Florida Senate Bill SB 864 - Gutting the Right to Contest the DUI Administrative Suspension

UPDATE on March 19, 2012: SB 864 has since been watered down and amended to delete the provisions pertaining to the administrative suspensions. Now the bill focuses on requiring either a 10 day vehicle immobilization OR a three month ignition interlock requirement as a minimum mandatory condition. 

Florida's DUI laws already allow the court to order the ignition interlock for up to six months. Read more about the amended bill - "Ignition Interlock Devise in all Florida DUI cases? HB 681 and SB 864"


If it becomes law, Florida Senate Bill SB 864 would make some radical changes to the rules governing administrative suspensions after a DUI arrest.  SB 864 was introduced on Tuesday, January 10, 2012. 

The Florida House has begun the process to introduce an identical bill, HB 681 by Baxley and co-sponsors Harrell. 

Click here to read Senate Bill 864, by Senator Thad Altman, in its entirety. The provisions related to administrative review hearings are listed below.  


What changes if the bill becomes law?
  1. After a DUI arrest, the officer will still issue the drive a notice of suspension, however, the notice will also contain a notice to appear which will require the person arrested to appear at the appropriate FHSMV's Bureau of Administrative Review Office. 
  2. When the individual appears at the Bureau of Administrative Review Office and is eligible, the person can elect to obtain restricted driver's license called a "Business Purpose Only" license and pay the appropriate fees, however, by doing so the person must waive their right to contest the suspension in a formal review hearing. The advantage for the driver is that he or she does not suffer with a 30 day or 90 day hard suspension if they are unsuccessful in challenging the suspension during a formal review hearing. (The term "hard suspension" refers to the time during which the driver cannot drive for any reason). The disadvantage for the driver is that any opportunity to contest the suspension during a formal review hearing must be waived.  
  3. If the person fails to appear within 10 days, the person waives any right to review and the suspension remains in effect.  The department can extend the 10 day time limit if the driver shows good cause in writing.
  4. The time periods for the suspension remain the same: 
    • If the individual submitted to a chemical test but had a breath or blood alcohol concentration of .08, then the suspension is for 6 months from the date of the arrest or notice of suspension (whichever occurred later); 
    • If the individual refused to submit to a chemical test of his breath, blood or urine then the suspension is for one year from the date of the arrest or notice of suspension (whichever occurred later);
  5. The bill also provides that if the driver does not apply for a restricted driver license then the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall notify the person in writing of his right to review the suspension which shall include notice of the following rights: 
    • The driver can elect to have a formal review hearing or an informal review hearing within 10 days of the date of the notice; 
    • If the driver elects to have a formal review hearing the driver is deemed to have waived his right to a restricted license except that if the suspension is upheld, the driver can request a business purpose only or employment purpose only license after a 90 day hard suspension for a refusal case or a 30 day hard suspension for a breath or blood alcohol concentration over .08 case.
  6. At the formal review hearing the hearing officer may permit witnesses to testify telephonically. The witnesses that testify telephonically shall be sworn by a "notary public," "certified court reporter" or law enforcement officer. 
  7. It appears that the new bills provides that the driver or his attorney can appear in person or attend the hearing telephonically.
So what impact do you think these changes might have if they become law? Do you see any problems or unintended consequences with the way the statute is written?
_________________________________________________________________________________
W


Florida Senate - 2012                                     SB 864  
       
       By Florida Senator Thad Altman, Republican
 24-00717-120201864
288         Section 2. Section 322.2615, Florida Statutes, is amended
  289  to read:
  290         322.2615 Restriction or suspension of license; right to
  291  review.—
  292         (1)(a) Notwithstanding whether an arrest is made for any

  293  criminal offense, a law enforcement officer or correctional
  294  officer shall, on behalf of the department, suspend the driving
  295  privilege of a person who is driving or is in actual physical
  296  control of a motor vehicle and who has an unlawful blood-alcohol
  297  level or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher, or of a person
  298  who has refused to submit to a urine test or a test of his or
  299  her breath-alcohol or blood-alcohol level. The officer shall
  300  issue to the person the notice of suspension and notice to

  301  appear. The person shall appear at a designated department
  302  office within 10 days after receipt of the notice. The notice of
  303  suspension and notice to appear serve as take the person’s
  304  driver’s license and issue the person a 10-day temporary driving

  305  permit if the person is otherwise eligible for the driving
  306  privilege and shall issue the person a notice of suspension. If
  307  a blood test has been administered, the officer or the agency
  308  employing the officer shall transmit the such results to the
  309  department within 5 days after receipt of the results. If the
  310  department then determines that the person had a blood-alcohol
  311  level or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher, the department
  312  shall suspend the person’s driver driver’s license pursuant to
  313  subsection (3).
  314         (b) The suspension under paragraph (a) shall be pursuant
  315  to, and the notice of suspension and notice to appear shall
  316  inform the driver of, the following:
  317         1.a. The driver refused to submit to a lawful breath,
  318  blood, or urine test and his or her driving privilege is
  319  suspended for a period of 1 year for a first refusal, or for a

  320  period of 18 months if his or her driving privilege has been
  321  previously suspended as a result of a refusal to submit to such
  322  a test; or
  323         b. The driver was driving or was in actual physical control
  324  of a motor vehicle and had a an unlawful blood-alcohol level or
  325  breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher and his or her driving
  326  privilege is suspended for a period of 6 months for a first
  327  offense, or for a period of 1 year if his or her driving
  328  privilege has been previously suspended under this section.
  329         2. The suspension period commences shall commence on the
  330  date of issuance of the notice of suspension and notice to

  331  appear.
  332         3. The driver may request a formal or informal review of
  333  the suspension by the department within 10 days after the date
  334  of issuance of the notice of suspension.
  335         3.4. The temporary permit issued at the time of suspension
  336  expires at midnight of the 10th day following the date of
  337  issuance of the notice of suspension and notice to appear.
  338         5. The driver may submit to the department any materials

  339  relevant to the suspension.
  340         (c) A person whose driving privilege has been suspended
  341  pursuant to this subsection or subsection (3) shall appear at a
  342  designated department office within 10 days after receipt of the
  343  notice of suspension and notice to appear. If the person fails

  344  to appear as required, his or her license will remain suspended
  345  and all rights of review as provided in this section will be
  346  waived.
  347         (d) If it appears that the person whose driving privilege

  348  has been suspended meets the requirements of s. 322.271 and is
  349  otherwise eligible for the driving privilege and if the person
  350  wishes to obtain a restricted driver license, the department
  351  shall, upon payment by the person of the appropriate fees to the

