DUI Driver’s License FAQ

Driving under the influence (DUI) charges are a grave matter with far-reaching consequences, especially concerning your driving privileges. Your license can be seized by law enforcement after your arrest, even without a prior conviction

In these situations, it is important to be aware of your rights and legal options. A Riverview DUI/DWI defense attorney can help you navigate the aftermath, whether that involves contesting the suspension or building a robust defense for your criminal case.

What Happens to My Driver’s License After a DUI Arrest?

In Florida, your driving privileges may be suspended under two main circumstances. Firstly, if you provided a breath or blood sample that exceeded the .08 legal limit, your license would be suspended. Secondly, a refusal to undergo a breath, urine, or blood test also triggers a suspension. This is due to Florida’s implied consent laws, which require all drivers to submit to blood and breath testing if asked to do so by a law enforcement officer.

How Can My License Be Seized If I Haven’t Been Convicted?

Florida law permits the immediate suspension and seizure of your driver’s license if you test above the legal alcohol limit or refuse testing. This action is based on the implied consent law, which you agree to by operating a vehicle in Florida. This administrative suspension is separate from any court-imposed penalties that might follow a DUI conviction.

However, you have a narrow window—specifically, ten days from the arrest—to contest this suspension. You can petition the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) for a formal review hearing, where you can challenge the suspension

How Long Will My License Suspension Last?

The duration of a license suspension after a DUI arrest varies significantly based on the specific details of the offense, including whether injury was involved and the number of prior offenses:

  • First offenses without bodily injury can range from a minimum of 180 days up to one year. First offenses with bodily injury carry a minimum of three years. 
  • Second offenses within five years from the prior conviction will result in a minimum five-year revocation. However, you may be eligible for reinstatement after one year if you can prove hardship. 
  • Third offenses within 10 years of the second conviction carry a minimum 10-year revocation. However, you may be eligible for reinstatement after two years if you can prove hardship.
  • Second offenses that occur five or more years after the first conviction will carry the same revocation periods as first offenses. The same rule applies for third offenses that occur 10 or more years after the second conviction.
  • Fourth offenses always result in mandatory permanent revocation, but you may be eligible for hardship reinstatement after five years. 

dui check sign by road

Am I Still Allowed to Drive After My License Is Seized?

If your driving privileges were valid at the time of your DUI arrest, the traffic citation you receive acts as a temporary license, permitting you to drive for ten days following the arrest. However, it is important to note that you may face a suspension later on

How Can I Get My Driver’s License Back?

If you want to reinstate your driving privileges after a DUI, you must promptly challenge the administrative suspension or determine whether you qualify for a hardship reinstatement. In these situations, you need an attorney on your side who can advocate for your rights and help you navigate the process. As soon as possible after your arrest, contact a Riverview criminal defense lawyer immediately to discuss your next steps.