KEYC - Mankato News, Weather, Sports - - Comfrey woman suing the state commissioner of public safety

Comfrey woman suing the state commissioner of public safety over a DWI

Posted: Updated:
Brown County, Minn. -

A Comfrey woman is suing the Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety.

Elaine Fromm is litigating in an effort to get her commercial driver's license (CDL) reinstated after she lost it due to a DWI arrest. The license is needed to drive large vehicles.

According to court documents filed in Brown County, Fromm has worked for the Minnesota Department of Transportation for 17 years. She was also charged with DWI, which directly affected her employment.

"It's been very difficult for Ms. Fromm, she has lost her job," said Calvin Johnson, Fromm's lawyer.

Johnson says the 56-year-old had a CDL, which is needed for her job.

Under state rules, a person required to have a CDL will be disqualified for 1 year if he or she refused to be tested for alcohol or other drugs, or is convicted of DWI. A subsequent incident results in a lifetime ban of CDL privileges.

"When she gets a DWI, they want to pull her CDL for one year, one whole year--they want to put her out of work, and we're saying that's a denial of equal protection under the law," said Johnson.

Johnson also says there's an equity issue with this case.

"Farmers are exempt from CDL requirements, even though they might be driving the same exact truck. And that's our allegation here--Ms. Fromm drives (similar) to a farmer."

In the court petition, Johnson says if a farmer gets a DWI in a commercial vehicle, he or she would be prohibited from driving on Minnesota roads for a period of 15 days, if a restricted license is granted. Otherwise, it would be 30 days assuming he or she pled guilty to DWI.

The attorney representing the commissioner of public safety did not return News 12's request for comment on this case.