  352  department, reinstate the person’s driving privilege restricted
  353  to business purposes only, as defined in, and pursuant to s.
  354  322.271. The department shall issue a replacement driver license
  355  with the applicable restrictions. The department may extend the

  356  time for a person who qualifies for a restricted driver license
  357  to apply for the restricted license upon good cause shown in
  358  writing.
  359         1. The restrictions on a person’s driving privilege under

  360  this paragraph shall be in place for:
  361         a. One year, if the driver refused to submit to a breath,
  362  blood, or urine test requested pursuant to this section; or
  363         b. Six months, if the driver was driving or was in actual
  364  physical control of a motor vehicle and had an unlawful blood

  365  alcohol or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher.
  366         2. A person who accepts the reinstated driving privilege
  367  restricted to business purposes only as provided in this
  368  paragraph is deemed to have waived the right to a formal review

  369  of the suspension of his or her driving privilege. Such a waiver
  370  may not be used as evidence in any other proceeding.
  371         (e) The department shall notify the person whose driving
  372  privilege has been suspended in writing of his or her right to

  373  review the suspension if the person has not applied for a
  374  restricted driver license pursuant to s. 322.271.
  375         (f) The notice of the right to a formal or informal review
  376  of a suspension shall inform the driver of the following:

  377         1. The driver may request a formal or informal review by
  378  the department within 10 days after the department notifies the
  379  person of the right to review. A person electing to seek a
  380  formal review of the suspension is deemed to have waived his or
  381  her right to a restricted driving privilege except as set forth

  382  in subsection (10). Hearings may be conducted telephonically.
  383  Witnesses shall be sworn by a notary public, certified court
  384  reporter, or law enforcement officer pursuant to s. 117.10.
  385         2. The driver may submit to the department any material

  386  relevant to the suspension. The driver or his or her counsel
  387  must provide a telephone number where he or she can be contacted
  388  for the hearing. A person who does not appear at a designated

  389  department office as required by paragraph (c) waives his or her
  390  right to submit materials to the department.
  391         (2) Except as provided in paragraph (1)(a), the law
  392  enforcement officer shall forward to the department, within 5
  393  days after issuing the notice of suspension and notice to

  394  appear, the driver driver’s license; an affidavit stating the
  395  officer’s grounds for belief that the person was driving or was
  396  in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the
  397  influence of alcoholic beverages or chemical or controlled
  398  substances; the results of any breath or blood test or an
  399  affidavit stating that a breath, blood, or urine test was
  400  requested by the a law enforcement officer or a correctional
  401  officer pursuant to this section and that the person refused to
  402  submit; the officer’s description of the person’s field sobriety
  403  exercise test, if any; and a copy of the notice of suspension
  404  and notice appear. The failure of the officer to submit
  405  materials within the 5-day period specified in this subsection
  406  and in subsection (1) does not affect the department’s ability
  407  to consider any evidence submitted at or before prior to the
  408  hearing. The officer may also submit a copy of the crash report
  409  and a copy of a videotape of the field sobriety exercise test or
  410  the attempt to administer the exercise such test. Materials
  411  submitted to the department by a law enforcement agency or
  412  correctional agency shall be considered self-authenticating and
  413  shall be in the record for consideration by the hearing officer.
  414  All materials may be submitted in electronic form.

  415  Notwithstanding s. 316.066(5), the crash report shall be
  416  considered by the hearing officer.
  417         (3) If the department determines that the license should be
  418  suspended pursuant to this section and if the notice of
  419  suspension and notice to appear has not already been served upon
  420  the person by the a law enforcement officer or correctional
  421  officer as provided in subsection (1), the department shall
  422  issue a notice of suspension and, unless the notice is mailed
  423  pursuant to s. 322.251, a temporary permit that expires 10 days
  424  after the date of issuance if the driver is otherwise eligible
  425  for the driving privilege.
  426         (4) If the person whose license was suspended requests an
  427  informal review pursuant to subparagraph (1)(b)3., the
  428  department shall conduct the informal review by a hearing
  429  officer employed by the department. The Such informal review
  430  hearing shall consist solely of an examination by the hearing

  431  officer department of the materials submitted by the a law
  432  enforcement officer or correctional officer and by the person
  433  whose license was suspended, and the testimonial presence of the

  434  an officer or any other witness is not required.
  435         (5) After completion of the informal review, notice of the
  436  department’s decision sustaining, amending, or invalidating the
  437  suspension of the driver driver’s license of the person whose
  438  license was suspended must be provided to such person. The Such

  439  notice must be mailed to the person at the last known address
  440  shown on the department’s records, or to the address provided in
  441  the law enforcement officer’s report if the such address differs
  442  from the address of record, within 21 days after the expiration
  443  of the temporary permit issued pursuant to subsection (1) or
  444  subsection (3).
  445         (6)(a) If the person whose license was suspended requests a
  446  formal review, the department must schedule a hearing to be held
  447  within 30 days after the such request is received by the
  448  department and must notify the person of the date, time, and
  449  place of the hearing.
  450         (b) The Such formal review hearing shall be held before a
  451  hearing officer employed by the department, and the hearing
  452  officer may shall be authorized to administer oaths, examine
  453  witnesses and take testimony, receive relevant evidence, issue
  454  subpoenas for the officers and witnesses identified in documents
  455  in subsection (2), regulate the course and conduct of the
  456  hearing, question witnesses, and make a ruling on the
  457  suspension.
  458         (c) The party requesting the presence of a witness is shall

  459  be responsible for the payment of any witness fees and for
  460  notifying in writing the state attorney’s office in the
  461  appropriate circuit of the issuance of the subpoena. If the
  462  person who requests the a formal review hearing fails to appear
  463  and the hearing officer finds such failure to be without just
  464  cause, the right to a formal hearing is waived, and the
  465  suspension shall be sustained. The hearing officer may authorize
  466  witnesses to the formal review hearing to appear telephonically.

