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DUI Charges In Florida: What To Know About Administrative License Suspension


Drunk driving is a serious criminal offense in Florida. Under state law (Florida Statutes § 316.193), a motorist can be arrested and charged with a DUI if their BAC is 0.08 or higher or if they are otherwise unlawfully impaired. Of course, an arrest for drunk driving is not the same thing as a conviction for drunk driving. In criminal law, everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

However, the presumption of innocence does not apply the same way in the administrative law process. In Florida, your license can be subject to an automatic administrative suspension based solely on a DUI arrest. In this article, our Orlando DUI defense lawyer provides an in-depth guide to the most important things to know about administrative license suspensions.

Florida Automatically Administratively Suspends License for Failed DUI Tests/DUI Refusal 

To start, it is important to clarify how the administrative license process works in Florida. The administrative law process will come before any trial. In Florida, a person’s driver’s license is subject to an automatic suspension at the administrative level if either of the following two things occur:

  1. They are arrested for a DUI and their BAC is measured at 0.08 or higher; or
  2. They refuse to provide a DUI breath/blood sample (DUI refusal).

An administrative suspension means that the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) will suspend a person’s license automatically and immediately—before they ever get to have their day in court.

Note: While the administrative suspension can take immediate effect, a DUI citation is a ten-day unrestricted driver’s license in Florida. You have the right to drive for the following day after a DUI charge that leads to an administrative suspension. At that time, the full suspension will take effect.

You Must Act to Stop the Administrative Suspension 

While it is frustrating to learn that your license can be suspended administratively based solely on a DUI charge and not a DUI conviction, there is some good news: You have the right to appeal. With assistance from an attorney, you can stop the administrative license suspension from taking immediate action—but you need to be proactive. Here is the timeline:

  • To stop an immediate administrative license suspension after a DUI arrest in Florida, a person must request (demand) a formal review hearing within ten days.

It is your legal right to get a formal review hearing of an administrative license suspension. When you demand a formal review hearing, the administrative suspension will be set aside. You will retain the right to drive while you await the hearing. During this time, your Orlando DUI defense lawyer can help you put together a defense strategy. 

Set Up a Confidential Consultation With an Orlando DUI Defense Attorney

At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando DUI defense lawyer fights aggressively to protect the rights of clients. If you were arrested for intoxicated driving, we can help you take action to protect your license. Get in touch with us by phone or connect with us online to schedule your confidential initial appointment. With a law office in Orlando, we handle DUI charges throughout Central Florida.


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