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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. Bottcher v. State (5/10/2013) sp-6781

Bottcher v. State (5/10/2013) sp-6781

        Notice: This opinion is subject to correction before publication in the PACIFIC  REPORTER . 

        Readers are requested to bring errors to the attention of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts, 

        303 K Street, Anchorage, Alaska 99501, phone (907) 264-0608, fax (907) 264-0878, email 

        corrections@appellate.courts.state.ak.us. 



                 THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ALASKA 



EUGENE F. BOTTCHER,                             ) 

                                                )       Supreme Court No. S-14460 

                Petitioner,                     )       Court of Appeals No. A-10660 

                                                ) 

        v.	                                     )       Superior Court No. 4FA-05-01624 CR 

                                                ) 

STATE OF ALASKA,                                )       O P I N I O N 

                                                ) 

                Respondent.	                    )       No. 6781 - May 10, 2013 

                                                ) 



                Petition for Hearing from the Court of Appeals of the State of 

                Alaska, on appeal from the Superior Court of the State of 

                Alaska,      Fourth    Judicial    District,    Fairbanks,     Douglas 

                Blankenship, Judge. 



                Appearances:       David   Reineke,  Assistant  Public   Defender, 

                Anchorage,        and    Quinlan      Steiner,    Public     Defender, 

                Anchorage, for Petitioner.        Diane L. Wendlandt, Assistant 

                Attorney General, Office of Special Prosecutions & Appeals, 

                Anchorage,   and     Michael   C.   Geraghty,   Attorney   General, 

                Juneau, for Respondent. 



                Before: Fabe, Chief Justice, Carpeneti and Stowers, Justices. 

                [Winfree and Maassen, Justices, not participating.] 



                STOWERS, Justice. 



I.       INTRODUCTION 



                In May 2005 an intoxicated Eugene Bottcher drove his vehicle off the road, 



hitting a boy and narrowly missing the boy's brother.             The boy who had been hit later 


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died at the hospital from his injuries.   After Bottcher hit the boy, he continued to drive, 



and when stopped by a passerby who had witnessed the accident, Bottcher tried to bribe 



him into not reporting the crime. 



                Bottcher pleaded no contest to manslaughter, assault in the third degree, and 



failure to render assistance.  The superior court sentenced Bottcher to a term of 23 years 



with 3 years suspended. The court also revoked Bottcher's driver's license for life.  The 



court of appeals affirmed Bottcher's sentence and the lifetime revocation of his license. 



In his petition to this court, Bottcher argues that the lifetime revocation was excessive. 



We hold that the trial court was not clearly mistaken in finding that Bottcher's case was 



an extreme one in which a lifetime revocation of his driver's license was required to 



protect   the   public.  We   therefore   affirm   the   decision   of   the   court   of   appeals,   which 



affirmed the superior court's lifetime revocation of Bottcher's driver's license. 



II.     FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS 



        A.      Facts 



                 Around 9:00 p.m. on May 23, 2005, in Fairbanks, an intoxicated 61-year- 



old Eugene Bottcher drove his pickup westbound on Goldstream Road after having spent 



the afternoon and evening drinking heavily at local bars.             Two boys, 13-year-old Saul 



Stutz and his brother 9-year-old Gabe Stutz, were   riding   bicycles in the grass along the 



roadside ditch.    As Bottcher approached, his vehicle left the road and struck Saul from 



behind, critically injuring him and narrowly missing Gabe.   Without stopping, Bottcher 



drove his truck out of the ditch and back onto the road. 



                The accident was witnessed by Dale Pomraning, who was driving in the 



opposite direction on the same road.          After checking on the boys and calling for help, 



Pomraning followed Bottcher in his vehicle.   Pomraning eventually stopped Bottcher at 



a greenhouse off the side of the road.   Pomraning told Bottcher that he had struck a boy 



                                                  -2-                                            6781
 


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and demanded that Bottcher return to the scene of the accident.  Bottcher initially agreed 



to return, but when Bottcher got into his truck, he began driving in the opposite direction. 



