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10 Day Rule

FLORIDA DHSMV PENALTIES

In addition to the criminal penalties for DUI imposed by the courts, the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) imposes their own administrative sanctions for drivers charged with DUI. These administrative sanctions happen immediately, and are completely independent from the criminal process. In other words, a driver could win their DUI case in court, or have the charges against them dismissed, but still have their driving privileges suspended or sanctioned at the administrative hearing.

Florida Implied Consent Law requires a driver to submit to a chemical test in order to measure his/her blood alcohol content (BAC). Florida driver's licenses specifically state on the bottom, "Operation of a motor vehicle constitutes consent to any sobriety test required by law." If a driver refuses to provide a breath, blood, or urine sample, under Florida Law the penalty is a one (1) year suspension for a first refusal or eighteen (18) months for a second. Additionally, the second refusal can be charged as a separate criminal offense in and of itself.

These administrative suspensions can be challenged, however, by requesting a formal review hearing with the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles within ten (10) days of the arrest. Failure to file the request for a hearing within the allotted ten (10) days will result in the automatic suspension of your license. The Law Offices of David Golden, P.A. can assist you in applying for a formal review hearing, and can assist you in obtaining a temporary driving permit until the hearing is resolved, in most cases. Interestingly enough, this is not recommended for every case, and could cause delay when a driver may otherwise have obtained their hardship license. Contact the Law Offices of David Golden, P.A. today for a free consultation to make sure you understand all of your options. The following information regarding administrative suspensions has been reprinted directly from the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicle Website, and is also available for your easy access from our Useful Resources link:

Administrative Suspension of Persons Under the Age of 21 for Driving With an Alcohol Level .02 or Above

Section 322.2616, Florida Statutes, authorizes law enforcement officers having probable cause to believe that a motor vehicle is being driven by or is in the actual physical control of a person who is under the age of 21 while under the influence of alcoholic beverages, or who has any alcohol level, may lawfully detain this person and may request them to submit to a test to determine the alcohol level. This violation is neither a traffic infraction nor a criminal offense, nor does being detained under this statute constitute an arrest.

  • First Suspension for Persons Under the Age of 21 With an Alcohol Level .02 or above: 6 months.
  • Second or Subsequent Suspensions: 1 year.
  • First Suspension for Refusal to Submit to Breath Test: 1 year.
  • Second or Subsequent Suspensions for Refusal: 18 months.
  • The suspension is effective immediatelyl. If the breath or blood alcohol level is .05 or higher, the suspension shall remain in effect until completion of a substance abuse evaluation and course. The officer will issue the driver a temporary permit effective 12 hours after issuance, which is valid for 10 days, provided the driver is otherwise eligible.

Administrative Suspension Laws 322.261S, F.S., s. 316.193, F.S., s.
316.1932, F.S.

  • First Suspension for Driving With an Unlawful Alcohol Level (.08 or above): 6 months.
  • Second or Subsequent Suspensions for Driving With an Unlawful Alcohol Level (.08 or above): 1 year.
  • First Suspension for Refusal to Submit to Breath, Urine, or Blood Test: 1 year.
  • Second or Subsequent Suspensions for Refusal: 18 months.
  • The suspension is effective immediately. The officer will issue the driver a
    temporary permit valid for 10 days from the date of arrest, provided the driver is otherwise eligible.

Administrative Disqualification Law

  • First Disqualification for Driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle With an Unlawful Blood Alcohol Level (.04 or above): 6 months disqualification
  • Second or Subsequent Disqualification of Driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle with an Unlawful Alcohol Level (.04 or above): 1 year disqualification.
  • First Disqualification for Refusal to Submit to Breath, Urine, or Blood Test Arising from the Operation of a Commercial Motor Vehicle: 1 year disqualification.
  • Second or Subsequent Disqualification for Refusal to Submit to Breath, Urine, or Blood Test Arising from the Operation of a Commercial Motor Vehicle: permanently disqualified.
  • The disqualification is effective immediately upon refusal of the breath, urine, or blood test, or the determination that the driver has a blood alcohol level of .08 or above, while operating or in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle. The officer will issue the driver a temporary permit which is valid for 10 days from the date of arrest or disqualification, provided the driver is otherwise eligible. However, the permit does not authorize the operation of a commercial motor vehicle for the first 24 hours of disqualification.

Review Hearings For Administrative Suspensions And Disqualifications

Sections s. 322.2615 and s. 322.64, F.S., authorize the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, upon the request of the driver, to conduct formal and informal reviews for the purpose of sustaining, amending, or invalidating administrative suspensions and disqualifications. The decisions of the department shall not be considered in any trial for a violation of s. 316.193, F.S., nor shall any written statement submitted by a person in his request for review be admissible into evidence against him in any such trial. The disposition of any related criminal proceedings shall not affect a suspension/disqualification.

Business or Employment Reinstatement:

1.Suspension for Driving With an Unlawful Alcohol Level of .08 or above or Refusal: Must show proof of enrollment in DUI school and apply for an administrative hearing for possible hardship reinstatement. For unlawful alcohol level the defendant must serve 30 days without a driver's license or permit prior to eligibility for hardship reinstatement. For first refusal, must serve 90 days without driver license or permit prior to eligibility for hardship reinstatement. No hardship reinstatement for two or more refusals.

2. Suspension for Persons Under Age of 21 Driving with a Breath Alcohol Level of .02 or above: Must complete a traffic law and substance abuse education course before hardship reinstatement. If BAC is .05 or higher, must complete DUI program prior to eligibility for hardship reinstatement. Must serve 30 days without driver license or permit prior to eligibility for hardship reinstatement.

Hardship License Prohibited:

1. Florida law prohibits any hardship reinstatement upon 2nd or subsequent suspension for test refusal, or if the driver has been convicted of DUI section 316.193, F.S., two or more times.

2. Persons disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle cannot obtain a hardship license to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

Contact a Stuart DUI Lawyer today if you have been charged with drunk driving in Martin County, Indian River County, Okeechobee County, or St. Lucie County!

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