MVA v. Iliano

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Motor Vehicle Administration v. Carmelina Illiano, No. 28, September Term, 2005. ADM INISTRA TIVE LA W RE ASONA BLE GR OUND S TO DE TAIN: Petitioner challenged the Circuit Court of Carroll County s reversal of the Administrative Law Judge s decision that the police officer who administered the breath test to Respondent possessed reasonab le ground s to justify the detention of Respondent and the suspension of Responden t s driver s license. The Court of Appeals determined that under th e applicable statute, after having made what may be characterized as a routine stop, it is reasonable for a police off icer to further deta in the driver f or the purp ose of ad ministering a chemical b reath test based upon facts developed after the initial stop. Therefore, the Court of Appea ls held that the decision of the Administrative Law Judge upholding the suspension of R espondent s license was supp orted by substantial evidence and was not premised upon an error of law. IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF MARYLAND No. 28 September Term, 2005 MOTOR VEHICLE ADMINISTRATION v. CARMELINA ILLIANO Bell, C.J. Raker Wilner Cathell Harrell Battaglia Greene, JJ. Opinion by Battaglia, J. Filed: December 16, 2005 Following a hearing be fore the M otor Veh icle Administration ( MVA ) on March 9, 2004, Administrative Law Judg e Robert Barry suspende d the driver s license of R esponde nt, Carmelina Illiano,1 for one year u nder M aryland Cod e ( 1977, 20 02 Rep l. Vol.), Section 16205.1(b)(1)(i)(2)(B) of the Transportation Article,2 for refusing to submit to a chemical 1 Respondent Illiano did no t submit a brief to this Court or participate at oral argum ent. 2 Maryland Code (1977, 2002 Repl. Vol. ), Section 16-205.1 of the Transportation Article states, in r elevant par t: (a)(2) Any person who driv es or attempts to drive a motor vehicle on a highway or on any private property that is used by the public in general in this State is deemed to have consented, subject to the provisions of §§ 10-302 through 10-309, inclusive, of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article, to take a test if the person should be detained on suspicion of driving or attempting to drive while und er the influen ce of alcoh ol, while impaired by alcohol, while so far impaired by any drug, any combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol that the person could not drive a vehicle s afel y, while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance, in violation of an alcohol restriction, or in violation of § 16-813 of this title. (b)(1) Except as p rovide d in sub section (c) of th is section , a person may not be compelled to take a test. However, the detaining officer sha ll advise the person that, on receipt of a sworn statement from the officer that the person was so charged and refused to take a test, or was tested and the result indicated an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, the Administration shall: (i) In the case of a person licensed under this title: 1. For a test resu lt indicating an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more at the time of testing: A. For a first offense, suspend the driver s license for 45 days; or B. For a second or subsequent offense, suspend the driver s license for 90 days; or 2. For a test ref usal: A. For a first offense, suspend the driver s breath test. 3 The Circuit Court for Carroll County subsequently found that the police officer who administere d the breath test did not possess reasonable grounds to justify the detention of Illiano and reversed the decision to suspend her driver s license.4 Petitioner, the Motor Vehicle Administration, now presents us with the following question for review: In determining the sufficiency of an officer s sworn certification of reasonable grounds to request a chemical breath test under Maryland Code (1977, 2002 Repl. Vol.), Section 16-205.1 (f)(7)(i)(1) of the Transportation Article,[5] did the adm inistrative license for 120 days; or B. For a second or subsequent offense, suspend the driver s license for 1 year. 3 A breath test is [a] test of a pe rson s b reath . . . to determ ine alco hol con centratio n. Maryland Code (1 977, 200 2 Repl. Vol.), Section 16-205.1(a)(1)(iv)(1) of the Transportation Article. 4 This Court has certiorari jurisdiction over this action because, pursuant to Maryland Code (1993, 20 02 Rep l. Vol), Sectio n 12-305 of the Co urts and Judicial Proceedings Article, the Circuit Court has rendered a final judgment in this case on judicial review of an administrative decision under Title 16 of the Transportation Article. 