                Pomraning continued to follow, and Bottcher eventually pulled his truck 



into the driveway of a residence and stopped.   When Pomraning again told Bottcher that 



he had hit a boy,     Bottcher offered Pomraning a bundle of bills from his pocket, saying 



"aw, forget it," but Pomraning refused the money.            Pomraning asked Bottcher to turn 



himself in to the police, but Bottcher refused. Pomraning could smell liquor on Bottcher, 



and he noticed that Bottcher was stumbling and slurring his speech, and had watery eyes. 



When Pomraning asked, Bottcher admitted he was drunk.                Bottcher then walked away 



into a trailer, saying that he would take care of it the next day.  Pomraning positioned his 



vehicle so that Bottcher could not drive away and then walked to a nearby house to call 



the police, who later arrested Bottcher without incident.          A breath test administered to 



Bottcher at the police station registered a blood-alcohol content of approximately .237 



percent.    During   an   interview   with   police   the   following   day,   Bottcher   admitted   to 



knowing he struck Saul with his truck. 



                Saul was transported to a local hospital and then flown to Anchorage.  He 



died from his injuries the next day. 



                Prior to the accident, Bottcher had had only one conviction, a drug offense 



in the 1970s, and no traffic offenses.   However, he had a long history of alcohol use and 



dependency.      Bottcher had regularly used alcohol as an adult, with only one year of 



sobriety occurring in the late 1970s.   Bottcher stated that he began to drink more heavily 



in 2000 and began to lose control of his drinking in 2004 as a result of increased anxiety 



and depression due to financial difficulties.   During 2004 he was increasingly breaking 



self-imposed   rules   regarding   his   drinking.   He   had   been   prescribed   both   Paxil   and 



Prozac, but due to the negative side effects of mixing those medications with alcohol, he 



                                                 -3-                                           6781
 


----------------------- Page 4-----------------------

chose to stop taking the medicine rather than quit drinking. Several of Bottcher's friends 



stated that he found his primary social outlet in bars.           Bottcher had a habit of stopping 



by bars on his way home following the afternoon union call.               Although Bottcher stated 



that when he drank he usually took a taxi or rode with friends, one friend stated that he 



had   offered   Bottcher   rides   on   several   occasions   but   could   not   recall   Bottcher   ever 



accepting the offers. 



                After the accident, a licensed clinical social worker interviewed Bottcher 



and    concluded     that   Bottcher   met   the  criteria  for  alcohol   dependence.      Several   of 



Bottcher's friends also stated that he had a serious problem   with   alcohol.                Bottcher 



himself acknowledged that he had become involved in a serious struggle with alcohol, 



the demands of which were beyond his capabilities.   He also acknowledged that he was 



aware of the risks of drinking and driving, that drunk driving was a very serious problem 



in the Fairbanks area, and that he was part of the problem. 



        B.      Proceedings 



                 Following the accident, the State charged Bottcher with five counts: failure 



to render assistance, interfering with official proceedings, manslaughter, assault in the 



third degree, and driving under the influence.1            As part of a plea agreement, Bottcher 



pleaded no contest to manslaughter, third-degree assault, and failure to render assistance. 



The State dismissed the other two counts.  Bottcher was initially sentenced by Superior 



Court   Judge   Charles   R.   Pengilly,   who   found   that   Bottcher   had   acted   with   extreme 



indifference to the value of Saul's life and that Bottcher was a "worst offender" who 



deserved the maximum sentence. Judge Pengilly imposed a composite 35-year term with 



15 years suspended, a net 20-year term to serve, and revoked Bottcher's driver's license 



        1       AS       28.35.060(c),          AS      11.56.510,         AS      11.41.120(a)(1), 



AS 11.41.220(a)(1)(A), and AS 28.35.030(a)(1), respectively. 



