Embarrassing Ruling for D.H.S.M.V

Anyone who has been involved in contesting an administrative driver’s license suspension at a DUI Formal Review Hearing with the Florida Department of Highway Safety Motor Vehicles, knows just how hard it can be to get a Hearing Officer to scrutinize the law enforcement officer’s reports or testimony – even in the face of a videotape that contradicts the officer. In Wiggins v. D.H.S.M.V., a Hearing Officer refused to invalidate an administrative license suspension in just such a scenario. The Florida Supreme Court ruled that an appellate court is not bound, even within the confines of a de novo review standard, to accept the testimony and reports of a law enforcement officer as competent, substantial evidence sufficient to support an administrative suspension, when objective videotape evidence exists contradicting the law enforcement officer’s version of events.
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