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New Law Affects Driver License Suspensions for DUI

by Jackson Hilliard

Starting July 1, 2013, some amendments to the Florida Statutes affect Driver License Suspensions for DUI. One important amendment applies to everyone who has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida. Generally speaking, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) will suspend a driver's license if he has been arrested for a DUI and he refused to submit to a breath test or urine test. The FLHSMV will also suspend a driver's license if the results of his breath test are over a 0.08. When a driver receives a notice of suspension for DUI refusal, or breath test result over a 0.08, the driver will also receive a 10 day temporary permit. The permit expires after midnight following the tenth (10th) day after the "date of issuance of the notice of suspension."

Hard Driver License Suspensions for DUI

Once the 10 day temporary permit expires, the driver cannot drive under any circumstances. Previously, before July 1, 2013, the only way a driver could have avoided losing his ability to drive would have been to challenge the legality of his suspension through a process called an "administrative review" at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews (B.A.R.), a sub-department of the FLHSMV. If the driver did not challenge the legality of his suspension, he would have had to wait at least 30 days or more before he could have applied for a hardship license. This is known as the "hard 30" because during this period, a driver cannot drive for any reason.

Drivers With License Suspensions for DUI May Now Get Hardship Licenses Right Away

There have been some positive changes since July 1, 2013. Now, a driver may apply for a hardship license immediately after his arrest for a DUI. If he qualifies, he will not have to go without a license while he fights his DUI in court. In Pinellas, and Hillsborough Counties, the B.A.R. requires the driver to appear in person within 10 days of the date of his DUI arrest, regardless of when he actually gets a copy of his ticket, or his notice of suspension. The B.A.R. won't accept any applications that are not submitted personally by the driver himself. The driver must have proof that he has registered for DUI school and must comply with the Real ID Act. Under the Real ID Act, the driver may have to provide a birth certificate / social security card/ passport along with two forms of proof of residency, such as electric bills or bank statements.

The B.A.R. requires a driver to:

  • appear in person
  • within 10 days
  • of the date of his DUI arrest
  • have proof that he has registered for DUI school
  • comply with the Real ID Act

Do Not Wait More Than Ten Days

The Pinellas and Hillsborough B.A.R. maintains that its computer system won't allow it to issue a hardship license after midnight after the tenth day of the arrest. If you do not submit an application for a hardship license within 10 days of your arrest, the B.A.R. will not accept your application. You will have to either challenge the legality of your suspension or wait another 30 to 90 days to re-apply for a hardship license. The Pinellas B.A.R. says that it cannot accept applications after ten (10) days due to software issues. Regardless, the Pinellas and Hillsborough County B.A.R. position now is that no matter what, a driver may not apply for an eligibility review more than ten days after his arrest.

Have a Driver License Suspension For DUI? Call Today

If you have been arrested for a DUI and your license is suspended, you should consult with an attorney about your options. Jackson Hilliard is an experienced DUI defense attorney in Tampa and Clearwater Florida. Call now to schedule an appointment or contact Mr. Hilliard online at

Categories: DUI


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Hilliard Law, P.L. - Clearwater DUI Attorney
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Phone: (888) 886-5955 | Local Phone: (727) 489-2101.
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