                                                   -4-                                               6781 


----------------------- Page 5-----------------------

for life.  With respect to the license revocation, Judge Pengilly stated, "I hope I don't 



have to explain why I'm going to revoke Mr. Bottcher's license for life.                 I don't think 



that requires any explanation or any further development." 



                Bottcher appealed his sentence.2        The court of appeals remanded the case 



for resentencing,3    and Superior Court Judge Mark I. Wood modified Bottcher's sentence 



to a composite 23-year term with 3 years suspended, resulting again in a net 20-year term 



to   serve,  with   the  rest  of  the  sentence,    including    the  lifetime   license   revocation, 



unchanged. 



                The case then returned to the court of appeals, which vacated Bottcher's 



sentence because the superior court had not sufficiently justified the sentence as required 



by case law.4    The court also vacated the lifetime license revocation, holding that Judge 



Pengilly's "terse comment" regarding the revocation did not satisfy the standard set forth 



in Dodge v. Municipality of Anchorage ,5 according to which the court should impose 



such revocations only in extreme cases when required to protect the public.6 



                The case was then assigned to Superior Court Judge Douglas Blankenship, 



who, like Judge Pengilly and Judge Wood, found that Bottcher's actions demonstrated 



extreme indifference to the value of Saul's life.          The court imposed the same sentence 



previously imposed by Judge Wood, a composite sentence of 23 years with 3 suspended. 



        2       See Bottcher     v. State, Mem. Op. & J. No. 5435, 2009 WL 226010, at *2 



(Alaska App., Jan. 28, 2009). 



        3       Id. 
 



        4
      Id. at *3-6. 



        5       877 P.2d 270 (Alaska App. 1994). 



        6       Bottcher , 2009 WL 226010, at *3. 



                                                  -5-                                             6781
 


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The court also again imposed a lifetime revocation of Bottcher's driver's license, this 



time making more expansive findings supporting the revocation.   In particular, the court 



considered      Bottcher's     long-term     use   of  alcohol,    his  alcohol    dependence,      and   the 



circumstances   of   the   current   offense   and   concluded   that   a   lifetime   revocation   was 



necessary because Bottcher was, and would likely remain, a danger to the public when 



driving. 



                 Bottcher again appealed, arguing that his sentence was excessive and that 



the superior court still had not adequately justified the license revocation.7                The court of 



appeals held that the sentence was not clearly mistaken.8                  With respect to the license 



revocation, the court of appeals observed that the superior court had considered both 



Bottcher's      long   history   of  alcohol   dependence       and    the  seriousness     of  his  current 



offenses; in light of these considerations, the court of appeals held that the superior 



court's decision "that a lifetime revocation was necessary to protect the public" was not 



clearly mistaken.9 



                 Following   his   appeal,   Bottcher   filed   a   petition   for   hearing,   which   we 



granted   "only   as   to   the   propriety   of   the   lifetime   revocation   of   [Bottcher's]   driver's 



license."10 



        7        See Bottcher v. State, 262 P.3d 224 (Alaska App. 2011). 



        8        Id. at 227. 



        9        Id. 



        10       Alaska Supreme Court Order No. S-14460 (March 2, 2012). 



                                                     -6-                                               6781
 


----------------------- Page 7-----------------------

III.	   STANDARD OF REVIEW 



                "'Clearly     mistaken'     is  the  standard   of  review    that  we   employ     when 

reviewing sentencing decisions of a trial court."11             This is a "deferential standard of 



review":12 



                [I]t   gives   considerable      leeway    to  individual    sentencing 

                judges.    The    "clearly   mistaken"     test  is  founded    on   two 

                concepts:      first,  that  reasonable    judges,    confronted     with 

                identical   facts,   can   and   will   differ   on   what   constitutes   an 

                appropriate sentence; second, that society is willing to accept 

                these     sentencing     discrepancies,     so   long    as  a   judge's 

                sentencing      decision    falls  within   "a  permissible    range    of 

                reasonable sentences."[13] 



IV.	    DISCUSSION 



        A.	     The Superior Court Applied The Correct Standard For Imposing A 

                Lifetime Revocation Of A Driver's License. 



