gavel_web.jpgTALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ A sharply divided Florida Supreme Court says the state cannot suspend a license for refusing to take a breath test if a driver has been unlawfully arrested.

The justices voted 4-3 Thursday in two cases from Duval and Polk counties.

The majority noted state law says licenses can be suspended only if a motorist is lawfully arrested.

They also ruled hearing officers can still determine if arrests are valid although specific authority to do that was removed from a law describing their duties.

Dissenting justices disagreed on the hearing officer issue although that would leave drivers with no way to challenge a suspension on grounds of unlawful arrest.


They said drivers are required to know the law so would be aware they could lose their licenses even if unlawfully arrested.