Your license will be suspended for six months if you were arrested for DUI and provided a breath test result that is .08 and above. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV or commonly referred to as the DMV) will suspend your license for one year if you refused to submit to a breath, blood or urine test. Your license can be suspended for 18 months if you previously refused to submit to a breath, blood or urine test and your license was previous suspended (you will also be charged with a misdemeanor in criminal court if this is your second or subsequent refusal).
The moment you are arrested for DUI (for breath of .08 or above or refusal), your license is suspended. The arresting officer takes your license and issues a Uniform Traffic Citation (traffic ticket). This citation is your temporary, 10-day license (from the date of arrest). With the citation serving as your license, you will allowed to drive on a restricted basis, or for business purposes only, meaning to and from work, shopping for groceries, going to church, court or your lawyer’s office.
From that point, you have 10 days to request a hearing with the DMV to fight the suspension of your license. Once you request the formal review hearing and, assuming, your license was valid at the time of arrest, you will be issued a permit to continue driving on a restricted basis, pending formal review, for an additional 42 days.
If you have a DMV hearing and the suspension of your driver’s license is not invalidated, you will have a mandatory period of suspension, ‘hard time,’ before you are eligible for a hardship, or “business purpose permit.” If you registered a reading of .08 and above your license will be suspended for six months and you will have a 30-day period of hard time before you are eligible for a hardship license. If you refused to submit to a breath, blood or urine test, your license will be suspended for one year (for a first offense) and you will have to serve a 90-day period of hard time before you are eligible for a hardship license, according to Florida’s Administrative Suspension Law.
I really need to drive, can I get a hardship license now?
New Florida Law Allows You To Waive Formal/Informal Review Hearing
Starting July 1, 2013, the Florida Administrative Suspension Laws changed to allow you to request a review of eligibility to obtain a “Business Purpose Only” permit to drive immediately. However, requesting eligibility review waives your ability to challenge the suspension of your license through a formal or informal review hearing.
If you have no prior DUI convictions (administrative suspensions or convictions for an alcohol or drug related offense), you have three options following a DUI arrest:
- request an informal review hearing;
- request a formal review hearing; or
- request an eligibility review hearing to obtain a “Business Purpose Only” permit (Note: you are waiving your right to a formal or informal review hearing if you request eligibility review).
Before waiving your right to a formal or informal review, it is imperative that you speak to a DUI lawyer that will advise you of the pros and cons. Oftentimes formal review hearings are crucial to gaining valuable information needed to defend your criminal case as the arresting officer, breath test operator and other parties can be subpoenaed to testify under oath about your DUI case at the DMV hearing.
I personally handle both the administrative and criminal aspects of your case, and I am ready to help. Call, (305) 707-7345, for a confidential consultation so I may help you decide whether challenging the suspension of your license or waiving and seeking eligibility review is in your best interest.