehicle. More particularly, the driver's interest is in continued possession and use of his license pending the outcome of the hearing due him. As we recognized in Love, that interest is a substantial one, for the Commonwealth will not be able to make a driver whole for any personal inconvenience and economic hardship suffered by reason of any delay in redressing an erroneous suspension through postsuspension review procedures. 431 U. S., at 113.
But, however substantial Montrym's property interest may
To be sure, as the District Court observed, the Illinois statute in Love contained provisions for hardship relief unavailable under the Massachusetts statute. Though we adverted to the existence of such provisions in Love, they were in no sense the "controlling" factor in our decision that the District Court believed them to be. 438 F. Supp., at 1159. Hardship relief was available under the Illinois scheme only after a driver had been suspended and had demonstrated his eligibility for such relief. See Dixon v. Love, 431 U. S., at 114 n. 10. The bearing such provisions had in Love stemmed from the delay involved in providing a postsuspension hearing. Here, unlike the situation in Love, a postsuspension hearing is available immediately upon a driver's suspension and may be initiated by him simply by walking into one of the Registrar's local offices and requesting a hearing. The Love statute, in contrast, did not mandate that a date be set for a postsuspension hearing until 20 days after a written request for such a hearing was received from the affected driver. Id., at 109-110.
The duration of any potentially wrongful deprivation of a property interest is an important factor in assessing the impact of official action on the private interest involved. Fusari v. Steinberg, 419 U.S. 379, 389 (1975). The District Court's failure to consider the relative length of the suspension periods involved in Love and the case at bar, as well as the relative timeliness of the postsuspension review available to a suspended driver, was erroneous. Neither the nature nor the weight of the private interest involved in this case compels a result contrary to that reached in Love.
Because a primary function of legal process is to minimize the risk of erroneous decisions, Greenholtz v. Nebraska Penal Inmates, 442 U.S. 1, 12-13 (1979); Addington v. Texas, 441 U.S. 418, 423 (1979), the second stage of the Eldridge inquiry requires consideration of the likelihood of an erroneous deprivation of the private interest involved as a consequence of the procedures used. And, although this aspect of the Eldridge test further requires an assessment of the relative reliability of the procedures used and the substitute procedures sought, the Due Process Clause has never been construed to require that the procedures used to guard against an erroneous deprivation of a protectible "property" or "liberty" interest be so comprehensive as to preclude any possibility of error. The Due Process Clause simply does not mandate that all governmental decisionmaking comply with standards that assure perfect, error-free determinations. Greenholtz v. Nebraska Penal Inmates, supra, at 7. Thus, even though our legal tradition regards the adversary process as the best means of ascertaining truth and minimizing the risk of error, the "ordinary principle" established by our prior decisions is that "something less than an evidentiary hearing is sufficient prior to adverse administrative action." Dixon v. Love, supra, at 113. And, when prompt postdeprivation review is available for correction of administrative error, we have generally required no more than that the predeprivation procedures used be designed to provide a reasonably reliable basis for concluding that the facts justifying the official action are as a responsible governmental official warrants them to be. See, e. g., Barry v. Barchi, post, at 64-65; Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U. S., at 334.
As was the case in Love, the predicates for a driver's suspension under the Massachusetts scheme are objective facts either within the personal knowledge of an impartial government official or readily ascertainable by him. Cause arises for license suspension if the driver has been arrested for
The District Court, in holding that the Due Process Clause mandates that an opportunity for a further hearing before the Registrar precede a driver's suspension, overstated the risk of error inherent in the statute's initial reliance on the corroborated affidavit of a law enforcement officer. The officer whose report of refusal triggers a driver's suspension is a trained observer and investigator. He is, by reason of his training and experience, well suited for the role the statute accords him in the presuspension process. And, as he is personally subject to civil liability for an unlawful arrest and to criminal penalties for willful misrepresentation of the facts, he has every incentive to ascertain accurately and truthfully report the facts. The specific dictates of due process must be shaped by "the risk of error inherent in the truthfinding process as applied to the generality of cases" rather than the "rare exceptions." Mathews v. Eldridge, supra, at 344. And, the risk of erroneous observation or deliberate misrepresentation of the facts by the reporting officer in the ordinary case seems insubstantial.
