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Do drivers lose their license immediately after a DUI in Florida?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Drunk Driving |

Losing the privilege to drive can be a big blow for individuals who commute to work or heavily rely on their vehicles for everyday errands or business operations. Such individuals may wonder if they will automatically lose their driver’s license as soon as they get arrested for a DUI.

By exploring the specifics of license suspension in Florida, concerned individuals can manage their expectations and have a clearer understanding of how the law applies in their situation.

Florida’s 10-day rule

Contrary to popular belief, the Sunshine State’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) does not suspend a driver’s license immediately after someone gets arrested for a DUI. Just because law enforcement will confiscate a driver’s license does not mean the individual’s driving privileges have been suspended.

A motorist can still legally operate their vehicle by using the DUI citation as a temporary license. The temporary permit is to help ensure individuals still make it to medical appointments, commute to work or drive their kids to school.

In the meantime, the driver has a 10-day window to challenge the suspension by requesting a formal review with the DHSMV. Individuals can benefit from seeking appropriate legal guidance to help ensure they have the legal support they need at the hearing.

A successful outcome is the reinstatement of a driver’s license with no suspension. However, most motorists are granted a hardship license to help ensure they continue to fulfill crucial adult obligations like driving to work during certain hours.

Hardship licenses: Limited driving privileges?

Motorists can still be eligible for a hardship license even after their driving privileges are suspended after the review process. Such motorists may still contend with limitations like breathalyzer interlock devices installed in their vehicles.

To successfully obtain a hardship license, a driver ought to demonstrate that the suspension of their driving privileges caused them legitimate hardship. For instance, if they have a dependent who requires medical checkups, a reliable legal team can help them argue that it has been challenging to transport their loved one to and from the hospital since the suspension.

Facing a DUI charge can be overwhelming, but being informed about the available options can ease the burdens of this process. Motorists who find themselves in this situation can benefit from consulting with a legal team to help ensure that they take the appropriate steps to protect their driving privileges.


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