Gary Constans keeps driving too slowly. Now he doesn’t have a license, and the Minnesota man said “communism” is to blame for having his license taken away.
After authorities warned Constans that he was driving slow on two-lane highways on nine separate occasions, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld Monday a lower court’s decision to revoke the Lester Prairie man’s license.
"Constans has repeatedly disregarded warnings from law enforcement officers that his driving creates dangerous driving conditions for everyone on these two-lane roads," the court said in its ruling.
The wedding DJ and retired postal worker said he drives slow because he wants to save on gas and tries to avoid hitting “critters” because he only has liability insurance on his 2000 truck, which has 278,000 miles.
"I do all those gas-saving techniques that aren't against the law," Constans told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "It sends a red flag to these people who call the cops and say, 'This guy's a nut.' "
He added, "With a truck like that, it isn't worth anything. So if I hit a critter, guess who's buying the truck? I am. I go really, really slow so I have time to brake."
According to the court case, Constans was warned after explaining why he drove slowly that his license would be revoked. On one occasion, the Minnesota man told officers he was driving 40 mph – much slower than traffic – because he was trying to find “the sweet spot for gas mileage.” In another instance, he told authorities that driving slowly “keeps him from hitting ‘critters,’ or animals, in ‘critter zones,’” according to the court decision.
In its decision, the Minnesota Court of Appeals sided with a district court ruling that Constans “did not meet his burden of showing that he is entitled to reinstatement of his license.”
“Because driving conduct that is inimical to public safety is not limited to driving while impaired, and because the commissioner may evaluate evidence beyond a driving record to determine when public safety is threatened, the commissioner [of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s] decision to cancel Constans’s driver’s license was not arbitrary or unreasonable, was within her authority, and was justified and supported by the record,” the court ruled.
Constans said he’s trying to get his license back, and unsuccessfully argued that there needs to be evidence of impaired driven in order for a license to be revoked.
“It’s totally communism,” he told the Pioneer Press of the court’s decision. “There’s no freedom anymore.”