  467         (d)(c) A party may seek enforcement of a subpoena under
  468  paragraph (b) by filing a petition for enforcement in the
  469  circuit court of the judicial circuit in which the person
  470  failing to comply with the subpoena resides or by filing a
  471  motion for enforcement in any criminal court case resulting from
  472  the driving or actual physical control of the motor vehicle
  473  which gave rise to the suspension under this section. A failure
  474  to comply with an order of the court shall result in a finding
  475  of contempt of court. However, a person is not in contempt while
  476  a subpoena is being challenged. The department may not be a

  477  party to any subpoena enforcement action.
  478         (e)(d) The department must, within 7 working days after the
  479  a formal review hearing, provide send notice to the person of
  480  the hearing officer’s decision as to whether sufficient cause
  481  exists to sustain, amend, or invalidate the suspension.
  482         (7) In a formal review hearing under subsection (6) or an
  483  informal review hearing under subsection (4), the hearing
  484  officer shall determine by a preponderance of the evidence
  485  whether sufficient cause exists to sustain, amend, or invalidate
  486  the suspension. Notwithstanding s. 316.1932, the hearing officer

  487  may not consider the lawfulness of the arrest and shall limit
  488  the scope of the review shall be limited to the following
  489  issues:
  490         (a) If the license was suspended for driving with a an
  491  unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or
  492  higher:
  493         1. Whether the law enforcement officer had probable cause
  494  to believe that the person whose license was suspended was
  495  driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in
  496  this state while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or
  497  chemical or controlled substances.
  498         2. Whether the person whose license was suspended had a an

  499  unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or
  500  higher as provided in s. 316.193.
  501         (b) If the license was suspended for refusal to submit to a
  502  breath, blood, or urine test:
  503         1. Whether the law enforcement officer had probable cause
  504  to believe that the person whose license was suspended was
  505  driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in
  506  this state while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or
  507  chemical or controlled substances.
  508         2. Whether the person whose license was suspended refused
  509  to submit to any such test after being requested to do so by a
  510  law enforcement officer or correctional officer.
  511         3. Whether the person whose license was suspended was told
  512  that if he or she refused to submit to such test, his or her
  513  privilege to operate a motor vehicle would be suspended for a
  514  period of 1 year or, in the case of a second or subsequent
  515  refusal, for a period of 18 months.
  516         (8) Based on the determination of the hearing officer
  517  pursuant to subsection (7) for both informal hearings under
  518  subsection (4) and formal hearings under subsection (6), the
  519  department shall:
  520         (a) Sustain the suspension of the person’s driving
  521  privilege for a period of 1 year for a first refusal, or for a

  522  period of 18 months if the driving privilege of the such person
  523  has been previously suspended as a result of a refusal to submit
  524  to such test tests, if the person refused to submit to a lawful
  525  breath, blood, or urine test requested pursuant to this section.
  526  The suspension period begins commences on the date of issuance
  527  of the notice of suspension.
  528         (b) Sustain the suspension of the person’s driving
  529  privilege for a period of 6 months for a blood-alcohol level or
  530  breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher, or for a period of 1
  531  year if the driving privilege of the such person has been
  532  previously suspended under this section as a result of driving
  533  with a blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or

  534  higher an unlawful alcohol level. The suspension period begins
  535  commences on the date of issuance of the notice of suspension.
  536         (9) A request for a formal review hearing or an informal
  537  review hearing does shall not stay the suspension of the
  538  person’s driver driver’s license. If the department fails to
  539  schedule a requested the formal review hearing to be held within
  540  30 days after receipt of the request therefor, the department
  541  shall invalidate the suspension. If the scheduled hearing is
  542  continued at the department’s initiative, the department shall
  543  issue a temporary driving permit that is shall be valid until
  544  the hearing is conducted if the person is otherwise eligible for
  545  the driving privilege. The Such permit may not be issued to a
  546  person who sought and obtained a continuance of the hearing. The
  547  temporary permit issued under this subsection grants a driving

  548  privilege restricted to employment purposes shall authorize
  549  driving for business or employment use only, as defined in s.
  550  322.271.
  551         (10) A person whose driver driver’s license is suspended
  552  under subsection (1) or subsection (3) may apply for issuance of
  553  a license for business or employment purposes only if the person
  554  is otherwise eligible for the driving privilege pursuant to s.
  555  322.271.
  556         (a) If the suspension of the driver driver’s license of the
  557  person for refusal or failure to submit to a breath, urine, or
  558  blood test is sustained, the person is not eligible to receive a
  559  license for business or employment purposes only, pursuant to s.
  560  322.271, until 90 days have elapsed after the expiration of the
  561  last temporary permit issued. If the driver is not issued a 10
  562  day permit pursuant to this section or s. 322.64 because he or
  563  she is ineligible for the permit and the suspension for failure
  564  to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test is sustained not

  565  invalidated by the department, the driver is not eligible to
  566  receive a business or employment license pursuant to s. 322.271
  567  until 90 days have elapsed from the date of the suspension.
  568         (b) If the suspension of the driver driver’s license of the
  569  person relating to unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath
  570  alcohol level of 0.08 or higher is sustained, the person is not
  571  eligible to receive a license for business or employment
  572  purposes only pursuant to s. 322.271 until 30 days have elapsed
  573  after the expiration of the last temporary permit issued. If the
  574  driver is not issued a 10-day permit pursuant to this section or
  575  s. 322.64 because he or she is ineligible for the permit and the
  576  suspension relating to unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath
  577  alcohol level of 0.08 or higher is sustained not invalidated by
  578  the department, the driver is not eligible to receive a business
  579  or employment license pursuant to s. 322.271 until 30 days have
  580  elapsed from the date of the suspension.
  581         (11) A The formal review hearing may be conducted upon a
  582  review of the reports of a law enforcement officer or a
  583  correctional officer, including documents relating to the
  584  administration of a breath test or blood test or the refusal to
  585  take either test or the refusal to take a urine test. However,
  586  as provided in subsection (6), the driver may subpoena the
  587  officer or any person who administered or analyzed the a breath
  588  or blood test. The hearing officer may permit witnesses at the

  589  formal review hearing to appear telephonically.
  590         (12) The Formal and informal review hearings hearing and

  591  the informal review hearing are exempt from the provisions of
  592  chapter 120. The department may adopt rules for the conduct of
  593  reviews under this section.
  594         (13) Pursuant to s. 322.21, a person may appeal any
  595  decision of the department sustaining a suspension of his or her
  596  driver driver’s license by a petition for writ of certiorari to
  597  the circuit court in the county in which the wherein such person
  598  resides or wherein a formal or informal review was conducted

  599  pursuant to s. 322.31. However, an appeal does shall not stay
  600  the suspension. A law enforcement agency may appeal any decision
  601  of the department invalidating a suspension by a petition for
  602  writ of certiorari to the circuit court in the county in which
  603  wherein a formal or informal review was conducted. For

  604  telephonic hearings, the law enforcement agency shall file the
  605  petition for writ of certiorari to the circuit court in the
  606  county in which the law enforcement agency is located. This
  607  subsection does shall not be construed to provide for a de novo
  608  appeal.
  609         (14)(a) The decision of the department under this section
  610  or any circuit court review thereof may not be considered in any
  611  trial for a violation of s. 316.193, and a written statement
  612  submitted by a person in his or her request for departmental
  613  review under this section may not be admitted into evidence
  614  against him or her in any such trial.
  615         (b) The disposition of any related criminal proceeding

