Tampa DUI and Your Driver’s License

Tampa DUI and Your Driver’s License

Issues From A DUI For Specific Types of Driver’s Licenses:

 

FLORIDA DUI AND YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE

What Happens To My Driver’s License After A Florida DUI Arrest?

When you were arrested the law enforcement officer issued you a Florida DUI Uniform Traffic Citation.  In most cases that citation will serve as a temporary driver’s license for 10 days.   To verify this, look at the bottom of your citation.   You will see the words “ELIGIBLE FOR PERMIT.”   If the box next to these words is checked “yes” you can drive for 10 days from the date of your arrest.  If the box is checked “no” your license is suspended.

If you have been arrested for DUI in Florida, two separate cases will result.  The first case is called the Administrative Case.  The Administrative Case deals with whether or not your Florida driver’s license will be suspended and for how long.  The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles handles the Administrative Case.  The second case is called the Criminal Case.  DUI is designated a criminal offense because it can lead to a jail or prison sentence.  The State Attorney’s Office in the county where you were arrested handles the Criminal Case.  An Attorney should represent you in both of these cases.

With respect to the Administrative Case, if you do nothing in the 10 days after your DUI arrest, your license will be suspended as follows:  If you submitted to a breath test and your blood alcohol level was above .08, your license will be suspended for six months.  If you refused the breath test, your license will be suspended for one year.  If this is your second or subsequent refusal, your license will be suspended for eighteen months.

Your attorney can fight the DHSMV administrative suspension by requesting a DHSMV Formal Review Hearing within 10 days of your arrest.  If your attorney requests a Formal Review Hearing the DHSMV can issue you a 42-day temporary driving permit that will delay the suspensions listed above.

If this is your first DUI you can give up your right to a Formal Review Hearing and apply for a Business Purpose Only License, within 10 days of your arrest.  With a Business Purpose Only License you can drive during your suspension period to and from work, school, medical appointments, and religious services.  The decision of whether to apply for a Business Purpose Only License and give up your right to a Formal Review Hearing should be made in consultation with your attorney.

If this is your second or subsequent DUI, you are not eligible for a Business Purpose Only License in the first 10 days after your arrest.  However, your attorney can still request a Formal Review Hearing.  If after the Formal Review Hearing the DHSMV does suspend your license your attorney may still be able to help you to get a Business Purpose Only License after a 30-day or 90-day waiting period.

Remember, Just because you were arrested for DUI does not mean you will be convicted of DUI.  Your attorney can fight to have your DUI charge reduced to reckless driving, or dismissed.

What Is The Difference Between A Florida Driver’s License That Has Been Suspended For DUI And A Florida Driver’s License That Has Been Revoked For DUI?

Florida Driver’s License DUI Suspension:

In Florida, a driver’s license suspension is a temporary withdrawal of a person’s privilege to drive a motor vehicle.  However, once the period of suspension ends and/or the appropriate fees are paid, the person automatically gets their license back.

In the context of a Florida DUI case, if after an arrest for DUI a driver provides a breath or blood alcohol sample .08 or above, the police officer that arrested the driver will suspend the driver’s license for 6 months.  If the driver refuses to provide a breath, blood, or urine sample, the police officer will suspend the driver’s license for 12 months for a first-time refusal and 18 months if the driver has a prior refusal.

Florida Driver’s License DUI Revocation:

In Florida, a driver’s license revocation is a termination of a person’s privilege to drive a motor vehicle.  To get a new driver’s license, the person must reapply, and the Florida DHSMV does not have to grant the person a new driver’s license.

In the context of DUI cases, Judges are required to revoke a person’s driver’s license upon a conviction for DUI.

What is a Florida Business Purposes Only License? 

A Florida Business Purposes Only License means a driving privilege that is limited to any driving necessary to maintain livelihood, including driving to and from work, necessary on-the-job driving, driving for educational purposes, and driving for church and for medical purposes.

 

FLORIDA DUI AND COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSE HOLDERS

What is a Florida Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)? 
In Florida, a Commercial Driver License (CDL) is a Class A, Class B, or Class C driver license.

What Is A Considered A Commercial Vehicle In Florida? 
In Florida, a commercial motor vehicle is any motor vehicle used on the streets or highways, which has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more; or, is designed to transport more than 15 persons, including the driver; or is transporting hazardous materials and is required to be placarded.

What Happens If A Florida CDL Holder Drives A Commercial Motor Vehicle With A Breath Or Blood Alcohol Level Greater Than 0 But Less Than .04?
A Florida CDL holder who has any alcohol in his or her body may not drive or be in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle. A CDL holder who has a breath or blood alcohol level greater than 0 but less than .04 is guilty of a civil traffic infraction.

What Happens If A Florida CDL Holder Drives A Commercial Motor Vehicle With A Blood Alcohol Level Greater Than .04?
If the DHSMV finds that a Florida CDL holder drove a commercial vehicle with a blood-alcohol level greater than .04, the DHSMV will disqualify the person from holding a Florida CDL for one year. If the CDL holder was transporting hazardous materials, the disqualification is at least three years. The person is not eligible for a hardship license to operate a commercial motor vehicle.  If the DHSMV finds that a Florida CDL holder has driven a commercial vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of .04 on more than one occasion, the DHSMV will disqualify the person from holding a Florida CDL for life.