Moreover, as this case illustrates, there will rarely be any genuine dispute as to the historical facts providing cause for a suspension. It is significant that Montrym does not dispute that he was arrested, or that probable cause existed for his arrest, or that he initially refused to take the breath-analysis test at the arresting officer's request. The allegedly "factual"
Finally, even when disputes as to the historical facts do arise, we are not persuaded that the risk of error inherent in the statute's initial reliance on the representations of the reporting officer is so substantial in itself as to require that the Commonwealth stay its hand pending the outcome of any evidentiary hearing necessary to resolve questions of credibility or conflicts in the evidence. Cf. Barry v. Barchi, post, at 64-65. All that Montrym seeks was available to him immediately upon his suspension, and we believe that the "same day" hearing before the Registrar available under § 24 (1)(g) provides an appropriately timely opportunity for the licensee to tell his side of the story to the Registrar, to obtain correction of clerical errors, and to seek prompt resolution of any factual disputes he raises as to the accuracy of the officer's report of refusal.
The only other purpose that might be served by an opportunity to respond to the report of refusal prior to a driver's suspension would be alerting the Registrar to the existence of factual disputes between the driver and the reporting officer. This would be an exercise in futility, for the Registrar has no discretion to stay a suspension pending the outcome of an evidentiary hearing. And, it simply begs the question of a driver's right to a presuspension evidentiary hearing to suggest, as did the District Court, that the Registrar be given such discretion. The Massachusetts Legislature has already made the discretionary determination that the District Court apparently would have the Registrar make on a case-by-case basis. It has determined that the Registrar, who is further removed in time and place from the operative facts than the reporting officer, should treat a report of refusal that complies on its face with the statutory requirements as presumptively accurate notwithstanding any factual disputes raised by a driver. Simply put, it has determined that the
In summary, we conclude here, as in Love, that the risk of error inherent in the presuspension procedures chosen by the legislature is not so substantial in itself as to require us to depart from the "ordinary principle" that "something less than an evidentiary hearing is sufficient prior to adverse administrative action." 431 U. S., at 113. We fail to see how reliability would be materially enhanced by mandating the presuspension "hearing" deemed necessary by the District Court.
The third leg of the Eldridge balancing test requires us to identify the governmental function involved; also, to weigh in the balance the state interests served by the summary procedures used, as well as the administrative and fiscal burdens, if any, that would result from the substitute procedures sought.
Here, as in Love, the statute involved was enacted in aid of the Commonwealth's police function for the purpose of protecting the safety of its people. As we observed in Love, the paramount interest the Commonwealth has in preserving the safety of its public highways, standing alone, fully distinguishes this case from Bell v. Burson, 402 U. S., at 539, on which Montrym and the District Court place principal reliance. See 431 U. S., at 114-115. We have traditionally accorded the states great leeway in adopting summary procedures to protect public health and safety. States surely have at least as much interest in removing drunken drivers from their highways as in summarily seizing mislabeled drugs or destroying spoiled foodstuffs.
The Commonwealth's interest in public safety is substantially served in several ways by the summary suspension of those who refuse to take a breath-analysis test upon arrest. First, the very existence of the summary sanction of the statute serves as a deterrent to drunken driving. Second, it provides strong inducement to take the breath-analysis test and thus effectuates the Commonwealth's interest in obtaining reliable and relevant evidence for use in subsequent criminal proceedings. Third, in promptly removing such drivers from the road, the summary sanction of the statute contributes to the safety of public highways.
The summary and automatic character of the suspension sanction available under the statute is critical to attainment of these objectives. A presuspension hearing would substantially undermine the state interest in public safety by giving drivers significant incentive to refuse the breath-analysis test and demand a presuspension hearing as a dilatory tactic. Moreover, the incentive to delay arising from the availability of a presuspension hearing would generate a sharp increase in the number of hearings sought and therefore impose a substantial fiscal and administrative burden on the Commonwealth. Dixon v. Love, 431 U. S., at 114.