5 Maryland Code (1977, 2002 Repl. Vol.), Section 16-205.1(f)(7)(i)(1) of the Transportation Article, states: At a hearing u nder this sec tion, the person has the righ ts described in § 12-206 of this article, but at the hearing the only issues shall be: 1. Whether the police officer who stops or detains a person had reasonab le grounds to believe the person was driving or attempting to drive while under the influence of alcohol, w hile impaired by alcohol, while so far impaired by any drug, any combination of drugs, o r a combin ation of one or more drugs and alcohol that the person could not drive a vehicle safely, or while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance, in violation -2- law judge err in considering evidence obtained by the officer after the motorist w as initially detained, where the officer smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from the motorist s automobile, the motorist told the officer that she had been drinking and she should not be driving, and, after the initial detention, her performance in field sobriety tests exhibited further evid ence of im pairment? Motor Vehicle Administration v. Illiano, 387 Md. 465, 875 A .2d 769 (2005 ). We hold that, pursuant to Maryland Code (1977, 2002 Repl. Vol.), Section 16-205.1(b)(2) of the Transportation Article, the Administrative Law Judge s determination that the police officer had reasonable grounds to detain Illiano and request a breath test was supported by substantial evidence and was not premised upon an erroneous conclusion of law. Accord ingly, we reve rse the decisio n of the C ircuit Court. I. Background At approximately two o clock in the morning on October 30, 2003, Maryland Transportation Authority Police Officer J. Marll was in a marked patrol car parked on the shoulder of Route 170 in Anne Arundel County operating a stationary radar unit when a Saturn pulled up approximately ten feet behind him and sat idling for a few minutes. Officer Marll decided to check on the well-being of the driver and backed his car alongside the Saturn, at which time the driver, Carmelina Illiano, rolled down her window. Officer M arll detected the smell of alcoho l coming f rom the S aturn and d ecided to p ark behind it. While Officer Marll was moving the police car, Ms. Illiano alighted from the Saturn and switched positions with the passenger. After approaching the passenger side wind ow, Of ficer Ma rll of an alcohol restriction, or in violation of § 16-813 o f this title. -3- asked Ms. Illiano why she had stopped on the shoulder to which she replied that she sho uld not be driving because she had consumed one beer and one mixed drink. Observing that her eyes were bloodshot and glassy and that her speech was slurred, the officer requested Ms. Illiano s driver s licens e and ask ed her to perfor m vario us field sobriety te sts. While she was getting out of her car, Ms. Illiano disclosed to Officer Marll that she was coming from Cancun Cantina and that her friend was taking over because Ms. Illiano realized that she should not be driving; O fficer Marll further obse rved that Ms. Illiano leaned on the Saturn for bala nce w hile wa lking. After Ms. Illiano failed the field sobriety tests,6 Officer Marll placed her under arrest for Driving Under the Influence and read to her from the DR-15 Form.7 Initially, Ms. Illiano 6 Officer Marll administered three tests: the horizon tal gaze nystagm us test; the w alk and turn tes t and the on e leg stand te st: The horizontal gaze nystagmus test is an evaluation of the natural moving of the human eye as it follow s a horizon tally moving point of reference . The prese nce of alco hol in the body causes the eyes to take on a jerking movement. The walk and turn test requires a person to walk toe-to-heel in a straight line for approximately nine to ten steps. The one leg stand test requires a person to stand on one leg and count out loud for approximately five to ten seconds. Lowry v . State, 363 Md. 357 , 362 n.6, 768 A.2d 688, 690-91 n.6 (2 002). 7 We explored the DR-15 Form in Motor Vehicle Administration v. Atterbeary, 368 Md. 480, 485-86 n.1, 796 A.2d 75, 78-79 n.1 (2002), where we stated: The DR-15 Form, sometimes referred to as The Advice of Rights an d Adm inistrative Pen alties for Re fusal to Submit to a Chemical Test sta temen t, is derived from Section 16-205.1(b) of -4- the Marylan d Transp ortation Ar ticle; it provides in part: You have been stopped or detained and reasonable grounds exist to believe that you have been driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle while intoxicated; under the influen ce of alcoh ol; so far under the influence of any drug, any combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol, or under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance that you could not drive a vehicle safely; or in violation of an Alcohol Restric tion. In