Petition for Writ of Certiorari to Review Quasi-Judicial Action, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles:  DRIVER’S LICENSES – Stop- arrest report states deputy stopped defendant for speeding and failure to maintain a single lane-Uniform Traffic Citation  specifies radar as method by which petitioner was determined to be speeding-and indicates petitioner exceeded the posted speed.- sufficient competent evidence to support the hearing officer’s findings. Petition denied. Sprigg  v. Dept. of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, No. 512006CA473WS (Fla. 6th Cir. App. Ct. April 4, 2007).

 

 

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA, IN AND FOR PASCO COUNTY

APPELLATE DIVISION

 

 

COURTNEY MARIE SPRIGG,       

            Petitioner,

 

vs.                                                                   Appeal No: 51-2006-CA-473WS

 

STATE OF FLORIDA, DEPARTMENT

OF HIGHWAY SAFETY AND MOTOR

VEHICLES,  

Respondent.

____________________________/

 

ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI

 

            THIS CAUSE came before the Court on the Petition for Writ of Certiorari and the Response to Petition for Writ of Certiorari. Upon consideration of the same and being otherwise fully advised, the Court finds that the Petition must be denied as set forth below.

Following petitioner’s arrest for driving under the influence, she requested a formal administrative review of her license suspension pursuant to F.S. 322.2615.  An evidentiary hearing was held. Pursuant to section 322.2615(11) the formal review was conducted upon a review of the reports of a law enforcement officer.

 

The complaint affidavit filed by Deputy Carmen, stated the following:

 

I was dispatched to the arrest location per request of Deputy Rose.  Upon arrival I made contact with Deputy Rose who advised the defendant was in actual physical control of a red GMC pickup FL tag #GDP2Q.  Deputy Rose advised he stopped the defendant for speeding and failure to maintain a single lane.  Deputy Rose advised he had reason to believe the defendant may be impaired.  I made contact with the defendant and detected a very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage upon her breath.  I noticed the defendant’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot and her speech was slurred.  The defendant refused to submit to any field sobriety tasks.  The defendant was arrested and read implied consent.  The defendant agreed to submit to a BAC test in which the results were .180 and .180. 

 

 The Department hearing officer made the following findings:

 

On December 16, 2005, Deputy Carmen of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office responded to assist Deputy Rose with a possible intoxicated driver.  Deputy Rose had stopped {Petitioner} for speeding and failing to maintain a single lane.

 

Petitioner exhibited signs of intoxication; a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on [her] breath, bloodshot and glassy eyes, slurred speech and unsteady balance.  {Petitioner} refused to perform Field Sobriety Exercises.

 

Deputy Carmen arrested {Petitioner} for DUI.  A breath test was administered with the results being .180 and .180.  Her privilege to drive was suspended for driving with an unlawful alcohol level.

 

The hearing officer determined by a preponderance of the evidence that sufficient cause existed to sustain petitioner’s suspension.  An order was entered January 19, 2006, sustaining the petitioner’s suspension.  Petitioner argues that based on Dobrin[1], the instant petition should be granted because there was absolutely no evidence in this case from which the hearing officer could have determined that there was probable cause for the initial stop.  This Court disagrees.

In Dobrin,  the Court found the record evidence did not support the traffic stop on the basis of speeding, because “. . . there was no indication in the arrest report that Dobrin was driving in excess of the speed limit, or that the reason for the officer’s stop was speeding.”  However, in this case, the arrest report specifically states “Deputy Rose advised he stopped the defendant for speeding and failure to maintain a single lane.”  The Uniform Traffic Citation, included in the documents considered by the hearing officer,  specifies the method by which petitioner was determined to be speeding, radar, as well as the amount by which petitioner exceeded the applicable speed limit, 70 mph in a 55 mph speed limit zone. Thus, there is sufficient competent evidence to support the hearing officer’s findings.

It is, therefore,

ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Petitioner for Writ of Certiorari is  DENIED.

            DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers, at New Port Richey, Pasco County, Florida this ________ day of __________, 2007.

 

                                                                                    _______________________

                                                                                    W. Lowell Bray, Circuit Judge

                                                                                    Primary Appellate Judge

 

                                                                                   

                                                           

                                                                                    __________________

                                                                                    Daniel D. Diskey

                                                                                    Circuit Judge

 

                                                                                    ______________________

                                                                                    Stanley R. Mills

                                                                                    Circuit Judge

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Copies furnished to:

A.R. Mander, III, Esq.

Thomas C. Mielke, Esq.

                                                           

 

           

 

 



[1] Dobrin v. Florida Dept. of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 874 So. 2d 1171 (Fla. 2004).