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

DEBORAH STEIGERWALD,

††††††††††† Petitioner,

vs.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Appeal No. 00-4096-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 her Petition.

††††††††††† 1. The issue raised in the Petition For Writ Of Certiorari is whether the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Division of Driver Licenses (ďDepartmentĒ), erred in entering a Final Order denying the Petitionerís request for early reinstatement of her driving privilege due to a citation the Petitioner received on April 22, 2000 for Driving While License Suspended or Revoked (DWLSR), which was pending at the time the Final Order was entered.

††††††††††† 2.† After a review of the Departmentís Final Order, entered May 10, 2000, and the record, the Court finds the 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.† Following the receipt of the citation on April 22, 2000 for DWLSR, the Petitioner applied for a hardship license.† During the administrative hearing on her hardship license application, the Petitioner testified that she was operating a motor vehicle on April 22, 2000.† The record shows that when the Petitioner received the April 22, 2000 citation, she was under a five-year driver license revocation for receiving her second DUI conviction within a five-year period, the second conviction having occurred on October 23, 1996.† Additionally, the Petitionerís driving privilege was cancelled indefinitely on June 6, 1996, for failure to pay a traffic fine, and was again cancelled indefinitely on January 27, 1997, for failure to complete a traffic collision avoidance course.

††††††††††† 4. Both Section 322.271(2)(b), Florida Statutes, and Rule 15A-1.019, Florida Administrative Code, require persons whose license has been revoked for five years because of two convictions for DUI within five years, to abstain from driving for a period of one year prior to applying for reinstatement.† Although the charge of DWLSR was pending at the time of the administrative hearing, the Petitioner testified that she had been driving on April 22, 2000, less than one month prior to her application for a hardship license.† Furthermore, the receipt of a hardship license is in the Departmentís discretion and the Department is authorized to assess an applicantís qualification, fitness and need to drive.† See Florida Statutes, ß 322.271(1)(b)(1999); see also Shorthill v. Cooksey, et. al., No. 95-5666 (Fla. 9th Cir. Ct. Oct. 18, 1995)(stating that a hardship license is an a legislative and administrative grace)(emphasis added).

††††††††††† 5.† Based on the foregoing, the Hearing Officer properly denied the Petitionerís request for a hardship license, or early reinstatement of her driving privilege.† As the record supports the conclusion reached, this Court will not substitute its judgment for that of the Department.† Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles v. Satter, 643 So.2d 692 (Fla. 5th DCA 1994); Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles v. Favino, 667 So.2d 305 (Fla. 1st DCA 1995).

††† ††††††† 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 7th day of September 2000.†††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††

 

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CHARLES W. COPE
Circuit Judge, Appellate Division

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Copies Furnished To:

David R. Parry, Esquire

Jordan Hills Professional Center

1550 South Highland Ave., Suite C

Clearwater, FL 33765

Attorney for Petitioner

Kathy A. Jimenez, 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