Defendant appeals a conviction for driving while under the influence (DUII). Former ORS 487.540 (now ORS 813.010). The dispositive issue is whether the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss for lack of a speedy trial under Article I, section 10, of the Oregon Constitution.
On March 7, 1982, after a single vehicle accident, defendant was issued a citation for DUII. On April 15, 1982, he was arraigned in the Tillamook County Justice Court. The next day, defendant elected to transfer the case to circuit court. About one year after arraignment, the district attorney offered defendant a diversion option. See ORS 813.200—.270. Defendant rejected diversion, and his attorney informed the district attorney that "the time already passed involved an unreasonable delay." The state took no further action and the case remained in limbo until the circuit court notified defendant of a pre-trial conference set for January 28, 1985. Defendant appeared and moved to dismiss for lack of speedy trial; the motion was
Article I, section 10, mandates that "justice shall be administered * * * without delay." State v. Dykast, 300 Or. 368, 377, 712 P.2d 79 (1985), makes it clear that the appropriate analytical formula contains three factors: the length of delay, the reason for the delay and prejudice to the defendant.
In the present case, the length of delay is three years; the citation issued in March, 1982, and the trial was in March, 1985. That is too long a time for a defendant to wait for a trial in a DUII case.
With respect to the reason for the delay, the only explanation offered by the state is a crowded trial docket. The ultimate responsibility for a crowded trial docket must rest with the state and not the defendant. Moreover, that explanation pales in the light of the evidence to the effect that other cases, criminal and civil, were initiated after defendant was cited and were resolved before defendant's case came to trial. The state has made no showing to justify the delay.
The last factor is prejudice to a defendant. Generally, three types of prejudice are delineated: (1) oppressive pre-trial incarceration, (2) anxiety and (3) impairment of the ability to defend. State v. Dykast, supra, 300 Or. at 378, 712 P.2d 79. Defendant claims to have suffered the second type of prejudice. He stated that he was "greatly concerned and worried about the outcome of this matter, because [he drives] professionally for a living."
We think it plain that the state's unexplained failure to bring defendant to trial for three years on a serious driving offense is a "delay" of justice within the meaning of Article I, section 10, of the Oregon Constitution. In Haynes v. Burks, supra, 290 Or. at 81, 619 P.2d 632, the court provided some guidance to examine the relevance of each factor:
"It is apparent that different factors are important to the substance of the constitutional command and to the remedy of dismissal. As already stated, Article I, section 10, addresses the administration of justice and protects interests of the public as well as the rights of
In the present case, the length of the delay, without a valid explanation, is inexcusable. Whether the delay was caused by "neglect, procrastination or deliberate choice," it is plainly contrary to the public interest in the prompt and efficient administration of justice and to the right of the defendant to a trial without delay. Although defendant's personal prejudice figures in the equation, the overriding factors are the length of delay and the state's failure to justify that delay.
VAN HOOMISSEN, Judge, dissenting.
I would affirm defendant's conviction.
I read the majority's opinion to say that the only prejudice that defendant suffered was anxiety.
In State v. Dykast, 300 Or. 368, 378, 712 P.2d 79 (1985) the Supreme Court explained:
In Dykast, there was evidence that the delay caused the defendant to postpone his marriage plans and impeded his working capacity. He was restricted from carrying on his family's farming operation, which was already impaired due to his father's failing health. He suffered business losses, and the money that he deposited for his release was tied up in court so that he was unable to use it for his business. His defense costs mounted with each delay. He suffered mental anguish as to the uncertainty of his future and, in his words, the delay had "made it hard for [him] to make decisions" and his life was placed in a "holding pattern." 300 Or at 380-381 (Jones, J., concurring). Notwithstanding, the Supreme Court was not persuaded that Dykast's anxiety and stress were so great as to require dismissal.
In this case, by contrast, defendant's anxiety and stress, i.e., he was greatly concerned and worried about the outcome of this matter because he drives professionally for a living, were relatively minor. They do not require reversal of his jury
Defendant's second assignment of error, that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress the results of a blood test, because the emergency medical technician who drew a sample of defendant's blood was not acting under the direction and control of a licensed physician, lacks merit. See former ORS 487.825;
On appeal, the state argued that defendant's testimony at trial was specific about every aspect of his case. My review of the transcript confirms the state's assertion in that regard.
My vote to affirm does not imply approval of the state's conduct in this case. Rather, I conclude that this case represents "an unfortunate lapse in orderly judicial administration." State v. Neal, supra, 58 Or.App. at 186, 647 P.2d 974.