Legal Topics

Licensing — Driver’s License — Suspension — Refusal To Submit To Breath Test — Hearing Officer — Departure From Neutrality — Hearing Officer Correctly Denied Motion

May 22nd, 2022 in by admin

Licensing — Driver’s license — Suspension — Refusal to submit to breath test — Hearing officer — Departure from neutrality — Hearing officer correctly denied motion to recuse that did not allege any misconduct by assigned hearing officer but, rather, sought to prohibit assigned hearing officer and all other Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles hearing officers from presiding over licensee’s case on theory that departmental training evidences bias in favor of department and against drivers — Alleged misconduct of others does not give rise to any actual impropriety or appearance of impropriety on part of assigned hearing officer — Hearings — Failure of subpoenaed witness to appear — Breath test operator — Hearing officer correctly denied motion to invalidate suspension due to failure of subpoenaed breath test operator to appear at hearing — Section 322.2615(11), which mandates that suspension be invalidated if person who administered or analyzed breath or blood test fails to appear as subpoenaed, is not applicable to suspension of licensee who refused breath test — Moreover, invalidation of suspension was not warranted where operator’s testimony proved to be cumulative and irrelevant when he did testify at continued hearing — Lawfulness of detention — Finding that licensee’s 1 – 2 hour detention at scene of accident awaiting arrival of DUI officer was not unreasonably long is supported by competent substantial evidence where licensee’s intoxication was apparent, and officer investigating crash was busy with investigation and reports during entire detention — Lawfulness of arrest — Actual physical control of motor vehicle — DUI officer who conducted investigation at scene of traffic crash and developed probable cause to believe that licensee was DUI was authorized to arrest licensee by section 316.645 despite not having observed licensee in actual control of motor vehicle.