In Florida a driver who was arrested for DUI would face an administrative suspension of his or her driving privilege. However, they could challenge this suspension using the “Formal Review” process. If they won they would get their regular license back. However, if they lost, or if they did not challenge the suspension, their privilege to drive would be suspended. If they took the breath test, they would lose their privilege to drive for 6 months. If they refused to take the breath test, the suspension would be for 12 months for a first refusal and 18 months for a second or subsequent refusal. Further, if they took the test, there would be a period of 30 days of no driving whatsoever followed by the balance of the suspension using a hardship license which would allow driving for certain tasks such as work and education. Refusing to take the breath test would lead to a 90 day period of no driving prior to eligibility for a hardship license.
Beginning July 1, 2013, the system has changed. Regardless of whether or not a motorist takes the breath test or refuses, first offenders who do not fight the administrative suspension of their driving privilege, but give up the right to challenge this suspension will still have their license suspended, however, there will be no period during which you cannot drive using a hardship license (as long as you otherwise qualify). This change will likely reduce the number of motorists willing to challenge the suspension. Motorist should beware though. This suspension will be a permanent part of your driving record if you do not challenge it, even if your court case is dismissed. Further, under Florida Law, if you qualify to have your record sealed or expunged, this administrative suspension of your driving privilege will remain on your driving record.
The experienced DUI attorneys at Katz & Phillips, P.A. are available to discuss these changes in Florida law with you, or answer any questions that you have regarding your DUI arrest. Call statewide toll free 866-464-0782. Offices located in Gainesville, Tavares, Longwood, Orlando, and Tampa. Our attorneys strive to be the best in their field. Many of our DUI focused attorneys have lectured nationally on DUI and criminal defense. The Attorneys of Katz & Phillips, P.A. have authored or coauthored 8 books on DUI defense. David Katz is one of only three attorneys in the State of Florida Board Certified as a DUI Defense Expert by the National College For DUI Defense.