this state, any person who driv es or attemp ts to drive a motor vehicle, including a commercial motor vehicle, on a highway or on any private pro perty that is used b y the public in g eneral, is deemed to have consented to take a chemical test to determine the alcohol concentration, or a blood test to determine the drug or controlled dangerous substance content of the person. The chemical test shall be at no cost to you. A test of blood shall be administered if the breath test equipme nt is unavaila ble, a test is required to determine the drug or controlled dangerous substance content, or if your injuries require medical trea tment. The results of such test or a refusal of such test may be admiss ible as ev idence in any crim inal pro secutio n. *** You have the rig ht to refuse to submit to the test. If you refuse: The Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) will be notified of your chemical test refusal; your Maryland (MD) driver's license shall be confisc ated; an O rder of Su spension iss ued, and if eligible, a temporary license issued, valid for 45 days. An Administrative suspension shall be imposed by the MVA against your MD driver's license or driving privilege if you are a nonreside nt. The suspension shall be 1 20 days for a first offense and 1 year for a second or subsequent offense. You will be ineligible for modification of the suspension or issuance of a restrictive license; except in ce rtain circumstances, a test refusal suspension may be mo dified and a restrictive licen se issued, if you agree to pa rticipate in the Ignition Interlock Program for at -5- agreed to take a chemical b reath test; she w as taken to the Maryland State Police Barracks in Glen Burnie where the test was to be administered. When Ms. Illiano arrived, how ever, she changed her mind, refused to submit to the test and, thereafter, pursuant to Section 16205.1(b)(3), 8 Officer Marll confiscated Ms. Illiano s driver s license, served her with an least 1 year. 8 Maryland Code (1977 , 2002 R epl. Vol.), Section 16-205.1(b)(3) of the Transportation Article prov ides in releva nt part: If the person refuses to take the test or takes a test which re sults in an alcohol concen tration of 0.08 or more at the time of the testing, the po lice officer sh all: (i) Confisc ate the person s driver s license issued by this State; (ii) Acting on behalf of the Administration, personally serve an order of suspension on the person; (iii) Issue a temporary license to drive; (iv) Inform the person that the temporary license allows the p erso n to c ontinue driving f or 45 days if the person is licensed under this title; (v) Inform the person that: 1. The person has a right to request, at that time or within 10 days, a hearing to show cause why the driver s license should not be suspended concerning the refusal to take the test or for test results indicating an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more at the time of testing, and the hearing w ill be sched uled within 45 days; *** (vi) Advise the person of the administrative sanctions that shall be imposed in the event of failure to request a hearing, failure to attend a requested hearing, or upon an adverse finding by the hea ring of ficer. . . . -6- order of suspension fo r one year, 9 issued her a temporary license, and informed her of her right to a hearing and the require d adm inistrativ e sanctio ns. At the administrative show cause hearing held on March 9, 2004, Ms. Illiano, represented by counsel, contended that the officer never drove abreast of her car, but instead made a U-turn and immediately parked behind her; that she never told Officer Marll that she should not have been driving; that her difficulty performing the field sobriety tests was due to her poor grasp of the English language and her inability to understand O fficer Marll s directions and that she switched seats with the passenge r because s he was h aving diff iculty driving due to a damaged tendon on the top of her foot. In his findings of f act, ALJ Barry stated: I do find by a preponderance of the evid ence in this record that the officer had reasonable grounds to believe the licensee was driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or while impaired by alcohol. . . . I don t have any problems finding Ms. Illiano in violati on of Section 16-2 05.1 . Frankly, I find Ms. Illiano s version of events to be totally not credible, not even a close c all in this m atter. There s a total I mean as far as basically from the be ginning, sh e admits tha t she s out w ith her friend at a club. She s indicated she only had this half a glass of bitter win e and a rum and Co ke, and w ants me to believe that all the problems here w ere not the pro blems w ith the test didn t have to do with the