  616  proceedings does not affect a suspension for refusal to submit
  617  to a blood, breath, or urine test imposed under this section.
  618         (15) If the department suspends a person’s license under s.
  619  322.2616, it may not also suspend the person’s license under
  620  this section for the same episode that was the basis for the
  621  suspension under s. 322.2616.
  622         (16) The department shall invalidate a suspension for
  623  driving with an unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol
  624  level imposed under this section if the suspended person is
  625  found not guilty at trial of an underlying violation of s.
  626  316.193. If the person obtained a license restricted to business
  627  purposes only pursuant to paragraph (1)(c), the department shall
  628  remove the restriction from the person’s driver license.
  629         Section 3. Subsections (5), (7), (12), and (14) of section
  630  322.2616, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  631         322.2616 Suspension of license; persons under 21 years of
  632  age; right to review.—
  633         (5) If the person whose license is suspended requests an
  634  informal review under subparagraph (2)(b)3., the department
  635  shall conduct the informal review by a hearing officer employed
  636  by the department within 30 days after the request is received
  637  by the department and shall issue such person a temporary
  638  driving permit for business purposes only to expire on the date
  639  that the such review is scheduled to be conducted if the person
  640  is otherwise eligible. The informal review hearing must consist
  641  solely of an examination by the department of the materials
  642  submitted by the a law enforcement officer or correctional
  643  officer and by the person whose license is suspended, and the
  644  testimony presence of the an officer or witness is not required.
  645         (7)(a) If the person whose license is suspended requests a
  646  formal review, the department must schedule a hearing to be held
  647  within 30 days after the request is received by the department
  648  and must notify the person of the date, time, and place of the
  649  hearing and shall issue the such person a temporary driving
  650  permit for business purposes only to expire on the date that the

  651  such review is scheduled to be conducted if the person is
  652  otherwise eligible.
  653         (b) The formal review hearing must be held before a hearing
  654  officer employed by the department, and the hearing officer may
  655  administer oaths, examine witnesses and take testimony, receive
  656  relevant evidence, issue subpoenas, regulate the course and
  657  conduct of the hearing, and make a ruling on the suspension. The
  658  department and the person whose license was suspended may
  659  subpoena witnesses, and the party requesting the presence of a
  660  witness is responsible for paying any witness fees and for
  661  notifying in writing the state attorney’s office in the
  662  appropriate circuit of the issuance of the subpoena. If the
  663  person who requests a formal review hearing fails to appear and
  664  the hearing officer finds the failure to be without just cause,
  665  the right to a formal hearing is waived, and the suspension is
  666  sustained. The hearing officer may permit witnesses at the
  667  formal review hearing to appear telephonically.
  668         (c) A party may seek enforcement of a subpoena under
  669  paragraph (b) by filing a petition for enforcement in the
  670  circuit court of the judicial circuit in which the person
  671  failing to comply with the subpoena resides. A failure to comply
  672  with an order of the court constitutes contempt of court.
  673  However, a person may not be held in contempt while a subpoena
  674  is being challenged. The department is not a party to any

  675  subpoena enforcement action.
  676         (d) The department must, within 7 days after the a formal
  677  review hearing, provide send notice to the person of the hearing
  678  officer’s decision as to whether sufficient cause exists to
  679  sustain, amend, or invalidate the suspension.
  680         (12) The formal review hearing may be conducted upon a
  681  review of the reports of the a law enforcement officer or
  682  correctional officer, including documents relating to the
  683  administration of a breath test or the refusal to take a test.
  684  However, as provided in subsection (7), the driver may subpoena
  685  the officer or any person who administered the a breath or blood
  686  test. The hearing officer may permit witnesses at the formal

  687  review hearing to appear telephonically.
  688         (14) Pursuant to s. 322.31, a person may appeal any
  689  decision of the department sustaining a suspension of his or her
  690  driver driver’s license by a petition for writ of certiorari to
  691  the circuit court in the county in which the wherein such person
  692  resides or in which the wherein a formal or informal review was
  693  conducted under s. 322.31. However, an appeal does not stay the
  694  suspension. This subsection does not provide for a de novo
  695  appeal. 
696         Section 4. Subsections (6) and (7) are added to section
  697  322.2715, Florida Statutes, to read: 
698         322.2715 Ignition interlock device.—
  699         (6) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 322.271 and

  700  322.28(2), upon a second conviction for a violation of the
  701  provisions of s. 316.193, the convicted person may elect to
  702  install an ignition interlock device on all vehicles that are
  703  individually or jointly leased or owned and routinely operated

  704  by the convicted person, in lieu of the 5-year license
  705  revocation required by s. 322.28(2). The ignition interlock
  706  device must be installed for a period of 2 consecutive years,
  707  and must be followed by a third consecutive year, during which

  708  the convicted person is entitled to a driving privilege
  709  restricted to business purposes only, as defined in s.
  710  322.271(1).
  711         (7) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 322.271 and

  712  322.28(2), upon a third conviction for a violation of the
  713  provisions of s. 316.193, the convicted person may elect to
  714  install an ignition interlock device on all vehicles that are
  715  individually or jointly leased or owned and routinely operated

  716  by the convicted person, in lieu of the 10-year license
  717  revocation required by s. 322.28(2). The installation of an
  718  ignition interlock device under this subsection may not occur
  719  until the convicted person has served a 1-year license

  720  revocation period. The ignition interlock device must be
  721  installed for a period of 3 consecutive years, and must be
  722  followed by a period of 2 additional consecutive years, during
  723  which the convicted person is entitled to a driving privilege
  724  restricted to business purposes only, as defined in s.