                Alaska   Statute   28.15.181   directs   a   court   to   revoke   a   person's   driver's 



license, privilege to drive, or privilege to obtain a license when the person is convicted 



of certain driving-related   offenses listed in subsection (a) of the statute.               Bottcher's 



convictions in this case fall under the first three listed offenses in subsection (a), namely: 



(1) manslaughter or negligent homicide resulting from driving a motor vehicle; (2) a 



felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used; and (3) failure to stop and 



give aid as required by law when a motor vehicle accident results in the death or personal 



        11      State v. Hodari, 996 P.2d 1230, 1232 (Alaska 2000) (citing McClain v. 



State, 519 P.2d 811, 813-14 (Alaska 1974)). 



        12      Id. 



        13      Id. (quoting Erickson v. State , 950 P.2d 580, 586 (Alaska App. 1997)). 



                                                   -7-	                                            6781
 


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injury of another.14        Subsection (b) of the statute requires that a "court convicting a 



person of an offense described in (a)(1)-(4), (6), (7), or (10) of this section shall revoke 



that person's driver's license, privilege to drive, or privilege to obtain a license for not 

less than 30 days for the first conviction . . . ."15  Thus, because Bottcher's convictions 



fall under (a)(1)-(3), the court was required to revoke his driver's license for at least 30 



days. 



                 1.      Lifetime revocations are not limited only to "chronic offenders." 



                 Although the statute establishes certain mandatory minimum periods of 



revocation, it   does   not   set   an   upper   limit   on   the   length   of   revocation. In Dodge   v. 



Municipality of Anchorage , the court of appeals held that the statute "authorizes a court 

to revoke a driver's license for any period of years, including a lifetime revocation."16 



The court proceeded to discuss the circumstances under which a court can impose a 



lifetime   revocation,   holding   that   "a   court   should   impose   a   lifetime   revocation   of   a 



driver's license only in extreme cases when the court concludes that such a revocation 

is required to protect the public."17        The court then "reviewed the entire record" in light 



of this standard.18      In particular, the court focused on two factors.19               First, the court 



observed that the defendant had "a twenty-year history of repeated offenses involving 



the operation of motor vehicles while intoxicated," including one offense in which the 



        14       AS 28.15.181(a)(1)-(3). 



        15       AS 28.15.181(b). There is an exception for the granting of a limited license 



in cases where the person's ability to earn a livelihood would be impaired.  Id. 



        16       877 P.2d 270, 273 (Alaska App. 1994). 



        17       Id. 
 



        18       Id. 
 



        19       Id.
 



                                                     -8-                                               6781
 


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defendant caused a person's death.20           Second, the court observed that the "present DWI 



was very serious and involved a traffic accident, a blood-alcohol content of more than 



twice the legal limit, and the endangerment of numerous people, including Dodge's 

fifteen-year-old   passenger."21        In   light   of   these   considerations,   the   court   of   appeals 



concluded that the trial court's lifetime revocation of Dodge's license was not clearly 

mistaken.22 



                 In a later case, Fine v. State ,23      the court of appeals applied the standard 



formulated in Dodge and vacated the trial court's imposition of a lifetime revocation, 

holding that such a revocation was excessive in Fine's case.24                 Fine had been convicted 



of   criminally     negligent    homicide,      assault   in  the   third  degree,    and   driving    while 



intoxicated   after   an   accident   in   which   he   crossed   over   the   center   line   and   struck   a 

motorcycle, killing the driver and injuring the passenger.25                  However, Fine "had not 



engaged in grossly erratic driving before the collision" and his .08 blood alcohol level 

was "not particularly high."26       Moreover, the court of appeals observed that Fine had "no 



history of driving while intoxicated" and that the record was insufficient to support a 



        20       Id. 



        21       Id. 



        22       Id. 



        23       22 P.3d 20 (Alaska App. 2001). 