consumption of alcohol, but with this foot problem. The evidence that I have on the foot problem is that the injury actu ally goes back to August of 2002, and the pod iatrist, Dr . Seider , has indicated the nerve damage and [sic] may cause difficulty with ambulation and balance. But the evidence of the impairme nt in this case g oes beyond that. We have the b loodshot, glassy eyes, the slurred speech, and I 9 Because this w as Illiano s second vio latio n of Section 16-2 05.1 with in fiv e years, Section 16-205.1(b )(1)(i)(2)(B) requires that her license be susp ended for one year. -7- believe the licensee made the admiss ions to the officer. P eople driving up behind police when they re intoxicated doesn t shock me. I ve had cases w here people have driven into the police station drunk to pick up their friend, who had been arrested earlier in the nig ht, drun k. People do things when they re intoxicated they wouldn t ordinarily do when sober. I believe that Ms. Illiano was quite intoxicated that night, pulled over, decided not to drive for whatever reason, performed couldn t even stand up, basically. I believe very little of what Ms. Illiano said here today, so I do find her in violation of Section 16-205.1. Accordingly, ALJ Barry upheld the one-year suspension of Ms. Illiano s driver s license. Ms. Illiano filed a Petition for Judicial Review of AL J Barry s decisio n in the Circuit Court for Carro ll County pursuant to Maryland Code (1984, 1999 Repl. Vol.), Section 10222 of the State Government Article. Finding that Section 16-205.1 (b)(2) clearly requires that an officer have reasonable grounds for detaining someone for driving under the influence of alcohol, the judge held that any results o f the field so briety tests wou ld be irreleva nt in determining whether the officer h ad reason able grounds to detain Petitioner to perform these tests, and concluded: In reviewing the record, the transcript, and specifically the ALJ s decision, the . . . decision was arbitrary and capricious. The fact that Petitioner admitted to attending a club and that she had one or two drinks is not sufficient to conclude that she was driving under the influence. Nor is the fact that there was a strong odor of alcohol being emitted from the car, not any particular passenger, conclusive. . . . The Court further finds that there was no substantial evidence to conclude that the officer had reasonable grounds to detain Petitioner. The issue is not fairly debatable and must be reversed. In so do ing, t he co urt re vers ed A LJ B arry s decision to suspend Ms. Illiano s license and remanded the matter to the Moto r Vehicle A dministration for further p roceeding s in -8- comp liance w ith the or der. II. Standard of Review Section 10-222 of the Maryland Administrative Procedure Act, Md. Code (1984, 2002 Repl. Vol.), § 10-222 of the State Government Article, delineates that a court, upon judicial review of an administrative agency s decision, may decide to:10 (1) remand the case for further proceedings; (2) affirm the final decision; or (3) reverse or modify the decision if any substantial right of the petitioner may have b een prejud iced becau se a finding, conclusion, or decision: (i) is unconstitu tional; (ii) exceeds the statutory authority or jurisdiction of the final decision-ma ker; (iii) results from an unlawful procedure; (iv) is affecte d by any other erro r of law; (v) is unsupported by competent, material, and substantial evidence in light of the entire record as submitted; or (vi) is arbitrary and capricious. In Maryland Aviation Administration v. Noland, 386 Md. 556, 571, 873 A.2d 1145, 1154 (200 5), Ju dge Eldr idge , writing for this C ourt, thor oughly examined the standard of review of an adjudicatory decision by an administrative agency, stating: A court s role in reviewing an administrative agency adjudicatory decisio n is narro w, United Parcel v. P eople s Counsel, 336 Md. 569, 576, 650 A.2d 22 6, 230 (19 94); it is limited to determining if there is substantial evidence in the 10 As we noted in Motor V ehicle Adm inistration v. Ly tle, 374 Md. 37, 56 n.5, 821 A.2d 62, 73 n.5 (2003), [t]he MVA has delegated to the [Off ice of Ad ministrative H earings] in cases such as the present on e [which is contested ] the responsibility to conduct the evidentiary hearing an d render the final administrative decision of the agency. See COMAR 11.11.02.07. -9- record as a whole to support the agency s findings and conclusions, and to dete rmine if the administrativ e decision is premised upon an erroneous conclusion of law. United Parcel, 336 Md. a t 577, 65 0 A.2d at 230. See also Code (1984, 1995 Repl. Vol.), § 10-222(h) of the State Governm ent Article; District Counc il v. Brandywine Enterprises, Inc., 350 Md. 339, 349, 711 A.2d 