Florida Driving Privileges After DUI
If you have been convicted of a DUI, there is a good chance that your license will be suspended. However, Florida state law may allow you to obtain a hardship license that typically allows you to drive to work, school, or an alcohol treatment program.
Your License Is Good for 10 Days After Being Charged
Your driver's license will likely be suspended immediately after being charged with DUI. The same may be true if you refuse to submit to a chemical test during a traffic stop. However, you will generally be allowed to drive for up to 10 days after the initial suspension occurs. During this time, you may ask for an administrative hearing to lift the suspension and restore your full driving privileges.
Applying for a Hardship License in FL
In the event that local authorities agree that the initial suspension was justified, it may be possible to apply for a hardship license. If you have no previous DUI convictions, you may be able to apply for it immediately. However, for a second offense, you'll need to wait for at least a year before doing so. The same rules generally apply if you refuse to submit to a chemical test as required by the state's implied consent law.
What Happens If You're Convicted of Driving While Impaired?
For a first offense, your license will be suspended for at least six months. If you are convicted of this offense for a second time within five years, your license will be suspended for at least five years. Subsequent convictions may result in permanent license revocation, and there is also a chance that you'll be sentenced to jail or prison time.
A Judge Could Impose Other Limitations
The judge in your case may require that you use an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle as a condition of obtaining a hardship license. Prior to starting your vehicle, you must blow into the device, and if it detects alcohol on your breath, the car will not start. As a general rule, you'll be required to pay for the device and for its maintenance. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may need to stay on your vehicle after your license suspension comes to an end.
If you have been charged with DUI, it may be in your best interest to contact the professionals at First Coast Criminal Defense by calling (904) 474-3115. The firm may be able to help you get the charge dropped, negotiate a favorable plea deal or take other steps to preserve your ability to operate a motor vehicle.