A DUI conviction in the state of Florida comes with serious penalties and fines, which may include the loss of your driver’s license. However, under Florida law, you have the right to request an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing, which will offer you two ways to avoid a license suspension.
You should know that the ALR hearing and any suspension carried out by the DHSMV are independent of the criminal proceedings for your DUI charge. The purpose of requesting a hearing is to extend your ability to drive until your decision ruling, so you can challenge the validity of your suspension.
Florida DUI 10 Day Rule
You will be given 10 days from the date of your DUI arrest to hold a temporary driver’s license. During this time, you have the option to request a hearing with the DHSMV to challenge your case. If you fail to do so, your driver's license will be automatically suspended for the full suspension period.
If the appeal is filed in a timely manner, you will be issued a temporary driver’s license that can last up to 42 days, which will remain in effect while the DHSMV suspension is under review.
This license will be for "business purposes only" (BPO), which can include:
- Driving to and from work and necessary on-the-job driving
- Driving to and from school
- Driving to and from medical emergencies
- Driving to and from church or any other religious obligations
What Happens at an ALR Hearing in FL?
During this 42-day period, the DHSMV will schedule a hearing to determine if your license suspension should be upheld. At the ALR hearing, you can expect one of two things to happen:
- You win your hearing: if you win your hearing, you will receive a copy of your unrestricted license. The license will be permanent and will give you full driving privileges, unless it is otherwise suspended by the court in your criminal DUI case.
- You lose your hearing: If you lose your hearing, your driving privileges will be terminated on the expiration date of your temporary 42-day license. You will receive a hard license suspension (for unlawful blood or breath level) or 90 days (for refusal to take chemical test).
However, in completion of your "hard time" suspension, you may become eligible to apply for a hardship BPO license, dependent on the seriousness of your case.
Waiver of DHSMV Hearing in Florida
Recent changes in Florida law have granted the DMSHV authority to waive an administrative hearing altogether. Only first-time DUI offenders may apply for this waiver to obtain a BPO license. Additionally, they must provide proof of enrollment in a DUI program at the time the waiver request is submitted. The driver must also pay a $25 filing fee and do so within the 10-day grace period given. Get the help of our Jacksonville suspended license attorneys!
A DUI suspension can affect your employment, housing, and/or professional and personal relationships. We understand the overwhelming frustration it can impose, and we want to help. An ALR hearing is the key to saving your license after a DUI arrest, but it is important to act fast.
What is the Implied Consent Law in Florida?
Under Florida's implied consent law, any person who operates a motor vehicle on Florida's public roads is deemed to have given their implied consent to submit to a chemical test if they are lawfully arrested for DUI.
The implied consent law essentially means that by choosing to drive on Florida's roads, individuals are considered to have consented to a chemical test to determine their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or the presence of drugs if they are lawfully arrested for DUI. The chemical test can include a breath, blood, or urine test, depending on the circumstances.
If a driver refuses to take the chemical test after being lawfully arrested for DUI, they can face certain penalties under Florida's implied consent law. These penalties can include a mandatory driver's license suspension, regardless of whether the driver is ultimately convicted of DUI.
The length of the driver's license suspension for a refusal can vary based on prior DUI offenses. For a first refusal, the driver's license may be suspended for one year. Subsequent refusals within a certain time frame can result license suspension for up to 18 months, and the driver may also face additional consequences related to their DUI case, such as jail time and fines.
If you fail to fight your DUI refusal case in Florida and are later convicted of DUI, these offenses will stay on your record for at least 75 years. Fortunately, you could be eligible for expungement or record sealing, depending on the circumstances of your case.
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