Nor is it any answer to the Commonwealth's interest in public safety that its interest could be served as well in other ways. The fact that the Commonwealth, for policy reasons of its own, elects not to summarily suspend those drivers who
We conclude, as we did in Love, that the compelling interest in highway safety justifies the Commonwealth in making a summary suspension effective pending the outcome of the prompt postsuspension hearing available.
Accordingly, the judgment of the District Court is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
It is so ordered.
MR. JUSTICE STEWART, with whom MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN, MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL, and MR. JUSTICE STEVENS join, dissenting.
The question in this case, simply put, is whether a person who is subject to losing his driver's license for three months as a penalty for allegedly refusing a demand to take a breath-analysis test is constitutionally entitled to some sort of hearing before his license is taken away. In Massachusetts, such suspensions are effected by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles solely upon the strength of a policeman's affidavit recounting his version of an encounter between the police and the motorist. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann., ch. 90. § 24 (1) (f) (West Supp. 1979). The driver is afforded no opportunity, before this deprivation occurs, to present his side of the story in a forum
Our decisions in Bell v. Burson, 402 U.S. 535, and Dixon v. Love, 431 U.S. 105, made clear that a person's interest in his driver's license is "property" that a State may not take away without satisfying the requirements of the due process guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment. And the constitutional guarantee of procedural due process has always been understood to embody a presumptive requirement of notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard before the State acts finally to deprive a person of his property. Mullane v. Central Hanover Trust Co., 339 U.S. 306, 313; Fuentes v. Shevin, 407 U.S. 67, 82; Boddie v. Connecticut, 401 U.S. 371, 378; Bell v. Burson, supra, at 542; Memphis Light, Gas & Water Div. v. Craft, 436 U.S. 1, 16, 19.
This settled principle serves to ensure that the person threatened with loss has an opportunity to present his side of the story to a neutral decisionmaker "at a time when the deprivation can still be prevented." Fuentes v. Shevin, supra, at 81-82. It protects not simply against the risk of an erroneous decision. It also protects a "vulnerable citizenry from the overbearing concern for efficiency . . . that may characterize praiseworthy government officials no less . . . than mediocre ones." Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645, 656. Cf. Memphis Light, Gas & Water Div. v. Craft, supra, at 21 n. 28. The very act of dealing with what purports to be
When a deprivation is irreversible—as is the case with a license suspension that can at best be shortened but cannot be undone—the requirement of some kind of hearing before a final deprivation takes effect is all the more important. Thus, in Bell v. Burson, the Court deemed it fundamental that "except in emergency situations" the State must afford a prior hearing before a driver's license termination becomes effective. 402 U. S., at 542.
The case of Dixon v. Love, 431 U.S. 105, is not, as the Court seems to suggest, to the contrary. At issue in Love was a statute permitting the summary revocation of the license of a repeat traffic offender on the strength of a cumulative record of traffic convictions and suspensions. The Court in Love stressed that the appellee had not contested the factual basis for his license revocation and had not contested the procedures followed in securing his previous convictions. Instead, the Love appellee had merely asserted a right to appear in person in advance to ask for leniency. Id., at 114. Under these circumstances, the Court held that summary suspension was permissible, for the "appellee had the opportunity for a full judicial hearing in connection with each of the traffic convictions on which the . . . decision was based." Id., at 113 (emphasis added). Love, then, involved an instance in which a revocation followed virtually automatically from the fact of duly obtained convictions for a stated number of traffic offenses. It established no broad exception to the normal presumption in favor of a prior hearing. See Memphis Light, Gas & Water Div. v. Craft, supra, at 19 n. 24.
The Court likens this driver's license suspension to the revocation at issue in Love, but in my view that analogy simply cannot be drawn. The Massachusetts breath-analysis suspension statute, in clear contrast to the Love statute, affords the driver no prior hearing of any kind to contest the critical factual allegations upon which the suspension is based. Those allegations can hardly be equated with routinely kept records of serious traffic offense convictions.