1346, 1350-51 (1998); Catonsville Nursing v. Loveman, 349 Md. 560 , 568-69, 709 A .2d 749, 753 (199 8). In applying the substantial evidence test, a review ing court decides whether a reasoning mind reasonably could have reached the factual conclusion the agency reached. Bulluck v. Pelham Wood Apts., 283 Md. 505, 512, 390 A.2d 1119, 1123 (1978). See Anderson v. Dep t of Public Safety , 330 Md. 187, 213, 623 A.2d 198, 210 (199 3). A review ing court sh ould defer to the agency s fact-finding and drawing of inferences if they are supported by the rec ord. CBS v. Comptroller, 319 Md. 687, 698, 575 A.2d 324, 329 (1990). A reviewing court must review the agency s decision in the light mo st favorab le to it; . . . the agency s d ecision is prim a facie correct and presumed valid, and . . . it is the agency s province to resolve conflicting evidence and to draw inference s from tha t evidence. CBS v. Comptroll er, supra, 319 Md. at 698, 575 A.2d at 329, quoting Ramsay, Scarlett & Co. v. Comptroller, 302 Md. 825, 834-35, 490 A.2d 1 296, 13 01 (19 85). See Catonsville Nursing v. Loveman, supra, 349 Md. at 569, 709 A.2d at 753 (final agency decisions are prima facie correct and carry with them the presumption of v alidity ). Despite some un fortunate lan guage tha t has crept into a few of our opinions, a court s task on review is not to substitute its judgment for the expertise of those persons who constitute the administrative agency, United Parcel v. People s Counsel, supra, 336 Md. at 576-77, 650 A.2d at 230, quoting Bulluck v. Pelham Wood A pts., supra, 283 Md. at 513, 390 A.2d at 1124. Even with regard to some legal issues, a degree of deference should often be accorded the position of the administrative agency. Thus, an administrative agency s interpretation and application of the statute which the agency administe rs should ordinarily be given considerable weight by reviewing courts. Lussier v. Md. Racing Commission, 343 Md. 681, 696-97, 684 -10- A.2d 804, 811-12 (19 96), and cases there cited; McCullough v. Wittner, 314 M d. 602, 612, 552 A.2d 881, 886 (1989) ( The interpretation of a statute by those o fficials charg ed with administering the statute is . . . entitled to weight ). Furthermore, the expertise of the age ncy in its own field should be respec ted. Fogle v. H & G Resta urant, 337 Md. 441, 455, 654 A.2d 4 49, 456 (1995); Christ v. Department of Natural Resources, 335 Md. 427, 445, 644 A.2d 34, 42 (1994) (legislative delegations of authority to administrative agencies will often include the authority to make significant discretionary policy determin ations ); Bd. of Ed. for Dorchester Co. v. Hubbard, 305 Md. 774, 792, 506 A.2d 625, 634 (1986) ( application of the State Board of Educatio n s expertise would clearly be desirable before a court attempts to resolve the legal issues ). Id. at 571-72, 873 A.2d at 1154-55, quoting Board of Physician Quality Assurance v. Banks, 354 M d. 59, 67 -69, 72 9 A.2d 376, 38 0-81 (1 999) (f ootnot e omitte d). III. Discussion Section 16-205.1 of the Transportation Article, also known as Maryland s Implied Consent Law, which provides for the suspension of driving privileges when a driver refuses to submit to a chemical b reath test for in toxication, state s in part: (a)(2) Any person who drives or attempts to drive a motor vehicle on a highway or on any private property that is used by the public in general in this State is deeme d to have consented, subject to the provisions of §§ 10-302 through 10-309, inclusive, of the Courts and Ju dicial Pr oceed ings A rticle, to take a test if the person should be detained on suspicion of driving or attempting to drive while under the influence of alcohol, w hile impaired by alcohol, while so far impaired by any drug, any combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol that the p erso n could n ot drive a vehicle s afel y, while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance, in violation of an alcohol restriction, or in violation of § 16-813 of this title. -11- (emphas is added). Section 16-205.1(b)(2)11 defines the process an officer is to fo llow before requesting that a driver su bmit to a ch emical brea th test: [I]f a police officer stops or detains any person who the police officer has reasonable grounds to believe is or has been driving or attempting to drive a mo tor vehicle w hile under the influence of alcohol, while imp aired by alcoh ol, while so far impaired by any drug, any combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol that the person could not d rive a vehic le safe ly, while imp aired by a con trolled danger ous substa nce, in violation of an alcohol restriction, or in violation of § 16-813 of this title, and who is not unconscious or otherwise incapable of refusing to take a test, the