Minn. man loses license for driving too slow

Published 11:08 am Tuesday, August 20, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Court of Appeals won’t return the driver’s license of a man who lost it for driving too slowly on state highways.

Gary Constans, 59, said he doesn’t understand why authorities have a problem with his driving.

“I don’t drink. I don’t smoke,” said Constans. “I’m just different.”

Email newsletter signup

The appeals court said nine warnings from law enforcement officials were enough to keep Constans off the roads.

“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.

He “knows the rules of the road, but he chooses to ignore them, despite increased risk to the public,” the court added.

Constans told a lower court judge that his Ford Ranger pickup truck’s “sweet spot” for gas mileage is 48 mph and that has helped him put 278,000 miles on it. And since he has only liability insurance on the aging vehicle, he wants to avoid hitting an errant animal should it cross his path.

“With a truck like that, it isn’t worth anything. So if I hit a critter, guess who’s buying the truck? I am,” Constans said. “I go really, really slow so I have time to brake.”

In one case, police say Constans was doing 30 to 45 mph on a highway with a 55 mph speed limit, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Constans argued in court that evidence of impaired driving is required for law enforcement to find driving conduct was a threat to public safety.

“It’s totally communism,” he told the Pioneer Press. “There’s no freedom anymore.”