        24       Id. at 23-24. 



        25       Id. at 21. 



        26       Id. at 21-23. 



                                                     -9-                                               6781
 


----------------------- Page 10-----------------------

finding that Fine, who was 29 years old at the time of the accident, had a "long-term 

history of alcohol abuse that made him a threat to the public."27 



                 The court of appeals' consideration of Fine's license revocation focused on 

the standard set forth in Dodge as well as the particular facts of Fine's case.28               The court 



compared   Fine's   record   with   that   of   Dodge   and   observed   that,   whereas   Dodge   had 



"established himself as a chronic DWI offender who was a worst offender and who was 

clearly a danger to the public," Fine "simply has no similar record."29                   The court also 



observed that Fine "has no prior record of driving while intoxicated or similar offenses" 

and that Fine's blood alcohol at the time of the accident "was less than .10 percent."30 



                 The court of appeals further explained that to authorize a lifetime revocation 



for   Fine   "would   authorize   such   an   extreme   punishment   for   anyone   with   a   similarly 

ambiguous criminal history."31            Rather, "[s]uch a punishment should be reserved for 



chronic offenders, such as Dodge, whose records demonstrate that they never should be 

allowed to drive a motor vehicle again."32  The court concluded that there was "no basis 



to revoke Fine's driver's license for the rest of his life."33 



                 Bottcher   relies   heavily   on   the   court   of   appeals'   statement   in  Fine   that 



lifetime revocations "should be reserved for chronic offenders . . . ."  Bottcher points out 



        27       Id. at 23. 



        28       Id. at 23-24. 



        29       Id. 



        30       Id. at 24. 



        31       Id. 



        32       Id. 



        33       Id. 



                                                    -10-                                              6781
 


----------------------- Page 11-----------------------

that at his resentencing hearing, the superior court acknowledged Bottcher was not a 



chronic   offender   under  Fine .        Thus,   Bottcher   argues,     in   light   of Fine 's   apparent 



restriction of lifetime revocations to "chronic offenders," the court's lifetime revocation 



of his license was excessive. 



                 However, there is no reason to believe that the court of appeals intended 



its discussion of "chronic offenders" in Fine to modify the standard it set forth in Dodge , 



according to which the determinative factor in a court's decision to impose a lifetime 



revocation is whether it is an "extreme case[]" in which "the court concludes that such 

revocation   is   required   to   protect   the   public."34   Rather,  Fine 's  language   regarding 



"chronic   offenders"   should        be  understood   in   the   context   of   the   court   of   appeals' 



comparison   of   the   defendants   Fine   and   Dodge,   in   which   the   defendants'   respective 



criminal   histories   were,   in   addition   to   the   facts   and   circumstances   of   their   current 



offenses, the most salient source of information about the defendants' danger to the 



public when driving.         The court of appeals in Fine was not considering a situation in 



which the defendant lacked a serious criminal history but nevertheless posed a danger 



to the public when driving by virtue of some other factor - such as a long history of 



alcohol abuse.       In short, Fine did not disturb Dodge 's holding that the court should 



impose a lifetime revocation only in extreme cases when such a revocation is required 



to protect the public.  We hold that a finding of chronic offender status is not a necessary 



predicate to ordering a lifetime revocation of a driver's license. 



                 2.      There is no legislative preference for short periods of revocation. 



                 Bottcher argues that the mandatory minimums set forth in AS 28.15.181, 



which range from 30 days to three years, "indicate a legislative preference for relatively 



short periods of revocation."   In support of this argument, Bottcher cites our observation 



        34       Dodge   v. Municipality of Anchorage , 877 P.2d 270, 273 (Alaska App. 



1994). 