What Happens If A Florida CDL Holder Driving A Commercial Vehicle Or A Non-Commercial Vehicle Is Arrested For DUI Or Refuses A Breath, Blood, Or Urine Test?
When a CDL holder is arrested for DUI, or when a CDL holder refuses a breath, blood, or urine test, Florida law allows a law enforcement officer to confiscate the person’s CDL and disqualify the person’s from re-obtaining a Florida CDL.  It does not matter if the CDL holder was driving a commercial vehicle or some other motor vehicle at the time of the arrest or refusal – the same disqualification applies.

After confiscating the person’s CDL, the law enforcement officer will issue the person a 10-day temporary permit so the person can drive a non-commercial vehicle for 10 days.  Within those 10 days, the driver may request a formal or informal review of the CDL disqualification.

If the person disqualified requests an Informal Review Hearing, a DHSMV Hearing Officer will examine the materials submitted by the law enforcement officer and any materials submitted by the person disqualified.  The presence of the law enforcement officer or other witness is not required.  After the Informal Review, within 21 days after the expiration of the person’s 10-day temporary permit, the DHSMV must notify the person whether the officer’s disqualification of the CDL has been sustained, amended, or invalidated.

If the person disqualified requests a Formal Review Hearing, a DHSMV Hearing Officer will schedule a hearing in which witnesses may testify and a defense attorney may appear on behalf of the person disqualified.  The defense attorney can subpoena witnesses and question them under oath at the hearing.  Within 7 working days after a Formal Review Hearing, the DHSMV must notify the person whether the officer’s disqualification of the CDL has been sustained, amended, or invalidated.

In a Formal Review Hearing or an Informal Review Hearing, the scope of the review is limited to the following issues:

If the person was disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for driving with an unlawful blood-alcohol level:

  1. Whether the law enforcement officer had probable cause to believe that the person was driving or in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle, or any motor vehicle if the driver holds a commercial driver license, while he or she had any alcohol, chemical substances, or controlled substances in his or her body.
  1. Whether the person had an unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher.

If the person was disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for refusal to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test:

  1. Whether the law enforcement officer had probable cause to believe that the person was driving or in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle, or any motor vehicle if the driver holds a commercial driver license, in this state while he or she had any alcohol, chemical substances, or controlled substances in his or her body.
  1. Whether the person refused to submit to the test after being requested to do so by a law enforcement officer or correctional officer.
  1. Whether the person was told that if he or she refused to submit to such test he or she would be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of 1 year or, if previously disqualified under this section, permanently.

With respect to both the informal hearings and formal hearings, if the DHSMV Officer finds by the preponderance of the evidence that the law enforcement officer’s suspension of the CDL should be sustained, the person’s CDL will be disqualified as follows:

For A First Time Unlawful Blood-Alcohol Level Or Breath-Alcohol Level of 0.08 Or Higher:

One-year disqualification for a CDL. If the CDL holder was transporting hazardous materials in a commercial vehicle, the disqualification is at least three years.  The person is not eligible for a hardship license to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

For A First Time Refusal To Submit To A Breath, Blood, Or Urine Test:

One-year disqualification for a CDL. If the CDL holder was transporting hazardous materials in a commercial vehicle, the disqualification is at least three years.  The person is not eligible for a hardship license to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

For A Second Time Unlawful Blood-Alcohol Level Or Breath-Alcohol Level of .08 Or Higher:

Permanent lifetime disqualification.

For A Second Time Refusal To Submit To A Breath, Blood, or Urine Test:

Permanent lifetime disqualification.

What Happens If A Florida CDL Holder Is Convicted In Court Of A First Time DUI:

Regardless of whether the CDL holder was driving a commercial vehicle or a non-commercial vehicle, there is a one-year disqualification for a CDL.  If the CDL holder was transporting hazardous materials in a commercial vehicle, the disqualification is at least three years.  The person is not eligible for a hardship license to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

What Happens If A Florida CDL Holder Is Convicted In Court Of a Second Refusal to Submit to Testing:

Regardless of whether the CDL holder was driving a commercial vehicle or a non-commercial vehicle, there is a lifetime disqualification of a CDL.  The person is not eligible for a hardship license to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

Are you looking for the best DUI lawyer in Tampa Florida? Contact Attorney David C. Hardy.

Tampa Attorney David C. Hardy is a former DUI prosecutor that now represents persons accused of DUI.  He is Board Certified by the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy as an Expert in Criminal Trial Law. As a prosecutor and defense attorney, he has extensive experience handling all types of DUI cases.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI in Hillsborough County Florida, Pinellas County Florida, or Pasco County Florida, Attorney David C. Hardy has the knowledge, skills, and experience to guide you through this process and obtain the best possible results.