Florida Amends DUI Administrative Suspension Laws

Effective on July 1, 2013, the rules regulating the administrative suspension of a driver's license after a DUI arrest, and the right to review that administrative suspension, change.

Changes to Florida's DUI Administrative Hearings

If you have no prior DUI convictions or administrative suspensions or convictions for an alcohol/drug-related offense, there are three options:

  • request an informal review hearing;
  • request a formal review hearing; or
  • request a hearing for a “Business Purpose Only” restricted driving privilege. That request waives the right to a formal or informal review hearing.

DHSMV is taking the position that the date of the DUI arrest controls. So, for example, if the arrest and notice of suspension are dated before July 1, 2013 there is no option to avoid the “hard time” suspension by immediately requesting a “review of eligibility.” However, if the DUI arrest date and/or notice of suspension are dated July 1, 2013, or later, then the new regulations apply.

The New Formal Review Hearing Process

Florida Statute Section 322.2615 (amended)

Florida Statute Section 322.2615, “Suspension of license; right to review” will provide:

“[t]he driver may request a formal or informal review of the suspension by the department within 10 days after the date of issuance of the notice of suspension or may request a review of eligibility for a restricted driving privilege under s. 322.271(7).“

Florida Statute Section 322.271(7) (amended)

Effective July 1, 2013, Florida Statute Section 322.271(7) will provide:

Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 322.2615(10)(a) and (b), a person who has never previously had a driver license suspended under s. 322.2615 [an administrative suspension], has never been disqualified under section s. 322.64 [related to operating a commercial vehicle while under the influence], has never been convicted of a violation of s. 316.193 [DUI], and whose driving privilege is now suspended under section s. 322.2615 is eligible for a restricted driving privilege pursuant to a hearing under section (2).

(a) For purposes of this subsection, a previous conviction outside of this state for driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, driving with an unlawful blood-alcohol level, or any other alcohol-related or drug-related traffic offense similar to the offense of driving under the influence as provided in s. 316.193 will be considered a previous conviction for a violation of s. 316.193, and a conviction for violation of former s. 316.028, former s. 316.1931, or former s. 860.01 is considered a conviction for a violation of s. 316.193.

(b) The reinstatement shall be restricted to business purposes only, as defined in this section, for the duration of the suspension imposed under s. 322.2615.(c) Acceptance of the reinstated driving privilege as provided in this subsection is deemed a waiver of the right to formal and informal review under s. 322.2615. The waiver may not be used as evidence in any other proceeding.