                                                   -11-                                                 6781 


----------------------- Page 12-----------------------

in Pears v. State that a lowering of the mandatory minimum sentence for second-degree 

murder from 15 to 5 years might eventually alter the typical sentence for that offense.35 



                This argument is without merit.  In Pears we did not say that the change in 



mandatory minimums should alter the typical sentence; we merely posed a question 

about what might occur.36        Moreover, regardless of whether any inferences should be 



drawn     from   the  mandatory     minimums      in  the  statute,  Bottcher's    argument    simply 



underscores what the court of appeals already indicated in Dodge , namely that lifetime 



revocations should not be imposed routinely, but rather should be reserved for extreme 



cases when such a revocation is required to protect the public. 



                In the instant case, the superior court focused its discussion of Bottcher's 



lifetime    revocation    on   two   factors.   First,   the   court  considered     "the   facts  and 



circumstances surrounding this particular offense," the nature of which the court found 



to be "very, very egregious."  Second,         the court focused on Bottcher's long history of 



alcohol abuse, as well as its determination that Bottcher was alcohol-dependent.  The 



court concluded that Bottcher's "actions in this case are testimony to the danger that [he] 



pose[s].   And I'm not convinced that that will not continue upon [his] release.              So I'm 



going to require that [he] not drive a vehicle."         It is clear that the court, following the 



standard set forth in Dodge , imposed the lifetime revocation because it believed that 



Bottcher's case was an   extreme case in which a lifetime revocation was required to 



protect the public. 



        35      Pears v. State , 698 P.2d 1198, 1203 (Alaska 1985) (stating that "it is not 



clear, in view of the lowering of the mandatory minimum sentence from fifteen to five 

years, whether a sentence of twenty to twenty-five years imposed for second degree 

murder under the prior statute will remain 'typical' under the current statute") . 



        36      Id. 



                                                 -12-                                           6781
 


----------------------- Page 13-----------------------

        B.	      The Superior Court's Imposition Of The Lifetime Revocation Was Not 

                 Clearly Mistaken. 



                 As   discussed     in  the  preceding   section,   the   superior   court   focused   its 



discussion      of  Bottcher's     lifetime   revocation     on   two    factors:    (1)   the   facts  and 



circumstances of the present offense; and (2) Bottcher's long history of alcohol abuse. 



In light of these two factors, the court's finding that Bottcher's case was an extreme case, 



in   which   a   lifetime   revocation   was   required   to   protect   the   public,   was   not   clearly 



mistaken. 



                 With respect to the first factor, the superior court's judgment about the 



extreme or "very, very egregious" nature of the facts and circumstances of Bottcher's 



offense was based on several considerations.              First, the court noted that Bottcher was 



"severely   intoxicated,"   as   indicated   by   Bottcher's   high   blood-alcohol   level   and   the 



testimony of a witness at the last bar Bottcher visited the evening of the accident.  The 



court noted that the witness's testimony about Bottcher's highly intoxicated state was 



"chilling   .   .   .   knowing   that   [he]   went   out   and   drove   and   subsequently   struck   Saul, 



narrowly missing Gabriel . . . ."  The court also found that Bottcher's refusal to return to 



the scene of the accident and his attempt to bribe Pomraning manifested an "extreme 



indifference to the value of human life," an element of the higher offense of second- 

degree murder.37   Finally, in discussing the failure to render aid charge, the court noted 



Bottcher's "callous reaction[]" to his crime, describing it as "striking, severely injuring 



a 13-year-old who ultimately dies the next day, leaving, not coming back when you're 



told about it." 



        37       AS 11.41.110 (stating that a person commits the crime of murder in the 



second degree if, among other factors, the person "knowingly engages in conduct that 

results   in   the   death   of   another   person   under   circumstances   manifesting   an   extreme 

indifference to the value of human life"). 



