Kostrzewski v. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles

In Kostrzewski v. Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, 52 Conn. App. 326, 727 A.2d 233, cert. denied, 249 Conn. 910, 733 A.2d 227 (1999), a case involving a Florida conviction for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages, the plaintiff challenged the admission into evidence of an exhibit that contained several documents. Those documents included "'the original traffic ticket citing the plaintiff on the drunk driving charge.' The Florida 'DUI Uniform Traffic Citation' provided the date and time of the offense, the statute violated and the blood alcohol level of the plaintiff, and contained the signatures of the arresting officer and the plaintiff. The other side of the document was an abstract of the court disposition and indicated the name of the presiding judge and contained an original signature, although there was no indication of the signer's title or position. The information from the Florida trial court indicated that the plaintiff pleaded nolo contendere, was found guilty, fined and placed on probation and had her driving privileges revoked in Florida for a period of six months." Id., 331. The Court held in Kostrzewski that the information was reliable and probative and, therefore, properly admitted. Id., 333. The plaintiff, who had been convicted of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages in Florida, argued that her Connecticut license could not be suspended under the compact unless there was a finding by the trial court, or evidence introduced at the hearing, that the Florida and Connecticut statutes were substantially similar. The Court rejected the plaintiff's argument, stating in part that "article IV (c) of 14-111c does not mandate that the Connecticut court determine whether the Florida offense or violation . . . is substantially similar to the compact; instead, it mandates that the 'party state,' in this case Florida, identify those offenses that are substantially similar in nature to those listed in article IV (a) of 14-111c.