A night in jail after a DUI arrest was a wake-up call for you. You now have a lot of things to think about and several matters to complete toward resolution. High on the list is wondering whether you may still drive your car.
Is your driver’s license still good? Not at first. In Florida, a DUI arrest leads to an immediate suspension of a driver’s license. As long as the driver is eligible and does not have a suspended license, the arresting officer issues the driver a temporary driving permit that is valid for only 10 days after the arrest date. The temporary permit only allows the person to drive a non-commercial motor vehicle.
Within this 10-day period, a person must decide whether to pursue a formal hearing with the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. If you request the hearing, the state immediately will issue you a 42-day hardship license that allows you to drive only for business or work purposes such as driving to work, school, picking up your children and medical visits.
If you win the hearing, you may get your driver’s license back. However, if you lose the hearing, you will have to wait 30 to 90 days to seek another hardship license. For example, if you provided a breath test, you would receive a 30-day license suspension. If you refused a breath test for the first time, your license will be suspended for 90 days.
And if you do not request a hearing, your license may be suspended for up to 18 months.
An arrest can lead to license loss
You need your driver’s license, but you do not need a DUI arrest. Remember that you do not have to have a DUI conviction to lose your driver’s license. An arrest can lead to license loss as well. Avoid getting behind the wheel after drinking. And if you do get arrested, it is crucial to seek advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney.