Hearing on Cabrera's suspended license postponed

An administrative hearing has been postponed on whether to reinstate Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera's driver's license after it was suspended last month following his arrest on drunken-driving charges.

The change was made to give one of the arresting deputies a chance to testify. No new hearing date has been scheduled.

Cabrera did not attend Wednesday's hearing with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, but was represented by his attorney, Michael Kessler. Cabrera and the Tigers are scheduled to play at Baltimore on Wednesday night.

Cabrera's was arrested Feb. 16 in Ft. Pierce and charged with DUI and resisting an officer. Anyone arrested for drunken driving automatically has their license suspended but can request a hearing to have it reinstated.

Even if his driving privilege is reinstated, the criminal case will proceed separately.

According to last month's arrest affidavit, the 27-year-old Cabrera was spotted by a deputy in a car with a smoking engine alongside a road in Ft. Pierce. Inside the vehicle, Cabrera smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and took a drink from a bottle of scotch in front of an officer. He refused to cooperate and two other deputies were called. Cabrera later refused the field sobriety test.

During Wednesday's hearing, Kessler briefly questioned the two other deputies that were present during Cabrera's arrest, as well as a local mechanic who Kessler asked to examine the Land Rover that Cabrera was in at the time of his arrest. The mechanic said he determined that it was inoperable.

That could prove to be significant in resolving whether Cabrera gets his license back.

In a 2008 case, Jose Sarmiento got the suspension of his license overturned in circuit court. The court determined that it was improper for the DHSMV to suspend his license for refusal to take a breath test after his DUI arrest.

The court said that though Florida statute implies consent to a breath test when a person operates a motor vehicle in the state, that they must be "in actual physical control of a motor vehicle" and "to be in control of a motor vehicle, the vehicle must be operable."

Kessler declined to comment on Wednesday's hearing.