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How to Get Your Driving Privileges Back after a DUI Arrest & Administrative Suspension

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Woman smiling and presenting her driver's license

If you have been arrested for DUI and blew 0.08 or higher, or refused to take a breath or other test, your driving privileges will be administratively suspended for a period before you go to court on the DUI charge. When you get arrested for DUI, you must deal with two difference issues, one involving the criminal DUI case, and one involving your driving privileges. Your driver’s license can be administratively suspension after a DUI arrest if either:

  • your blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level is 0.08 or higher; or
  • you refused to submit to a breath, blood or urine test.

What Happens If I Refuse to Submit to a Breath, Blood or Urine Test?

Under Florida law, your refusal will result in your driver’s license being immediately suspended for one year. If you have been previously arrested for DUI and refused to take the test on that occasion, your license will be suspended for eighteen months. You have a right challenge the administrative suspension of your driving privileges. You have 10 days after your arrest to request a Formal Review Hearing to challenge the driver’s license suspension.

What is the 10 Day Rule?

After a DUI arrest and administrative license suspension a driver has 10 days to go to the DMV to request a Formal Review Hearing to challenge the suspension. If you do not request an administrative hearing within 10 days of your arrest, your driving privileges will be automatically suspended.

What is the Formal Review Process?

A formal review is an administrative hearing. During the hearing the arresting officer and any other officers involved may testify. You have the right to question the arresting officer, breath test operator, and other witnesses in the case. You will also have an opportunity to present evidence that could show that your license was illegally suspended. At the end of the hearing, the hearing officer will review the evidenced and decide whether your driving privileges should be reinstated.

Can you Get Your Driving Privileges Reinstated at the Formal Review Hearing?

You may be able to get your suspension lifted for a number of different reasons. Some grounds for lifting the suspension include:

  • an illegal traffic stop
  • lack of evidence

Illegal Traffic Stop

An officer needs more than a hunch before he can stop a vehicle. An officer cannot stop a vehicle unless he observes a traffic violation, or observes signs that a driver is impaired. For example, occasionally a police officer will suspect that a vehicle is speeding but does not know how fast the vehicle is actually going. If the police illegally stop your vehicle, your license was illegally suspended and your driver’s license should be reinstated.

Lack of Evidence

Where there is no evidence that a driver committed a DUI a hearing office cannot conclude an administrative suspension is valid. For example, if the police did not observe you driving the vehicle there is no probable cause for an arrest. If there is no evidence that the driver was behind the wheel a hearing officer cannot conclude that the suspension was valid.

Can You Appeal the Formal Review Hearing?

Occasionally, the hearing officer gets it wrong. You have the option of appealing the decision if the hearing officer got it wrong.

If you or a loved one need help getting your driving privileges reinstated call Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813 229-5353.

Daniel J. Fernandez

Daniel J. Fernandez

Daniel J. Fernandez defends individuals charged with a misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses throughout the Tampa Bay area and the State of Florida. With more than 30 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney and hundreds of jury trials, Daniel earned tremendous accolades from judges, other lawyers, defendants, and even jurors. Daniel started his legal career as a state prosecutor and became the chief of the Narcotics division before opening his own law practice in 1985.

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