Consequences of an Administrative Suspension after a DUI Arrest

The length of the administrative suspension after a DUI arrest in Florida depends on whether a prior administrative suspension has occurred and whether the prior suspension was for a refusal or BAC over .08.

First Offense

    • If you took the breath test your driver’s license will be suspended for six (6) months with a thirty (30) “hard suspension” – meaning that you can not driver for any reason for those thirty (30) days.
    • If you refused the breath test your driver’s license will be suspended for twelve (12) months with a ninety (90) day “hard suspension” – meaning that you can not driver for any reason during those 90 days.
    • For a DUI arrest that occurs after July 1, 2013, you can request a review of eligibility for a “Business Purpose Only” (Hardship License) restricted driving privilege to avoid the hard suspension period but that request will waive your right to a formal or informal review hearing.

Second Offense

    • If you took the breath test twelve (12) month suspension with a thirty (30) day hard suspension. – meaning that you can not driver for any reason for those thirty (30) days.
    • If you refused the breath test and the first offense was after a breath test, then a twelve (12) month suspension will follow with a ninety (90) day hard suspension – meaning that you can not driver for any reason during those 90 days.
    • If you refused the breath test and the first offense was after a refusal, then your license will be suspended for eighteen (18) months with all eighteen months being a hard suspension – meaning that you cannot get a hardship license.

Third or Subsequent Offense

    • If you took the breath test twelve (12) month suspension with all twelve (12) months being a hard suspension – meaning that you cannot get a hardship license.
    • If you refused the breath test and all of the prior offenses were after a breath test, then a twelve-month suspension with 12 months of hard time will follow – meaning you cannot get a hardship license.
    • If you refused the breath test and one of the prior offenses was a refusal, then an 18-month suspension with 18 months of a hard suspension will follow – meaning you cannot get a hardship license.

DUI Administrative Hearings

DUI Administrative Hearings

You only have 10 days after your DUI arrest to request a formal review hearing to contest the administrative suspension of your driver’s license. The rules for the administrative suspension are found in Florida Statute Section 322.2615 and Chapter 15A-6 of the Administrative Code. The administrative suspension occurs after a DUI arrest for any refusal case or breath test reading over .08.

The DUI formal review hearings are scheduled at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews office in the county where the DUI arrest occurred. 

The hearing must be scheduled no later than thirty (30) days after the request is made. After requesting the hearing, a Notice of Formal Review Hearing / Prehearing Order is issued. If you are eligible a temporary driving permit is enclosed with the notice of formal review hearing, which allows you to continue driving for business purposes only for another 42 days. The DUI permit will become effective when the ten-day permit expires. 

At the formal review hearing, the Florida DHSMV hearing officer will determine by a preponderance of the evidence presented whether sufficient cause exists to sustain, amend or invalidate the suspension of the driver’s license pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 322.2615.

The issues we will be contesting during the DUI formal review hearing when it is alleged that the driver blew over the limit are:

  1. Whether the DUI officer had probable cause to believe the individual was driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or chemical or controlled substances.
  2. Whether the individual had an unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath alcohol level of .08 or higher as provided in Florida Statute 316.193.

The issues we will be contesting during the DUI formal review hearing when it is alleged that the driver refused to submit to a breath or urine test are:

  1. Whether law enforcement had probable cause to believe the individual was driving or in actual physical control while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance;
  2. Whether the individual refused to submit to a urine or a test of his breath or blood alcohol level after being request to submit by a law enforcement officer; and
  3. Whether the individual was told that if he refused a test that his privilege to operate a motor vehicle would be suspended for a period of one year, or in the case of a second or subsequent refusal, for a period of eighteen months.

Benefits of requesting the Formal Review Hearing under Florida law include:

  • Requesting the formal review hearing gives you the opportunity to obtain a 42-day hardship license so that you can continue to drive while your attorney fights the administrative suspension.
  • You will automatically win the administrative hearing if the arresting officer or breath test operator fails to appear after being served with a subpoena.
  • If another witness fails to appear, you can obtain another extended driving permit while your attorney enforces the subpoena against the witness.
  • If you win the hearing then the administrative suspension is INVALIDATED.
  • Even if you lose the hearing, your attorney will have the opportunity to subpoena witnesses and documents, inspection calibration records, and explore important defenses early in your case.
  • The officers or civilian witnesses will be locked into their story allowing your attorney to exploit inconsistent statements.

Conclusion


Conclusion

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Florida, you must act quickly to preserve all of your rights to dispute the administrative suspension of your driver’s license. Winning the administrative hearing is an important step towards protecting your driving record. Winning the administrative hearing also protects you from the collateral consequences that come with an administrative finding that you drove under the influence of alcohol or drugs, even if you ultimately avoid a DUI conviction in the criminal case. Hiring an experienced DUI attorney is important because of the complexity involved in successfully contesting the administrative suspension of your driver’s license. We are experienced trial attorneys who have the knowledge and skill set to successfully contest the administrative suspension of your driver’s license.