  725  322.271(1).
  726         Section 5. Section 322.64, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  727  read:
  728         322.64 Holder of commercial driver driver’s license;
  729  persons operating a commercial motor vehicle; driving with
  730  unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level; refusal to
  731  submit to breath, urine, or blood test.—
  732         (1)(a) A law enforcement officer or correctional officer
  733  shall, on behalf of the department, disqualify from operating a
  734  any commercial motor vehicle a person who, while operating or in
  735  actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle, is
  736  arrested for a violation of s. 316.193, relating to unlawful
  737  blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level, or a person who has
  738  refused to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test authorized

  739  by s. 322.63 or s. 316.1932 arising out of the operation or
  740  actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle. A law
  741  enforcement officer or correctional officer shall, on behalf of
  742  the department, disqualify the holder of a commercial driver
  743  driver’s license from operating a any commercial motor vehicle
  744  if the licenseholder, while operating or in actual physical
  745  control of a motor vehicle, is arrested for a violation of s.
  746  316.193, relating to unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath

  747  alcohol level, or refused to submit to a breath, urine, or blood
  748  test authorized by s. 322.63 or s. 316.1932. Upon
  749  disqualification of the person, the officer shall take the
  750  person’s driver driver’s license and issue the person a 10-day
  751  temporary permit for the operation of noncommercial vehicles
  752  only if the person is otherwise eligible for the driving
  753  privilege and shall issue the person a notice of
  754  disqualification. If the person has been given a blood, breath,
  755  or urine test and, the results of the test which are not
  756  available to the officer at the time of the arrest, the agency
  757  employing the officer shall transmit such results to the
  758  department within 5 days after receipt of the results. If the
  759  department then determines that the person had a blood-alcohol
  760  level or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher, the department
  761  shall disqualify the person from operating a commercial motor
  762  vehicle pursuant to subsection (3).
  763         (b) For purposes of determining the period of

  764  disqualification described in 49 C.F.R. s. 383.51, the
  765  disqualification under paragraph (a) shall be treated as
  766  conviction.
  767         (c)(b) The disqualification under paragraph (a) shall be
  768  pursuant to, and the notice of disqualification shall inform the
  769  driver of, the following:
  770         1.a. The driver refused to submit to a lawful breath,
  771  blood, or urine test and he or she is disqualified from
  772  operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of 1 year, for
  773  a first refusal, or permanently, if he or she has previously
  774  been disqualified under this section; or
  775         b. The driver was driving or was in actual physical control
  776  of a commercial motor vehicle, or any motor vehicle if the
  777  driver holds a commercial driver driver’s license, had an
  778  unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or
  779  higher, and his or her driving privilege shall be disqualified
  780  for a period of 1 year for a first offense, or permanently
  781  disqualified if his or her driving privilege has been previously
  782  disqualified under this section.
  783         2. The disqualification period for operating a commercial
  784  vehicle begins vehicles shall commence on the date of issuance
  785  of the notice of disqualification.
  786         3. The driver may request a formal or informal review of
  787  the disqualification by the department within 10 days after the
  788  date of issuance of the notice of disqualification.
  789         4. The temporary permit issued at the time of
  790  disqualification expires at midnight of the 10th day following
  791  the date of disqualification.
  792         5. The driver may submit to the department any material

  793  materials relevant to the disqualification.
  794         (2) Except as provided in paragraph (1)(a), the law
  795  enforcement officer shall forward to the department, within 5
  796  days after the date of the issuance of the notice of
  797  disqualification, a copy of the notice of disqualification
  798  issued to the person;, the driver driver’s license of the person
  799  disqualified;, and an affidavit stating the officer’s grounds
  800  for belief that the person disqualified was operating or was in
  801  actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle, or holds
  802  a commercial driver driver’s license, and had an unlawful blood
  803  alcohol or breath-alcohol level; the results of any breath, or

  804  blood, or urine test or an affidavit stating that a breath,
  805  blood, or urine test was requested by the a law enforcement
  806  officer or correctional officer and that the person arrested
  807  refused to submit; a copy of the notice of disqualification
  808  issued to the person; and the officer’s description of the
  809  person’s field sobriety test, if any. The failure of the officer
  810  to submit materials within the 5-day period specified in this
  811  subsection or subsection (1) does not affect the department’s
  812  ability to consider any evidence submitted at or before prior to

  813  the hearing. The officer may also submit a copy of a videotape
  814  of the field sobriety test or the attempt to administer such
  815  test and a copy of the crash report, if any. Notwithstanding s.
  816  316.066, the crash report shall be considered by the hearing
  817  officer. All materials may be submitted in electronic form.
  818         (3) If the department determines that the person arrested
  819  should be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle
  820  pursuant to this section and if the notice of disqualification
  821  has not already been served upon the person by the a law
  822  enforcement officer or correctional officer as provided in
  823  subsection (1), the department shall issue a notice of
  824  disqualification and, unless the notice is mailed pursuant to s.
  825  322.251, a temporary permit that which expires 10 days after the
  826  date of issuance if the driver is otherwise eligible.
  827         (4) If the person disqualified requests an informal review
  828  pursuant to subparagraph (1)(c)3. (1)(b)3., the department shall
  829  conduct the informal review by a hearing officer employed by the
  830  department. The Such informal review hearing shall consist
  831  solely of an examination by the department of the materials
  832  submitted by the a law enforcement officer or correctional
  833  officer and by the person disqualified, and the presence of the

  834  an officer or a witness is not required.
  835         (5) After completion of the informal review, notice of the
  836  department’s decision sustaining, amending, or invalidating the
  837  disqualification must be provided to the person. The such notice
  838  must be mailed to the person at the last known address shown on
  839  the department’s records, and to the address provided in the law
  840  enforcement officer’s report if the such address differs from
  841  the address of record, within 21 days after the expiration of
  842  the temporary permit issued pursuant to subsection (1) or
  843  subsection (3).
  844         (6)(a) If the person disqualified requests a formal review,
  845  the department must schedule a hearing to be held within 30 days
  846  after the such request is received by the department and must
  847  notify the person of the date, time, and place of the hearing.
  848         (b) The such formal review hearing shall be held before a
  849  hearing officer employed by the department, and the hearing
  850  officer may shall be authorized to administer oaths, examine
  851  witnesses and take testimony, receive relevant evidence, issue
  852  subpoenas for the officers and witnesses identified in documents
  853  as provided in subsection (2), regulate the course and conduct
  854  of the hearing, and make a ruling on the disqualification. The
  855  department and the person disqualified may subpoena witnesses,
  856  and the party requesting the presence of a witness is shall be

  857  responsible for the payment of any witness fees. If the person
  858  who requests a formal review hearing fails to appear and the
  859  hearing officer finds such failure to be without just cause, the
  860  right to a formal hearing is waived. The hearing officer may
  861  permit witnesses at the formal review hearing to appear
  862  telephonically.
  863         (c) A party may seek enforcement of a subpoena under
  864  paragraph (b) by filing a petition for enforcement in the
  865  circuit court of the judicial circuit in which the person
  866  failing to comply with the subpoena resides or by filing a
  867  motion for enforcement in any criminal court case resulting from

  868  the driving or actual physical control of the motor vehicle that
  869  gave rise to the disqualification under this section. A failure
  870  to comply with an order of the court shall result in a finding
  871  of contempt of court. However, a person is shall not be in
  872  contempt while a subpoena is being challenged. The department is