A breath-analysis suspension is premised upon three factors:
That dispute, as in Bell v. Burson, concerned a critical element of the statutory basis for a suspension—in this instance whether there was indeed a refusal to take a breath-analysis test after a proper demand. The Court suggests nonetheless that the "fact" of an informed refusal, as well as the other statutory factual bases for a suspension, is somehow so routine, objective, and reliable as to be equivalent to routinely maintained official records of criminal convictions. I find this equation highly dubious. Initial deprivations of liberty based upon ex parte probable-cause determinations by the police are, of course, not unusual, Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103; ex parte probable-cause determinations by neutral magistrates relying upon properly corroborated police affidavits to determine whether arrest or search warrants should issue are like-wise commonly made. E. g., Aguilar v. Texas, 378 U.S. 108. But these practices, to the extent that they permit ex parte deprivations of liberty or property, are clearly necessitated by the exigencies of law enforcement. They supply no support
Moreover, there is a vast difference between the record of duly adjudicated convictions at issue in Love and the historical facts of the encounter between the police and a motorist that form the basis for the driver's license suspension in the present case. To be sure, these relatively uncomplicated facts are unquestionably within "the personal knowledge of the reporting officer." Ante, at 14. But they are also within the knowledge of the driver. This Court has yet to hold that the police version of a disputed encounter between the police and a private citizen is inevitably accurate and reliable.
I am not persuaded that the relative infrequency with which a driver may be able successfully to show that he did not refuse to take a breath-analysis test should excuse the State from the constitutional need to afford a prior hearing to any person who wishes to make such a challenge. The question whether or not there was such a refusal is one classically subject to adjudicative factfinding, and one that plainly involves issues of credibility and veracity. Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U. S., at 343-344. The driver's "opportunity to tell his side of the story" to "the arresting officer," ante, at 14, surely
The State has urged, and the Court seems to agree, ante. at 17-19, that summary procedures are nevertheless required to further the State's interest in protecting the public from unsafe drivers. It cannot be doubted that the interest in "removing drunken drivers from the road" is significant. But the precedents supporting ex parte action have not turned simply on the significance of the governmental interest asserted. To the contrary, they have relied upon the extent to which that interest will be frustrated by the delay necessitated by a prior hearing. E. g., North American Storage Co. v. Chicago, 211 U.S. 306 (allegedly spoiled food), and cases
The State's basic justification for its summary suspension scheme, as the Court recognizes, ante, at 18, lies in the unremarkable idea that a prior hearing might give drivers a significant incentive to refuse to take the test. Related to this argument is the suggestion that the availability of a prior hearing might encourage a driver to demand such a hearing as a "dilatory" tactic, and thus might increase administrative costs by generating a "sharp increase in the number of hearings." Ibid. In sum, the State defends the ex parte suspension as essential to enlist the cooperation of drivers and also as a cost-saving device. I cannot accept either argument.
The 3-month driver's license suspension alone is obviously sufficient to promote the widespread use of the breath-analysis test, if drivers are informed not only of this sanction for a refusal but also realize that cooperation may conclude the entire case in their favor. Moreover, as is generally the case when a person's ability to protect his interests will ultimately depend upon a swearing contest with a law enforcement officer, the deck is already stacked heavily against the motorist under this statute. This point will not be lost upon the motorist. The State's position boils down to the thesis that the failure to afford an opportunity for a prior hearing can itself be part of the stacked deck. But there is no room for this type of argument in our constitutional system. A State is simply not free to manipulate Fourteenth Amendment procedural rights to coerce a person into compliance with its substantive rules, however important it may
The Court's holding that the Massachusetts breath-analysis suspension scheme satisfies the Constitution seems to be premised in large part on the assumption that a prompt postsuspension hearing is available. But even assuming that such an after-the-fact procedure would be constitutionally sufficient in this situation, the so-called "prompt postsuspension" remedy afforded by Massachusetts is, so far as I can tell, largely fictional. First, the State does not notify the driver of the availability of any such remedy.
