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Miguel Cabrera could lose his license today

Apr 6, 2011, 1:35 PM EDT

Miguel Cabrera mugshot

Down in Florida — and just about everywhere else — you lose your license for a year if you refuse a breath test when pulled over for a DUI.  Miguel Cabrera did that when he was pulled over at the beginning of spring training and today is the hearing that will determine if his license will be revoked.

Given that the standard is whether officers had probable cause to arrest Cabrera — and based on his behavior at the time of his arrest, they did — it seems likely that his license will in fact be revoked.

And the thing about it is: absolutely no one will be a loser in this matter if it happens.

  1. cur68 - Apr 6, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    I’m amazed it wasn’t an automatic loss of license. Has been able to drive all this time or was it suspended pending the hearing or what?

  2. ThatGuy - Apr 6, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Does Migual have a Florida driver’s license, or can a state suspend the drivers license of someone licensed out of another state? Or do they just say that license is not valid in this state? Any of you Lawyer types know?

  3. IdahoMariner - Apr 6, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    In Idaho, the officer will seize the Idaho license of someone who refuses and give them a temporary permit. The driver can request a hearing within 7 days to “show cause” why his privileges shouldn’t be suspended — basically, the driver needs to show that the officer did not “have legal cause to stop and request him to take the test or that the request violated his civil rights.” (It’s the driver’s burden to show this (instead of the state’s) because when you get a driver’s license, you consent to testing your BAC when lawfully asked — so the burden is on the driver to show why they didn’t do what they already consented to do.) The hearing will take place within thirty days — if the driver prevails, he gets his license back and no suspension. If he doesn’t, the court suspends his privileges for a year (or 2 if this the second time the driver has refused testing). (Note: our legislature is currently in session, so some of this might change a little.)

    If the driver doesn’t request the “show cause” hearing within seven days, then his suspension automatically goes into effect.

    A state can suspend the privilege to drive in that state of anyone who refuses, whether the driver has a license from that state or not. But because the physical license belongs to the state (whichever one issued it) and not the driver, in Idaho we don’t seize the license, we give the driver notice that their privileges will be suspended for a year, with the start date depending on whether they request a “show cause” hearing or not, as described above.

    A person who drives in Idaho when their privileges have been suspended by ANY state is guilty of driving without privileges. I think most states’ driving without privileges laws are similar — a state could theoretically say “you can drive in this state, even if all the other states have suspended your privileges, so long as we haven’t” but that would be unlikely (since the point of DWP laws is that the fact of the suspension indicates this is probably an unsafe driver (usually, not always), and allowing drivers flagged as unsafe to drive in your state is not usually a politically expedient stance).

    So…my guess is that because Cabrera requested a hearing, his privileges have not been suspended yet. If he loses today then, regardless of what state issued his license, he will lose the privilege to drive for a year. If he shows that the officer did not have legal cause to ask him to take the test, then he is back on the road. As Craig pointed out, that seems like a pretty remote possibility.

    • cur68 - Apr 6, 2011 at 3:10 PM

      Mariner; I’m real glad I’m no where near Detroit with Miggy being allowed to drive till now. Dang, man, talk about unsafe at any speed.

      • Old Gator - Apr 6, 2011 at 3:35 PM

        We had the privilege of having Jose Canseco loose on our roads for many years, including one episode when he tried to run his ex-wife’s car off the Palmetto Expressway, the vehicular spine of Macondo (allowing for a bunch of deteriorating disks and fractured vertebrae here and there). Now in Macondo, perhaps unlike Idaho, one lunatic like that gets kinda lost in the shuffle of insane drivers from a large unnamed island about a hundred miles or so to the south, their hemispheric brethren, native local mimics and all the nouveau-riche kiddies of these folks in their BMW Kompressors. Cabrera’s karma must have been rrrrrrreally bad that night to have been singled out from amongst such background noise.

      • BC - Apr 6, 2011 at 4:04 PM

        Oh Lord, I know the Palmetto well. Canseco lived (does he still) in Westin, right? In 1997 or 1998, I was driving back from Disney World to my parents then-house outside Miami and got passed by a Ferrari on that road that had to be doing at least a buck-fifty. 4 miles up the road, car’s pulled over and smoking, guys are out of the car and you can just see the “what the —- do we do now” look on their faces. Maybe it was Jose and Ozzie out joyriding….?

  4. Old Gator - Apr 6, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    I don’t think the warranty applies when the car is stolen, either.

    Ozzie moved out to Californy a couple of years ago, just ahead of the bill collectors. But even without him, that highway feels like the inside of a particle accelerator in the wee hours and you’re the celluloid impact plate. One wrong move and you’re ropa vieja with your eyeballs for the olives.

    By the way, I know the GCP and the Whitestone, too….

    • Old Gator - Apr 6, 2011 at 4:53 PM

      Pardon me, I mean Jose. I think Ozzie Canseco is still around. Subconsciously, I suspect I was just projecting old Vulva Lips another couple of thousand miles away. I’m still having nightmares from those rumors last fall that Scrooge McLoria wanted to hire him away from the White Sox. Brrrrrrrrrr.

  5. opiedamus - Apr 6, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    First, let me say I’m not supporting Cabrera in anyway. There are more than a few untruths regarding dui’s. First, you do not lose your license, or the right to drive, for a year. You lose it up until the point you go to trial or reach a plea bargain. The request for a hearing is a sham, plain and simple.

    It serves 2 primary purposes. (1) if you’re in a state that requires it, you pay a fee in order to receive your hearing – revenue generation. (2) it gives your lawyer the opportunity to cross examine the officer prior to trial. Anything they say at this hearing is admissable during your trial. – if they say ‘I didn’t smell alcohol when I approached the vehicle,’ (@ hearing) but change to “as I approached the vehicle I detected a strong odor of alcohol” during your trial, you can use this against them. Regardless, you can drive for up to 30 days until your hearing and then your license is suspended until your trial or plea bargain. An “interesting” sidenote is that if, at the hearing, you agree to plead guilty, the officer will not file an administrative suspension. Meaning, you will get your license back at this point in exchange for pleading guilty.

    Again, I’m not supporting Cabrera in anyway, but our dui laws are a crock. They are written in such a way as to provide gov’t with a revenue generating machine. There have been instances where the officer’s reports are pre-written. Meaning, 99% of them have this wording – “I noticed bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech, and a distinct odor of alcohol.”

    Safest way to avoid an incident, is to not drink and drive.

  6. nicoledwise - Apr 7, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    yeah it is true most of us can save money on our car insurance by making few simple changes look online for “Auto Insurance Clearance” you will be amazed. In this stupid economy we all need to find ways to save. With high gas prices where else can you save for travelling?

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