Law enforcement officers allege that our client was travelling at a high rate of speed in the oncoming traffic lane while racing another vehicle driven by his friend. Although the exact facts are not clear, the two vehicles collided resulting in a serious roll-over crash. Law enforcement officers arrived to investigate the crash and ended up arresting our client for DUI. Our client refused to submit to a breath test and was sanctioned with a one year automatic driver’s license suspension effective the date of the arrest. We initiated proceedings on the client’s behalf to challenge the automatic driver’s license suspension.
After thorough review of the DMV’s evidence packet, our attorney elected to proceed forward with the license suspension hearing without subpoenaing or questioning any of the law enforcement officers. Through years of experience and having handled thousands of DMV license suspension proceedings, our attorney discovered conflicting information with regard to the implied consent warning and breath test refusal. Florida law is very clear about the correct sequence of events required in order to issue a driver’s license suspension for refusal to submit to a breath test. The driver must be placed under arrest before the breath test can be requested. In this case, there was conflicting evidence in the documents as to whether the breath test request and implied consent warning advising the driver of the license suspension if he/she refuses the breath test occurred before or after he was placed under arrest.
The police report suggests that the proper sequence of events was followed. However, other documents that list specific times allege that the breath test refusal occurred two minutes before our client was arrested. Our attorney’s significant experience in these matters along with a keen eye in reviewing the evidence discovered this discrepancy and made the wise decision to proceed with the DMV license suspension hearing based solely on the documents in evidence. It was in the client’s best interest to refrain from questioning the law enforcement officers because their sworn testimony at the hearing can potentially clarify and correct the problems with the documentary evidence. Our attorney argued to the hearing officer that there is insufficient evidence to prove whether the arrest or breath test refusal occurred first due to the conflicting documents. The hearing officer was persuaded by the argument and invalidated the license suspension.
Result: One Year License Suspension Invalidated
Internal Reference #: 11719