If you do not act, your driver's license will be suspended for six months or more, depending on your criminal history and the circumstances of your arrest. It could be 12 or 18 months if you refused to provide a sample of your breath, blood, and/or urine.
Given Florida's new 10-day rule law, you must contact a DUI attorney immediately. Experienced Florida DUI attorney Matt Shafran, an experienced former prosecutor, will aggressively fight for your rights and the reinstatement of your driver's license. He will work tirelessly for the best possible outcome for your case.
What Action Can I Take During the 10-Day Window to Retain My Driving Privileges?
You have two options during this window if it is your first DUI.
Request an Administrative Hearing
You can request a hearing to decide whether there was probable cause for your DUI arrest. Your driver's license could be reinstated if your court determines there was no probable cause.
After your arrest, you are given a "hardship" license, which allows you to drive for 42 days but only for business purposes. Losing your hearing may result in waiting 30 or even 90 days to get another hardship license.
Forfeit Your Right to a Hearing
If you forfeit your right to a hearing, you could obtain a hardship license immediately, which lasts for the duration of your administrative suspension related to a first-time DUI. One caveat of this license is that you must enroll in DUI school before receiving it.
What If This Is Not My First DUI?
You can still request an administrative hearing to determine whether there was probable cause for your arrest. However, a hardship license is not an option if you have previous DUIs.
What Other Factors Determine Whether Your Driver's License Is Suspended?
Violating Florida's Implied Consent Law
Refusing a sobriety test can mean an automatic suspension of your license. Florida's Implied Consent Law, detailed in Statute 316.1932, states:
“Any person who accepts the privilege extended by the laws of this state of operating a motor vehicle within this state is, by so operating such vehicle, deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to an approved chemical test or physical test including, but not limited to, an infrared light test of his or her breath for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his or her blood or breath if the person is lawfully arrested for any offense allegedly committed while the person was driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages.”
In other words, by accepting the privilege of a driver's license in Florida, you agreed that you would comply with lawful requests to test your blood or breath to register the alcohol content in your blood. A mandatory license suspension is the result of refusing these tests.
Two DUI Convictions Within Five Years
Two DUIs within a five-year period result in a mandatory suspension of your driver's license and your vehicle will be impounded for an additional period.
Four DUI Convictions
Your driver's license will be permanently revoked if you are convicted of four DUIs, regardless of the time lapsed between them.
Keep in mind that other factors may impact your driving privileges. If your blood alcohol level is higher than .15, you may have to install an ignition interlock that requires you to blow into the device to check for alcohol in your system before you can drive the car. There is an installation fee as well as a monthly fee that you must pay.