                                                   -13-	                                                6781 


----------------------- Page 14-----------------------

                A comparison of  the facts and circumstances of Bottcher's case with those 



of  Dodge     and  Fine   confirms   the   soundness   of   the   superior   court's   judgment   that 



Bottcher's case was an extreme one.            Neither Dodge's nor Fine's accidents involved a 



failure to render aid or an attempt to bribe a bystander.               Further, Bottcher's blood- 

alcohol level of .237 was nearly three times as great as Fine's .08 level38  and was likely 



as great or greater than Dodge's blood-alcohol content, which was described as "more 

than twice the legal limit."39     In sum, the facts and circumstances of Bottcher's accident 



are approximately equivalent to Dodge's case, are extreme in comparison to Fine's case, 



and are extreme by any relevant measure. 



                The second factor the superior court relied on in imposing the lifetime 



revocation   of   Bottcher's   license   was   Bottcher's   long   history   of   alcohol   abuse   and 



dependency.      Unquestionably, Bottcher has a serious alcohol problem, confirmed both 



by   Bottcher's   own   admission   and   by   the   observations   of   friends   and   professional 



therapists.  This is a clear contrast with Fine , where the court of appeals explicitly found 

that the record did not support a finding that Fine was a chronic abuser of alcohol.40            (The 



court of appeals' opinion in Dodge does not include any information regarding Dodge's 

alcohol   use   other   than   his   long   history   of   DWI-related   offenses.41)   At   Bottcher's 



resentencing,   the   superior   court   made   extensive   findings   with   respect   to   Bottcher's 



problems with alcohol: 



                [T]he   file   indicates   that   you've   been   using   alcohol   from 

                adolescence up to the time of the offense, been diagnosed as 



        38      Fine , 22 P.3d at 21. 



        39      Dodge , 877 P.2d at 273. 



        40      Fine , 22 P.3d at 23. 



        41      Dodge , 877 P.2d at 272. 



                                                  -14-                                            6781
 


----------------------- Page 15-----------------------

                alcohol   [dependent].       Now,   there   were   failed   attempts   to 

                quit. .   .   .  And you broke your own self-imposed rules to 

                reduce the use of alcohol.  There's also an indication that you 

                were     prescribed     medicine     to  provide    relief  for   mental 

                conditions, but chose to use [it] situationally . . . rather than 

                as prescribed because of the negative side effects of using the 

                medicine   with      alcohol.   .   .   . [I]n   effect   .   .   .   this   is   you 

                choosing alcohol over the medicine. 



These findings informed the superior court's judgment that it was "not convinced" the 



danger Bottcher posed when driving would not resume upon his release, and that it was 



therefore necessary to revoke Bottcher's license for life in order to protect the public. 



                Bottcher     argues    that  despite   his  past  struggles    with   alcohol,   he  is  a 



promising candidate for rehabilitation.         At resentencing, the superior court considered 



Bottcher's potential for rehabilitation, noting that it appreciated that Bottcher had been 



tutoring inmates in English literacy.         Nevertheless, the court expressed its concern that 



given Bottcher's long-term drinking problems and alcohol dependence, Bottcher would 



continue drinking once he was released.             The court ultimately described its outlook as 



"guarded" with respect to Bottcher's potential for rehabilitation and expressed its "hope" 



that Bottcher could overcome his difficulties with alcohol, but concluded that it could not 



"rely on" that occurring. 



                In sum, the superior court, having carefully considered the record, decided 



that given the egregious facts of Bottcher's present offense and his serious long-term 



problems with alcohol, a lifetime revocation was required to protect the public.  The 



superior court's decision to impose such a revocation was not clearly mistaken. 



V.      CONCLUSION 



                The superior court applied the correct standard to Bottcher's case, namely, 



that it should impose a lifetime revocation of his license only if the case was an extreme 



case in which such a revocation was required to protect the public.  In view of the entire 



                                                  -15-                                             6781
 


----------------------- Page 16-----------------------

record, the superior court's decision that a lifetime revocation was required in Bottcher's 



case was not clearly mistaken.  For these reasons, we AFFIRM the decision of the court 



of appeals, which affirmed the superior court's lifetime revocation of Bottcher's driver's 



license. 



                                            -16-                                      6781
 

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