p olice office r shall: (i) Detain the person; (ii) Request that the person permit a test to be taken; (iii) Advise the person of the administrative sanctions that shall be imposed for refusal to take the test, including in eligibility for modification of a suspensio n or issuance of a restrictive license under subsection (n)(1) or (2) of this section. The MVA contends that ALJ Barry was correct in concluding that Officer Marll acted on reasonable grounds in requesting that Ms. Illiano take a chem ical breath test based upon his observatio ns made after the initial sto p and that th e Circuit Court was incorrect in superimposing a requireme nt upon th e officer tha t he have re asonable grounds to suspect Ms. Illiano of driving under the influence at the time of the initial stop. The Circuit Co urt s interpretation of Section 16-20 5.1(b)(2), the M VA su bmits, proh ibits the consid eration of any subsequent events, such as the results of field so briety tests, that the officer may observe, after the initial detention in determining whether the officer h ad reason able groun ds to detain 11 All references hereinafter to S ection 16-205.1 are to the Transportation Article of the Maryland Cod e (1977, 2002 R epl. Vol.). -12- the driver for the purpose o f administe ring a chem ical breath test. The MVA asserts that the Circuit Court conflates th e statutory criteria of Section 16-205.1(b)(2) from stop or detain to stop and detain, whereas the statute in fact incorporates a two-pa rt process whereby the officer initially stops the driver, then acquires reasonable grounds to believe a drunk driving offense has occurred and thereafter continues to detain the driver for the purpose of requesting a chemica l breath test. Based on this interpretation, the MVA argues, there was more than suffic ient eviden ce to establish that the offic er had reas onable gro unds to suspect Ms. Illiano of driving while under the influen ce and to request that sh e take a che mical breath test. According to the MVA, the ALJ s decision should, therefore, be affirmed. The Circuit Court, in its o pinion, stated that the revie wing co urt may substitu te its own judgment, if the decision w as based solely on an error of law . As a preliminary matter, we have prev iously disappro ved of the use of the la nguage th at the reviewing court may substitute the court s jud gment to describe the analysis unde rtaken in jud icial review of legal issues. See Noland, 386 Md. at 573 n.3, 873 A.2d at 1155 n.3, citing Banks, 354 Md. at 68-69, 729 A.2d at 381. As we have noted: The substituted judgment language is misleading and inaccurate for several reasons. It suggests, with respect to legal issues, that no deference whatsoever is owed to the agency s decision. That is not the law . . . . [T]he agency s interpretations and applications of the statutory or regulatory provisions which the agency administers should ordinarily be giv en consid erable weigh t by review ing cou rts. Noland, 386 Md. at 573 n.3, 873 A.2d at 1155 n.3, quoting Banks, 354 Md. at 68, 729 A.2d at 381. -13- Even after giving that deference, it is ultimately for the court to determine whether an error of law was made. We still must decide, therefore, whether ALJ Barry s determination that, under Section 16 -205.1, an o fficer may sto p a driver fo r any legitimate reason and then detain that individual to administer chemical breath tests, afte r developin g reasona ble grounds to believe that the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol was premised on an erroneous conclu sion of law, becau se although we g enerally imbue the statutory interpretation of the age ncy with considerable weigh t, when a statutory provision is e ntirely clear, with no ambiguity whatsoever, adm inistrative con structions, no matter how well entrenched, are not given weight. Noland, 386 Md. at 572, 873 A.2d at 1155, quoting Banks, 354 Md. at 69 n .2, 729 A.2d at 381 n.2. To determine w hether ALJ B arry s interpretation of Sec tion 16 -205.1 is erroneous, we must address the issue of whether, after having made w hat may be ch aracterized a s a routine sto p, it is reasonable for the police officer to further detain the driver for the purpose of administering a chemical breath test based upon facts developed after the initial stop. The answer c learly is yes based on the plain language of the statute. Section 16-205.1 (b)(2) provides that if a police officer stops or detains an individual who the officer has reasonable grounds to believe is driving under the influence, the officer may request th at the person submit to a b reath test. Md. C ode (197 7, 2002 R epl. Vol.), § 16-205.1 (b)(1) of the Transportation Article. The use of the conjunction or indicates that the officer may have reasonable grounds