Florida Administrative DUI Suspension

orlando dui defense attorney

During your initial traffic stop, the arresting officer may confiscate your license and immediately issue an administrative DUI suspension on your driving privileges. Losing your ability to drive will have a devastating impact on your finances and future career plans. Fortunately, with a reputable attorney to represent your case, you may successfully contest your suspension and invalidate it or qualify for a restricted license after a hard suspension period.

Florida demands that anyone wanting to contest an administrative DUI suspension must request a formal hearing with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles within ten days of arrest. By making the review demand, many drivers receive a limited extension on their temporary driving privileges for 42 days in which time the review can take place.

What is an Administrative DUI Suspension?

At the time of your arrest or ticketing, Florida law enforcement may demand your license and give you a ten-day temporary driving permit. This process is known as a DUI administrative suspension. Suspending one’s license at the scene of a DUI can occur because of:

  • Refusal to take a BAC test
  • BAC over .08%

While this type of suspension comes directly from the DHSMV, it is essential that right away you find an Orlando DUI attorney you trust to represent your case. Ten days isn’t much time to prepare for a review hearing, but an experienced lawyer can meet this short notice, and you should receive a 42-day hardship license to temporarily keep your driving privileges. A DHSMV hearing also gives your attorney the opportunity to obtain evidence for your criminal trial defense.

Consequences of an Administrative DUI Suspension

Your first ten-day period license is unrestricted. Once you send in the demand for a review hearing, generally you will receive another temporary license that’s good until at least your hearing date. This second option is known as a hardship license and comes with strict limitations for use.

You may drive with your hardship license under the following circumstances:

  • For work and work-related activities
  • Commuting to school
  • Getting to church and other related events
  • Other activities necessary for everyday life (going to pay bills, get groceries, etc.)

It’s important to understand that not everyone will qualify for this extended license until their hearing. Those who already weren’t permitted to drive before their DUI will not receive a 10-day or 42-day permit.

Length of Administrative DUI Suspensions

Once your license gets suspended during your arrest or traffic stop for refusing to take a breath test or blowing over the legal limit, your license gets an initial 10-day grace period without limitations. The next ten days and the actions you take to contest it will determine your future driving privileges and marks on your record.

If you lose your contestation or waive your right to a formal review hearing, you will receive a hard suspension. This means you have a specified period of time where you are not eligible to obtain a restricted driver’s license. Hard suspensions prohibit driving for any reason, and if you are caught doing so during this initial period, you will not qualify for a hardship license once it expires.

Depending on how many times you have received a DUI, the terms of your suspension may include:

First Time Offenders

  • Blowing over the legal limit of .08 will result in a 6-month suspension with 30 days of ineligibility for a hardship license
  • Refusal to take a BAC test will bring a 12-month total suspension with 90 days of this period as hard time

It is possible for first-time offenders to avoid a hard suspension altogether if they waive their right to an administrative DUI review hearing within the initial ten-day period after their arrest. It is highly advised that you speak with an attorney about your DUI charge before using this option.

Second Time Offenders

  • Blowing over the legal limit of .08 will result in a 12-month suspension with 30 days of ineligibility for a hardship license
  • Refusal to take a BAC test will bring a 12-month total suspension with 90 days of this period as hard time
  • If a second refusal, expect 18-months suspended driving privileges with the entire period treated as a hard suspension

Third Time or More

  • Blowing over the legal limit of .08 will result in a 12-month suspension that disallows restricted licensing for the entirety of the sentence
  • Refusing the breath test with all priors resulting from breath testing will earn a 12-month suspension with 12 months of hard suspension time
  • If your suspension results from BAC testing refusal, and you have done so in prior offenses, you will receive an 18-month hard suspension.

In addition to losing the ability to obtain a hardship license, administrative DUI suspensions remain on your driving record for 75 years. That’s a lifetime effect on your insurance premiums, your job future if you depend on driving to earn income, and your reputation in general. It’s important to fight this suspension, if possible, to avoid all of this.

Hire an Orlando DUI Attorney Right Away

It’s critical to speak with a seasoned DUI attorney right away following your arrest. Florida law has made the administrative DUI suspension process complicated and difficult to navigate without help from an aggressive litigator with years of practice experience in Florida.

As former prosecutors, attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm have insight into how the state will approach your DUI case. We are knowledgeable in the sobriety technology employed by police agencies and how it can impact your situation. Let us help you fight your administrative DUI suspension and gather the necessary evidence to build a strong defense for your future court trial. Contact us at (407) 228-3838 to receive a free consultation and guide about the DUI court process.