The strict laws in Florida make it mandatory that those charged with drunk driving face a driver’s license suspension but may obtain a hardship license. New law changes effective July 1, 2013 have modified these rules, though.

The New Florida DUI License Suspension Rules

Now, drivers will have an unrestricted 10-day license after their arrests. Drivers are permitted to request a hearing to challenge the suspension and must do so within 10 days.

Drivers arrested for DUI may receive a hardship or Business Purposes Only (BPO) license while awaiting the hearing, which allows them to drive to and from:

  • work;
  • school;
  • the doctor; and
  • any religious institution.

If the suspension order is dismissed at the hearing, the individual will be issued an unrestricted license. If the driver loses the hearing and the license suspension holds, he or she will face a 30-day hard suspension period if chemical testing revealed BAC of .08 or above, or a 90-day hard suspension period if the driver refused the testing. After this hard suspension, the driver may request a BPO license.

But if the driver does not challenge the suspension, he or she will not have to wait to drive under a BPO license. This effectively eliminates the hard suspension period during which drivers had to wait to obtain BPO license privileges.

Which option to choose?

Whether you decide to challenge the suspension or forfeit your right to challenge it and get a BPO license right away is a decision you should discuss with your attorney. The benefit to challenging is obviously that you could regain unrestricted driving privileges, though you may end up serving a hard suspension period if you are unsuccessful at the hearing.

Meanwhile, waiving the right to request the hearing allows you to obtain BPO privileges right away without serving a hard suspension. This can help ensure no interruption to your ability to drive to and from work and school, as well as doctor’s appointments or religious institutions.

Drivers in Fort Lauderdale who are facing DUI charges often should seek help from a DUI defense attorney. Go over these choices with your attorney, and start building your case against the drunk driving charges you face. This is separate from the administrative license suspension hearing.

Legal Help for Drivers Convicted of DUI Offenses in Fort Lauderdale

Call Robert David Malove for legal help if you have been charged with drunk driving and have questions about your license suspension options or if you need help building a solid defense. Call us at 888-744-8225 to set up a consultation.