to believe that the driver is under the influence either at the time of the stop or, due to events occurring after the stop, when the -14- stop transforms into a detention during which the breath test is administered. The decision to utilize the phrase stop or detain serves to disjo in the stop fro m the dete ntion and p ermits reasonable grounds to arise post-stop to justify th e deten tion and reques t for a br eath test . We repeatedly have stated that a police officer may stop a driver for a myriad of reasons, such as to enforce the laws of the roadway, and ordinarily to investigate the manner of driving with intent to issue a citation or warning. State v. Green, 375 Md. 595, 609, 826 A.2d 486, 494 (2003), quoting Ferris v. State , 355 M d. 356, 3 69, 735 A.2d 491, 497-98 (1999). Some examples of permis sible traf fic stop s, other than for driving under the influence, include: failure to properly display registration plates on the vehicle, Maryland Code, (1977, 2002 Repl. Vol.), Section 13-411 of the Transportation Article; failure to drive on the right side of the roadway, Maryland Code, (1977, 20 02 Repl. Vol.), Section 21-309 of the Transportation Article; failure to yield the right of way upon enterin g onto a h ighw ay, Maryland Code, (1977, 2002 Repl. Vol.), Section 21-403 of the Transportation Article; failure to yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle, M aryland Cod e, (1977, 20 02 Rep l. Vol.), Section 21-405 of the Transportation Article; and, failure to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, Maryland Code, (1977, 2002 Repl. Vol.), Section 21-707 of the Transportation Article, among others. A police officer also may stop a motor veh icle where the officer has a reasonable belief that criminal activity is afoot. Rowe v . State, 363 Md. 424, 433, 769 A.2d 879, 884 (2001). M oreover, a p olice office r may stop or d etain a driver in what is known as a consen sual encou nter, whe re the office r approach es a driver o n the street, or in another public place, and the driver cooperates in responding to the officer s non-coercive -15- questioning. See Green, 375 Md. at 609, 826 A.2d at 494, quoting United States v. Werking, 915 F.2d 1404, 1408 (10 th Cir. 1990 ); Ferris v. State , 355 Md. 356, 373 n.4, 735 A.2d 491, 500 n.4 (1999 ). This Court has affirmed numerous ALJ decisions permitting the adminis tration of chemical breath tests in situations where the initial stop wa s not for driving unde r the influence of alcohol, but for any number of related reasons. In MVA v. Jones, 380 Md. 164, 844 A.2d 388 (2004), the officer initially stopped a driver because his vehicle was facing sideways across the northbound traffic lanes of Interstate 95 and, when the officer pulled up behind the vehicle, the d river made a U-turn o n Interstate 95 and began driving southbound into oncoming traffic. The police officer stopped Jones for his multiple traffic violations. After he was stopped , the officer observed that Jones had difficulty standing, smelled of alcohol, and perfo rmed po orly on the adm inistered field s obriety tests. We upheld the ALJ s determination that there was sufficient evidence to believe that the police officer had acted upon reasonable grounds in requesting a c hemical breath test based u pon the officer s observ ation m ade af ter the in itial stop. Id. at 168, 8 44 A.2 d at 390 . In MVA v. McDorman, 364 Md. 253, 772 A.2 d 309 (20 01), the polic e officer initia lly stopped a driver after observing that the driver s truck was parked alongside a curb facing the wrong direction of the street. Subsequent to the stop, the officer noted that McDorman smelled of alco hol and failed a field so briety test. We upheld the ALJ s find ing that there was sufficient e vidence to believe that th e officer h ad reason able groun ds to reque st a chemical breath test where the indicia of alcohol use arose after the initial stop. Id. at 262, -16- 772 A.2d at 315. Likewise in MVA v. Richards, 356 Md. 356, 739 A.2d 58 (1999), the police officer, while patrolling an area that had recently experienced a rash of vehicle thefts and burglaries, initially stopped a v ehicle at 12:30 a.m. after it had driven down a dead-end street and turned around w ithout stopp ing at any of th e homes on the street w hich, in light of the recent automobile thefts, aroused the officer s suspicion. When speaking to the driver, the police officer noticed a strong odor of alcohol and asked R ichards to p erform fie ld sobriety tests, which he failed. We upheld the ALJ s determination that the officer had reasonable grounds to request a chemical breath test based upon the circumstances observed after the initial stop. Id. at 378, 7 39 A.2 d at 71. See also MVA v. Lytle, 374 Md. 37, 46-47, 821 A.2d 62, 67 (2003) (upholding suspension where officer s initial stop was because driver was speeding, then officer detected a strong scent of alcohol, that driver s eyes were bloodshot and glassy, speech was slurred, and the driver fa iled field sob riety tests); Lowry v . State, 363 Md. 357, 768 A.2d 688 (2001) (upholding conviction where officer stopped driver for failing to obey a proper traffic control device and subse quently adm inistered a bre ath test); Embrey v. MVA, 339 Md. 691, 692-93, 664 A.2d 91 1, 912 (1995) (uph olding suspension o f driver s license where officer stopped driver after observing defendant driving at a high rate of speed, then noted strong scent of alcohol coming from driver and that the driver perfo rmed po orly on field sobriety tests, which provided grounds for breath test). Based on the plain meaning of Section 16-205.1 (b)(2) and this Court s jurisprudence, we conclude that AL J Barry s determination that stop or de tain permits police officers to develop a reasonable belief that a drive r was driving under the influence after making the -17- initial stop is not premised on an erroneous conclusion of law. Noland, 386 Md. at 574 n.3, 873 A.2d at 1156 n.3, quoting United Parcel v. People s Counsel, 336 Md. 569, 577, 650 A.2d 2 26, 230 (1994 ). Having concluded that ALJ Barry s interpretation of Se ction 16-20 5.1 was c learly correct, we turn to our review of his factual find ing that Of ficer Ma rll had reason able grounds to detain Ms. Illiano for driving under the influence of alcohol and to ask that Ms. Illiano take a chemical breath te st. The substantial evidence test, set forth in Section 10-222 (h)(3)(v) of the Adm inistrative Procedure Act, M d. Code (1984 , 2004 Repl. Vo l.), § 10-222 (h)(3)(v) of the State Government Article, requires that an agency s factual determination be supported by compe tent, material, and substantial ev idence in light of the entire record as submitted. We have further explicated the concept of substantial evidence: In applying the substantial evidence test, a review ing court decides whether a reasoning mind reasonably could have reached the factual conclusion the agency reached. A reviewing court shou ld de fer to the a gency s fact-finding and drawing of inferences if they are supported by the record. A reviewing court must review the agenc y s decision in th e light most favorable to it[, and] the agency s decision is prima facie correct and presumed valid. Board of Physician Quality Assurance v. Mullan, 381 Md. 157, 172, 848 A.2d 642, 651 (2004), quoting Banks, 354 M d. at 68, 7 29 A.2 d at 380 -81 (cita tions om itted). The record in the instant case indicates that Officer Marll detected a strong odor of alcohol emanating from Ms. Illiano s vehicle, that Ms. Illiano stated that she stopped because she should not be driving, and that she admitted to having consumed two alcoh olic drinks. -18- Officer Marll, according to the record, asked her to perform field sobriety tests and observed that Ms. Illiano s eyes were bloodshot and glassy and that her speech was slurred. The record also states that Ms. Illiano failed the field sobriety tests. At the hearing Ms. Illiano testified and denied that she had consumed two alcoholic drinks earlier in the evening. She also explained that her stop behind O fficer M arll s car and h er inability to pass th e field sobriety tests were caused by an injury to her foot and her inability to fully understand spoken English. Based on the evidence in the record, a reasoning mind reasonably could have reached the factual con clusion of A LJ Barry. Ind eed, not o nly is it the province of the age ncy to resolve conflicting evidence, but where inconsistent inferences from the same evidence can be drawn, it is for the agency to draw the inferences. Gigeous v. ECI, 363 Md. 481, 504, 769 A.2d 912, 926 (2001), quoting Bulluc k v. Pelh am W ood A pts., 283 Md. 505, 513, 390 A.2d 1119, 1124 (1978). We give great deference to the agency's assessment of the credibility of the witnes ses. Schwartz v. Md. Dept. of Natural Resources, 385 Md. 534, 554, 870 A.2d 1 68, 180 (2005 ). Thus, we conclude that ALJ Barry s determination that Officer Marll had reasonable grounds to detain Ms. Illiano for driving under the influence of alcohol and to request that she submit to a breath test is supported by substantial evidence. Conclusion For these reasons, we reverse the judgment of the Circuit Court and direct that co urt to affirm ALJ Barry s decision upholding the one-year suspension of Ms. Illiano s driver s license. -19- JUDGMENT OF THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR CARROLL COUNTY REVERSED; CASE REMANDED TO THAT COURT WITH DIRECTIONS TO AFFIRM THE DECISION OF THE MOTOR VEHICLE ADMINISTRATION. COSTS TO BE PAID BY RESPONDENT. -20-