  873  not a party to any subpoena enforcement action.
  874         (d) The department must, within 7 working days after the a
  875  formal review hearing, send notice to the person of the hearing
  876  officer’s decision as to whether sufficient cause exists to
  877  sustain, amend, or invalidate the disqualification.
  878         (7) In a formal review hearing under subsection (6) or an
  879  informal review hearing under subsection (4), the hearing
  880  officer shall determine by a preponderance of the evidence
  881  whether sufficient cause exists to sustain, amend, or invalidate
  882  the disqualification. Notwithstanding s. 316.1932, the hearing

  883  officer may not consider the lawfulness of the arrest and shall
  884  limit the scope of the review shall be limited to the following
  885  issues:
  886         (a) If the person was disqualified from operating a
  887  commercial motor vehicle for driving with a an unlawful blood
  888  alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher:
  889         1. Whether the arresting law enforcement officer had
  890  probable cause to believe that the person was driving or was in
  891  actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle, or any
  892  motor vehicle if the driver holds a commercial driver driver’s

  893  license, in this state while he or she had any alcohol, chemical
  894  substance substances, or controlled substance substances in his
  895  or her body.
  896         2. Whether the person had a an unlawful blood-alcohol level
  897  or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher.
  898         (b) If the person was disqualified from operating a
  899  commercial motor vehicle for refusal to submit to a breath,
  900  blood, or urine test:
  901         1. Whether the law enforcement officer had probable cause
  902  to believe that the person was driving or was in actual physical
  903  control of a commercial motor vehicle, or any motor vehicle if
  904  the driver holds a commercial driver driver’s license, in this
  905  state while he or she had any alcohol, chemical substance

  906  substances, or controlled substance substances in his or her
  907  body.
  908         2. Whether the person refused to submit to the test after
  909  being requested to do so by the a law enforcement officer or
  910  correctional officer.
  911         3. Whether the person was told that if he or she refused to
  912  submit to such test, he or she would be disqualified from
  913  operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of 1 year or,
  914  if previously disqualified under this section, permanently.
  915         (8) Based on the determination of the hearing officer
  916  pursuant to subsection (7) for both informal hearings under
  917  subsection (4) and formal hearings under subsection (6), the
  918  department shall:
  919         (a) Sustain the disqualification for a period of 1 year for
  920  a first refusal, or permanently if the such person has been
  921  previously disqualified from operating a commercial motor
  922  vehicle under this section. The disqualification period begins

  923  commences on the date of the issuance of the notice of
  924  disqualification.
  925         (b) Sustain the disqualification:
  926         1. For a period of 1 year if the person was driving or was
  927  in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle, or any
  928  motor vehicle if the driver holds a commercial driver driver’s
  929  license, and had an unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath
  930  alcohol level of 0.08 or higher; or
  931         2. Permanently if the person has been previously
  932  disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle under
  933  this section or his or her driving privilege has been previously
  934  suspended for driving or being in actual physical control of a
  935  commercial motor vehicle, or any motor vehicle if the driver
  936  holds a commercial driver driver’s license, and had an unlawful
  937  blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher.
  938  
  939  The disqualification period begins commences on the date of the
  940  issuance of the notice of disqualification.
  941         (9) A request for a formal review hearing or an informal
  942  review hearing does shall not stay the disqualification. If the
  943  department fails to schedule the formal review hearing to be
  944  held within 30 days after receipt of the request therefor, the
  945  department shall invalidate the disqualification. If the
  946  scheduled hearing is continued at the department’s initiative,
  947  the department shall issue a temporary driving permit limited to
  948  noncommercial vehicles which is valid until the hearing is
  949  conducted if the person is otherwise eligible for the driving
  950  privilege. The Such permit may shall not be issued to a person
  951  who sought and obtained a continuance of the hearing. The
  952  temporary permit issued under this subsection grants a driving

  953  privilege restricted to employment purposes only, as defined in
  954  s. 322.271 shall authorize driving for business purposes only.
  955         (10) A person who is disqualified from operating a
  956  commercial motor vehicle under subsection (1) or subsection (3)
  957  is eligible for issuance of a license for business or employment
  958  purposes only under s. 322.271 if the person is otherwise
  959  eligible for the driving privilege. However, such business or
  960  employment purposes license does shall not authorize the driver
  961  to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
  962         (11) The formal review hearing may be conducted upon a
  963  review of the reports of the a law enforcement officer or a

  964  correctional officer, including documents relating to the
  965  administration of a breath test or blood test or the refusal to
  966  take a breath, blood, or urine either test. However, as provided
  967  in subsection (6), the driver may subpoena the officer or any
  968  person who administered or analyzed the a breath or blood test.
  969  The hearing officer may permit witnesses at the formal review
  970  hearing to appear telephonically.

  971         (12) The formal review hearing and the informal review
  972  hearing are exempt from the provisions of chapter 120. The
  973  department may is authorized to adopt rules for the conduct of
  974  reviews under this section.
  975         (13) Pursuant to s. 322.31, a person may appeal any
  976  decision of the department sustaining the disqualification from
  977  operating a commercial motor vehicle by a petition for writ of
  978  certiorari to the circuit court in the county in which the
  979  wherein such person resides or wherein a formal or informal

  980  review was conducted pursuant to s. 322.31. However, an appeal
  981  does shall not stay the disqualification. This subsection does
  982  shall not be construed to provide for a de novo appeal.
  983         (14) The decision of the department under this section may

  984  shall not be considered in any trial for a violation of s.
  985  316.193, s. 322.61, or s. 322.62, and a nor shall any written
  986  statement submitted by a person in his or her request for
  987  departmental review under this section may not be admitted be
  988  admissible into evidence against him or her in any such trial.
  989  The disposition of any related criminal proceeding may

  990  proceedings shall not affect a disqualification imposed pursuant
  991  to this section.
  992         (15) This section does not preclude the suspension of the
  993  driving privilege pursuant to s. 322.2615. The driving privilege
  994  of a person who has been disqualified from operating a
  995  commercial motor vehicle also may also be suspended for a
  996  violation of s. 316.193.
  997         Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.

2012 Legalization of Medical Marijuana in Florida?


What are the chances that Florida will take steps to legalize medical marijuana in 2012? The chances increased late last year after State Senator Larcenia J. Bullard of Miami, filed Senate Joint Resolution 1028. Florida House of Representative Jeff Clements of Lake Worth, Florida, filed companion legislation, HJR 353.