Quite apart from the failure of Massachusetts to inform the driver of any entitlement to a "walk-in" hearing, that remedy cannot—as the Court recognizes—provide immediate relief to the driver who contests the police report of his refusal to take a test. To resolve such a factual dispute, a "meaningful hearing" before an impartial decisionmaker would require the presence of the officer who filed the report, the attesting officer, and any witnesses the driver might wish to call. But the State has provided no mechanism for scheduling any such immediate postsuspension evidentiary hearing.
Finally, the Registrar—according to the Court's own description of the Massachusetts scheme—quite possibly does not have authority to resolve even the most basic questions that might be raised about the validity of a breath-analysis suspension. Ante, at 15 n. 8. And, if the Registrar has no final authority to resolve the "legal" question the Court perceives in this case,
The Court has never subscribed to the general view "that a wrong may be done if it can be undone," Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U. S., at 647. We should, in my opinion, be even less enchanted by the proposition that due process is satisfied by delay when the wrong cannot be undone at all, but at most can be limited in duration. Even a day's loss of a driver's license can inflict grave injury upon a person who depends upon an automobile for continued employment in his job.
I do not mean to minimize the importance of breath-analysis testing as part of a state effort to identify, prosecute, and rehabilitate the alcohol-ridden motorist. I cannot, however, agree that the summary suspension of a driver's license authorized by this Massachusetts law is a constitutionally permissible method to further those objectives. For, on the sole basis of a policeman's affidavit, the license is summarily suspended, and it is suspended not for drunken driving but only for failure to cooperate with the police. The State—in my view—has totally failed to demonstrate that this summary suspension falls within any recognized exception to the established protections of the Fourteenth Amendment. Accordingly, I respectfully dissent.
"Upon receipt of such report [of refusal], the registrar shall suspend any license . . . issued to such person . . . for a period of ninety days." Mass. Gen. Laws Ann., ch. 90, § 24 (1) (f) (West Supp. 1979) (emphasis added).
"Any person whose license, permit or right to operate has been suspended under paragraph (f) shall be entitled to a hearing before the registrar which shall be limited to the following issues: (1) did the police officer have reasonable grounds to believe that such person had been operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor upon any [public] way . . . , (2) was such person placed under arrest, and (3) did such person refuse to submit to such test or analysis. If, after such hearing, the registrar finds on any one of the said issues in the negative, the registrar shall reinstate such license, permit or right to operate."
As stipulated by the parties, the § 24 (1)(g) hearing is available the moment the driver surrenders his license. At the hearing, the suspended driver may be represented by counsel. Upon request, a hearing officer will examine the report of refusal and return the driver's license immediately if the report does not comply with the requirements of § 24 (1) (f). If the report complies with those requirements, the burden is on the driver to show either that he was not arrested, that there was no probable cause for arrest, or that he did not refuse to take the breath-analysis test. The hearing may be adjourned at the request of the driver or sua sponte by the hearing officer in order to permit the attendance of witnesses or for the gathering of relevant evidence. Witnesses at the hearing are subject to cross-examination by the driver or his attorney, and he may appeal an adverse decision of the Registrar to the Board of Appeal pursuant to § 28.
The Registrar has represented to the Court that a driver can obtain a decision from the hearing officer within one or two days following the driver's receipt of the suspension notice. Montrym asserts that greater delay will occur if the driver raises factual issues requiring the taking of evidence. But, even under his more pessimistic view, which takes into account the possibility of intervening weekends, the driver will obtain a decision from the hearing officer within 7 to 10 days.
Also, the question of whether the Commonwealth is constitutionally required to give notice of the § 24 (1) (g) hearing procedure independent of the notice given by the statute itself was neither framed by the pleadings nor decided by the District Court; it is not properly before us notwithstanding the observations of the dissenting opinion on this issue. See post, at 27-28, and n. 4.