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Treasure Coast 10 Day Rule


DHSMV PENALTIES
The Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) has their own set of administrative sanctions that they impose on drivers who have been charged with DUI.  These sanctions are completely separate from the criminal process, and happen immediately. In other words, even if you win your case at your criminal trial, you can still lose your driving privileges, or have them sanctioned, at the DHSMV hearing. Likewise, you could get your driver’s license reinstated at the DHSMV hearing, but lose it again if you are found guilty in criminal court.

Under Florida’s Implied Consent Law, when a driver is pulled over on suspicion of DUI, he/she is required to submit to a chemical test in order to measure his/her blood alcohol content (BAC). On the bottom of your Florida driver's license, it specifically states, "Operation of a motor vehicle constitutes consent to any sobriety test required by law." If you refuse to take a breath, blood, or urine test at the request of an officer, the penalties include a one (1) year suspension for a first refusal or eighteen (18) months for a second. In addition, a second refusal can be charged as a separate criminal offense in and of itself.  Furthermore, if you take a chemical test and your BAC is above the legal limit of 0.08%, then your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for six (6) months (for a first time refusal).

You have 10 days from the date of your DUI arrest to request a formal review hearing with the DHSMV. At this hearing, you and your attorney have the opportunity to challenge your arrest and fight to get your driving privileges reinstated. Failure to request a hearing within 10 days waives your right to a hearing, resulting in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. Treasure Coast DUI Attorney David Golden is very experienced in this area of DUI law, and can assist you in applying for a formal review hearing and obtaining a temporary driving permit until your hearing is resolved.  However, a hearing with the DHSMV is not the best option for every case, especially when a driver could have otherwise obtained a hardship license. If you have been charged with DUI, it is important contact the Law Offices of David Golden, P.A. today.  Mr. Golden will discuss your case and 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 immediately. 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 the BAC is .05 or higher, they must complete a 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.

David Golden P.A. - Stuart Criminal Defense Attorney
Located at 903 SE Central Pkwy Stuart, FL 34994. View Map
Phone: (772) 220-4400
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