IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA
APPELLATE DIVISION

STEPHEN J. SARTOR,

            Petitioner,

vs.                                                                                                        Appeal No. 00-2710-CI-88A

STATE OF FLORIDA, DEPARTMENT
OF HIGHWAY SAFETY & MOTOR VEHICLES,

            Respondent.

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ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI

            This cause came before the Court on the Petition For Writ Of Certiorari and the Response.  Upon consideration of the same, the Court finds that the Petitioner has raised one issue in his Petition.

            1. The issue raised in the Petition For Writ Of Certiorari is whether there is competent substantial evidence to support the conclusion of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Division of Driver Licenses (“Department”), that the Petitioner refused to submit to a breath test after being properly informed that his driving privilege would be suspended for such refusal. 

            2.  After a review of the Department’s Order, entered March 16, 2000, and the record, the Court finds the Department’s Order conforms to the essential requirements of law and is supported by competent substantial evidence.  Further, the Court finds that the Department satisfied all procedural due process requirements.  Haines City Community Development v. Heggs, 658 So.2d 523, 530 (Fla. 1995).

            3.  The record shows that the Petitioner was lawfully arrested for driving under the influence by Officer Morton, of the Treasure Island Police Department, and transferred to jail.  Officer Cole, also of the Treasure Island Police Department, then attempted to administer a breath test.  The Petitioner refused to submit to a breath test even after being informed by Officer Cole that his driving privilege would be suspended for refusing to submit to the test.  Thereafter, Officer Cole completed the Affidavit of Refusal.  Additionally, the Petitioner signed a form that stated he had been informed of the implied consent law and that he knew his refusal to submit to the breath test could result in the suspension of his driving privilege.

            4.  The Petitioner argues that because Officer Morton testified at the formal review hearing that he had no involvement in telling the Petitioner of the implied consent law, the Petitioner was not adequately informed that his driving privilege would be suspended for refusing to submit to a breath test.  However, the record indicates that Officer Cole was responsible for conducting that phase of the DUI investigation and that she did properly inform the Petitioner of the implied consent law as required by section 316.1932, Florida Statutes.  This is supported by competent substantial evidence in the record.  This Court also notes that the Petitioner did not testify at the formal review hearing that he was not informed of, or did not understand, the implied consent law. 

            It is therefore,

            ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Petition For Writ Of Certiorari is denied.

            DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers, at Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida this 6th day of September 2000.                                

                                                                       

___________________________________
CHARLES W. COPE
Circuit Judge, Appellate Division

 

Copies Furnished To:

Manuel E. Penton, Jr., Esquire

2123 NE Coachman Road, Suite B

Clearwater, FL 33765

Attorney for Petitioner

Rafael A. Centurion, Esquire

Assistant General Counsel

Florida Dept. of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles

2515 W. Flagler Street

Miami, FL 33135

Attorney for Respondent

Florida Dept. of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles

Bureau of Driver Improvement

2814 East Hillsborough Avenue

Tampa, FL  33610

Staff Attorney, Appellate Division