DUI Administrative Suspensions in Florida

As of July 1, 2013, the rules for the administrative suspension of a Driver License after a DUI arrest, and the right to have a review of administrative suspension have changed. If during a DUI investigation, you give air samples to a breathalyzer and the results are over .08, the officer will invalidate your driving privileges. For people who have never been accused of DUI, you now have a new choice regarding that suspension. In the past, you had a right to challenge the suspension by requesting an informal review hearing or a formal review hearing. The new third option is to request a review of eligibility for a “Business Purpose Only” (BPO) License. This means you immediately get a restricted driving license if you waive your right to a formal or informal review hearing.

The application of this law which is good is there is no “Hard Suspension” of your Driver License. If your breathalyzer results were over a .08 and you lose your review hearing, you wouldn’t be eligible for a BPO until after a thirty-day hard suspension. This is thirty days that you cannot drive. Under this new option there would be no thirty-day hard suspension, and you would immediately get a permit. Likewise, if you refused to give an air sample for the breathalyzer, and you lose your review hearing, you wouldn’t be eligible for a BPO until after a ninety-day hard suspension. Again, under the new option, you would not have a ninety-day suspension.

There is another good part of this new option. If the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles determines that you are not eligible after you request this third option, then they will still let you request a formal/informal review hearing within the 10 days of the arrest.

But there is also a downside to this change in the review system. You must make your decision blind. You must make your decision within the first ten days after your DUIarrest when your notice of suspension is issued. You will have no idea if they can properly suspend your license. Your attorney cannot properly advise you about waiving your rights. Your attorney can’t obtain and review the necessary documents without requesting a hearing. You have to make an uneducated decision about a suspension that will permanently be on your driving record. Furthermore, it cannot be undone. Once you request the formal review hearing to get this paperwork, then you cannot later change your mind and request the review of eligibility.

This new rule change doesn’t change anything if you have a prior DUI conviction or administrative suspension, and it wouldn’t apply to you. You will still want to request a formal review hearing. There is no downside to your request, and you still need to fight the suspension.

As of July 1, 2013, the rules for the administrative suspension of a Driver License after a DUI arrest and the right to have a review of administrative suspension have changed. To be fully informed contact Longwell Lawyers at 407-426-5757 and talk to one of our attorneys. We are a group of experienced lawyers that will render the best of our professional abilities.

Categories: DUI