Update 3/26/13: This legislation died in committee last year. Read more on legislation introduced in 2013 and efforts to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November of 2014 to legalize medical marijuana in Florida

Although this is the second consecutive year that such legislation has been filed by the Florida legislature it is the first time that medical marijuana bills were filed in both chambers. The joint resolutions propose legalizing marijuana in Florida for medicinal purposes. Efforts to legalize marijuana are picking up steam in Florida. Many believe it will only be a matter of time before some form of medical marijuana legislation is passed in Florida.

The battle to get the medical marijuana bill on the 2012 ballot begins. The joint resolutions would allow for medical marijuana cultivation and dispensaries to operate in Florida. The bills would also allow for individuals with debilitating medical conditions to use cannabis as a treatment with the recommendation of a medical doctor. Read more about Joint Resolutions for Medicinal Use of Cannabis (SJR 1028 and HJR 353).
What Would it Take to Get the Medical Marijuana Legislation on the 2012 Ballot?
Before the issue of legalizing medical marijuana would come up for a vote on the 2012 ballot, both the Florida State House and Senate would have to pass the bill by a three-fifths margin. If the bill passed by that margin then the legislation would qualify for the November 2012 ballot. 
Getting the legislation on the ballot is the hard part. Polls show that a majority of Florida citizens favor legalizing medical marijuana. If the legislation was approved by the voters, then medical marijuana would become legal in Florida on July 1, 2013.

Prohibition Doesn't Work
Many individuals favor the legalization of marijuana because it would bring in considerable revenue to the state from the regulation and taxation of cannabis. Currently that money is enjoyed by drug traffickers who benefit directly from prohibition. Additionally, the cultivation of marijuana in Florida would eliminate the market for marijuana which is smuggled over the boarder from Mexico. Even the DEA estimates that one-half of profits for the Mexican drug cartels result from the importation of marijuana. Eliminate the market for marijuana from the Mexican drug cartels in the United States and you drop their profits over night. Many also expect that decrease in drug trafficking to radically reduce violence at the boarder associated with drug trafficking. 
Regulation would also decrease the availability of marijuana by children. Many argue that high school children have a much easier time buying marijuana then alcohol. The taxation and regulation of marijuana would largely eliminate the black market and availability of cannabis to under aged individuals. 
Get Involved in the Debate over Legalizing Medical Marijuana in Florida

Various groups in Florida are asking citizens to sign petitions demanding that the Florida legislature take a vote on the medical marijuana bill that was filed in the House and Senate. One petition from an unnamed group has more than 7,000 signatures asking the legislature to "sign a discharge petitioner to permit a floor debate...." That petition can be found here - petition to vote on pending legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Florida.

Another organization, People United for Medical Marijuana is attempting to collect enough signatures on a petition to bypass the Republican legislature and force the issue on the November 2012 ballot. According to their website, as of Oct. 29, 2011, PUFMM had only gathered 29,922 signatures which is roughly 4% of the signatures needed.

Are you in favor of the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida or opposed to the idea? Should advocates for decriminalizing possession of marijuana  avoid the "medical marijuana" debate entirely and focus on the more transparent approach that cannabis should be legal for all adult consumers including healthy ones?

Let us know what you think of the proposed legislation or the best way to get involved in the debate. We welcome your comments below.

Update on January 9, 2015: Download the Florida petition to legalize medical marijuana in 2016.
Florida Senate - 2012                                   SJR 1028
       
