Is your driver’s license suspended immediately after a DUI in Florida?
The short answer is: yes, your license will typically be suspended immediately after a DUI in Florida. But the reality of it is a little more complicated than that.
Here’s the long answer: whenever law enforcement stops you on the grounds of suspected driving under the influence, you’ll be given two options. Either you can agree to submit to a breathalyzer test or blood test to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC) or you can refuse.
Here’s the problem—refusing to submit a sample will automatically earn you a 12-month license suspension.
On the other hand, if you consent to submitting the sample and your BAC comes back at or above 0.08% (the legal limit for driving in Florida) then you’ll also have your license suspended.
In other words, there’s really no way around it—whether you choose to consent to the breath test or not. Law enforcement is likely to take your license immediately if your BAC is above the legal limit.
So what do you do next?
The 10-day rule
Law enforcement will confiscate your license immediately following a DUI arrest—but the license suspension itself won’t actually take effect until 10 days later. In Florida, this is called the 10-day rule.
For the 10-day period following your DUI charge, your DUI ticket acts as a temporary license. But you’ll only be allowed to drive for business purposes, such as:
Driving to/from work
Driving to your DUI attorney’s office or to court
Driving to the grocery store
Driving to church
This 10-day grace period is also the time to challenge your suspension. If you would like to dispute your driver’s license suspension, you must request an administrative hearing before your ten days are up.
Key Takeaway Florida law dictates the immediate suspension of your license following a DUI arrest. But you’ll have 10 days to challenge the suspension, during which time your DUI citation acts as a stand-in driver’s license.
Can you prevent a license suspension after a DUI?
In order to avoid a lengthy license suspension, you’ll need to act within 10 days of the arrest. You can contact the
(FLHSMV) to challenge the suspension and request a hearing. Once you’ve done so, you’ll be issued a temporary hardship license that lets you continue driving for business purposes only (work, school, etc.).
A license suspension isn’t the only penalty you could face following a DUI charge. There are several other consequences that come with a conviction—and repeated offenders face even harsher repercussions.
A first-time DUI conviction can earn you a license suspension between6 and 12 months—but if you refuse to submit to a sobriety test, that length of time automatically becomes a year.
In addition to a suspended license, you’ll also face a mandatory fine of at least$500to$1,000 and the possibility of jail time between 10 days and 6 months.
If you’re arrested on a DUI charge with prior DUI convictions on your record, you’ll face a significantly longer suspension period—at least five years, to be exact. On top of a five-year suspension, you’ll also face a mandatory10-day jail sentence and have to pay anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000 in fines.
A third DUI offense automatically becomes a third-degree felony charge if it occurs within 10 years of a previous drunk driving conviction. Otherwise, it’s considered a third-degree misdemeanor. The consequences for a third DUI offense in Florida include:
Fines between $2,000 and $5,000
A 30-day mandatory sentence
Up to 12 months in jail for misdemeanor charges, or up to five years for felony charges
Mandatory 10-year license suspension. Any further DUI charges may result in the permanent revocation of your driver’s license.
How to get a hardship license during a Florida license suspension
If you request a hearing within 10 days of your DUI arrest, you may be issued a temporary hardship license. But if your court date comes and goes and your lawyer can’t get the administrative suspension of your driver’s license overturned—or if you’re a repeat offender facing a mandatory license revocation—then you’ll have to apply for a hardship license instead.
Also called a “business purposes only” license, or BPO license, your Florida hardship license grants you the ability to retain driving privileges under certain conditions, such as driving to work, school, or the store. But you’ll be limited to driving only to these necessary places—and you’ll have to do so within the curfew of your hardship license.
It’s important you follow these restrictions to the letter. If you’re caught driving outside the bounds of your BPO license, you could face further criminal charges—such as driving without a license—which could come with even harsher consequences.
4.7/5 App Store Rating. Trusted by 2+ Million Customers.
Do you automatically lose your license after a DUI in Florida?
Yes. In most cases, the arresting officer will confiscate your driver’s license immediately following a DUI arrest in Florida. But according to state law, you’ll be granted a ten-day grace period during which your DUI ticket acts as a temporary driver’s license.
How do you reinstate your license after a DUI in Florida?
In most cases, you’ll have to pay a reinstatement fee before you can get your Florida driver’s license back. This fee is in addition to any other court-mandated fees or fines you’ve been issued as a result of your DUI conviction. Depending on the nature and severity of the arrest, there may be other conditions for reinstating your license—such as completing DUI school, purchasing