       By Senator Bullard       
       
       39-00857-12                                           20121028__
    1                       Senate Joint Resolution                     
    2         A joint resolution proposing the creation of Section
    3         28 of Article X and the creation of Section 32 of
    4         Article XII of the State Constitution to allow the
    5         medical use of cannabis by citizens, allow the
    6         Legislature to implement these provisions by general
    7         law, and provide an effective date.
    8  
    9  Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   10  
   11         That the following creation of Section 28 of Article X and
   12  the creation of Section 32 of Article XII of the State
   13  Constitution are agreed to and shall be submitted to the
   14  electors of this state for approval or rejection at the next
   15  general election or at an earlier special election specifically
   16  authorized by law for that purpose:
   17                              ARTICLE X                            
   18                            MISCELLANEOUS                          
   19         SECTION 28. Medical use of cannabis.—
   20         (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (g), (h),
   21  and (i), a patient or primary caregiver charged with a violation
   22  of the state’s criminal laws related to the patient’s medical
   23  use of cannabis has an affirmative defense to such allegation
   24  if:
   25         (1) The patient was previously diagnosed by a physician as
   26  having a debilitating medical condition;
   27         (2) The patient was advised by his or her physician, in the
   28  context of a bona fide physician-patient relationship, that the
   29  patient might benefit from the medical use of cannabis in
   30  connection with a debilitating medical condition; and
   31         (3) The patient and his or her primary caregiver were
   32  collectively in possession of amounts of cannabis only as
   33  permitted under this section.
   34  
   35  This affirmative defense does not exclude the assertion of any
   36  other defense by a patient or primary caregiver who is charged
   37  with a violation of state law related to the patient’s medical
   38  use of cannabis.
   39         (b) It is not a violation of the state’s criminal laws for
   40  a patient or primary caregiver to engage or assist in the
   41  medical use of cannabis pursuant to this section, except as
   42  otherwise provided in subsections (g) and (i).
   43         (c) It is not a violation of the state’s criminal laws for
   44  a physician to:
   45         (1) Advise a patient whom the physician has diagnosed as
   46  having a debilitating medical condition about the risks and
   47  benefits of the medical use of cannabis or that the patient
   48  might benefit from the medical use of cannabis, if such advice
   49  is based on the physician’s contemporaneous assessment of the
   50  patient’s medical history and current medical condition and a
   51  bona fide physician-patient relationship; or
   52         (2) Provide a patient with written documentation, based on
   53  the physician’s contemporaneous assessment of the patient’s
   54  medical history and current medical condition and a bona fide
   55  physician-patient relationship, stating that the patient has a
   56  debilitating medical condition and might benefit from the
   57  medical use of cannabis.
   58  
   59  A physician may not be denied any rights or privileges for
   60  engaging in acts authorized by this subsection.
   61         (d) Notwithstanding subsection (a), subsection (b), or
   62  subsection (c), a person, including a patient or primary
   63  caregiver, is not entitled to the protection of this section for
   64  his or her acquisition, possession, manufacture, production,
   65  use, sale, distribution, dispensing, or transportation of
   66  cannabis for any use other than medical use.
   67         (e) A property interest that is possessed, owned, or used
   68  in connection with the medical use of cannabis or acts
   69  incidental to such use may not be harmed, neglected, injured, or
   70  destroyed while in the possession of state or local law
   71  enforcement officials who seized the property in connection with
   72  the claimed medical use of cannabis. Such property interest may
   73  not be forfeited under any provision of state law providing for
   74  the forfeiture of property other than as a sentence imposed
   75  after conviction of a criminal offense or entry of a plea of
   76  guilty to such offense. Cannabis and paraphernalia seized by
   77  state or local law enforcement officials from a patient or
   78  primary caregiver in connection with the claimed medical use of
   79  cannabis shall be returned immediately upon the determination of
   80  the state attorney or his or her designee that the patient or
   81  primary caregiver is entitled to the protection contained in
   82  this section, including, but not limited to, by a decision not
   83  to prosecute, the dismissal of charges, or acquittal.
   84         (f)(1) A patient may engage in the medical use of cannabis
   85  with no more cannabis than is medically necessary to address a
   86  debilitating medical condition. The legislature may, by general
   87  law, establish a maximum amount of cannabis or cannabis plants,
   88  possession or use of which, or any lesser amount, is presumed to
   89  be medically necessary.
   90         (2) For quantities of cannabis in excess of an amount
   91  legislatively presumed to be medically necessary, a patient or
   92  his or her primary caregiver may raise as an affirmative defense
   93  to charges of violation of state law that such greater amounts
   94  were medically necessary to address the patient’s debilitating
   95  medical condition.
   96         (g) A patient may not:
   97         (1) Engage in the medical use of cannabis in a way that
   98  endangers the health or well-being of any person; or
   99         (2) Engage in the medical use of cannabis in plain view of,
  100  or in a place open to, the general public.
  101         (h) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1), a patient under
  102  eighteen years of age may not engage in the medical use of
  103  cannabis unless:
  104         (1) Two physicians have diagnosed the patient as having a
  105  debilitating medical condition;
  106         (2) One of the physicians referred to in paragraph (1) has
  107  explained the possible risks and benefits of medical use of
  108  cannabis to the patient and each of the patient’s parents
  109  residing in this state;
  110         (3) Each of the patient’s parents residing in this state
  111  consents in writing to permit the patient to engage in the
  112  medical use of cannabis;
  113         (4) A parent residing in this state consents in writing to
  114  serve as the patient’s primary caregiver;
  115         (5) The patient and primary caregiver collectively possess
  116  amounts of cannabis no greater than an amount authorized under
  117  subsection (d); and
  118         (6) The primary caregiver controls the acquisition of such
  119  cannabis and the dosage and frequency of its use by the patient.
  120         (i) No later than May 30, 2013, the legislature shall
  121  define such terms and enact such legislation as may be necessary
  122  for implementation of this section, as well as determine and
  123  enact criminal penalties for fraudulent representation of a
  124  medical condition by a patient to a physician or state or local
  125  law enforcement official for the purpose of avoiding arrest and
  126  prosecution.
  127         (j)(1) A health insurance provider may not be required to
  128  be liable for any claim for reimbursement for the medical use of
  129  cannabis.
  130         (2) This section does not require any employer to
  131  accommodate the medical use of cannabis in any work place.
  132         (3) A person may not be denied custody of or visitation
  133  with a minor for acting in accordance with this section and
  134  legislation implementing this section unless the person’s
  135  behavior creates an unreasonable danger to the minor that can be
  136  clearly articulated and shown by substantial competent evidence.
  137         (4) A person may not be denied any right or privilege and
  138  is not subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner,
  139  including, but not limited to, a civil penalty or disciplinary
  140  action by a business, occupational, or professional licensing
  141  board, for providing a qualifying patient or primary caregiver
  142  of such a patient with cannabis or cannabis paraphernalia or for
  143  any other act done in accordance with this section or
  144  legislation implementing this section.
  145                             ARTICLE XII                           
  146                              SCHEDULE                             
  147         SECTION 32. Medical use of cannabis.—Section 28 of Article
  148  X providing for medical use of cannabis and this section shall
  149  take effect July 1, 2013.
  150         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following statement be
  151  placed on the ballot:
  152                      CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT                     
  153                        ARTICLE X, SECTION 28                      
  154                       ARTICLE XII, SECTION 32                     
  155         MEDICAL USE OF CANNABIS.—Proposing an amendment to the
  156  State Constitution to provide a patient or primary caregiver
  157  charged with a violation of the state’s criminal laws related to
  158  the patient’s medical use of cannabis, also known as marijuana,
  159  with a defense to the charge if the patient has a debilitating
  160  condition and the physician, in the context of a bona fide
  161  physician-patient relationship, determines that the patient
  162  might benefit from the medical use of cannabis. The amendment
  163  provides that a physician may advise a patient with a
  164  debilitating condition about the medical use of cannabis and
  165  document the patient’s need for this use. The amendment
  166  specifies that it does not authorize any nonmedical use of
  167  cannabis. The amendment provides that property seized as a
  168  result of an arrest in connection with a claimed medical use of
  169  cannabis may not be harmed unless the charge results in a
  170  criminal conviction. The amendment provides that a patient may
  171  engage in the medical use of cannabis with no more cannabis than
  172  is medically necessary and that the Legislature may establish a
  173  maximum amount of cannabis or cannabis plants, possession or use
  174  of which, or any lesser amount, is presumed to be medically
  175  necessary. The amendment provides that a patient may not engage
  176  in the medical use of cannabis in a way that endangers the
  177  health or well-being of any person or in plain view of, or in a
  178  place open to, the general public. The amendment provides
  179  additional restrictions on the medical use of cannabis by
  180  persons under 18 years of age. The amendment requires that, by a
  181  specified date, the Legislature must define such terms and enact
  182  such legislation as may be necessary for implementation of the
  183  amendment and enact criminal penalties for fraudulent
  184  representation of a medical condition by a patient to a
  185  physician or state or local law enforcement official for the
  186  purpose of avoiding arrest and prosecution. The amendment
  187  provides that a person may not be denied custody of or
  188  visitation with a minor for acting in accordance with this
  189  amendment unless the person’s behavior creates an unreasonable
  190  danger to the minor which can be clearly articulated and shown
  191  by substantial competent evidence. The amendment provides that a
  192  person may not be denied any right or privilege and is not
  193  subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner,
  194  including, but not limited to, a civil penalty or disciplinary
  195  action by a business, occupational, or professional licensing
  196  board, for providing a qualifying patient or primary caregiver
  197  of such a patient with cannabis or cannabis paraphernalia or for
  198  any other act done in accordance with the amendment. The
  199  amendment is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2013. 
 
Related Links: 
Marijuana Laws in New York 

Visit our office in Tampa, Florida
Sammis Law Firm
1005 N. Marion St.
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 250-0500