MIAMI- by: Matthew E. Ladd, Esq., 305-665-3978
You wake up at TGK. You smell awful. Your car has been impounded. You hope that your phone has enough battery to call someone to pick you up. You start looking at the paperwork the officer gave you after he decided that you were DUI last night. There’s a bunch of fine print about a review hearing. You read something that seems to relate to if you blew into the breathalyzer or not. You don’t pay any attention to it. It’s fine print and you don’t even think you should be in this situation. All you want to do is sleep, and hope that when you wake up this nightmare will be over.
You pass out only to wake back up. You are still living the nightmare, only now, it’s been two days since you were pulled over. You are convinced that you need to call a lawyer because you aren’t sure if you are allowed to drive to work. You Google DUI lawyers or get a number from someone recommended to you. You make the call and figure out that you are allowed to drive to work tomorrow, but within 10 days of the arrest, your license will be suspended for six months.
The clock is ticking and you learn the time to act is now before its too late. Florida Law has a special process that will allow you to get a license to do drive to work, school, church, the doctor, and the law has even been interpreted to allow driving to the grocery store. The law explicitly allows “[A]ny driving necessary to maintain a livelihood, including driving to and from work, necessary on the job driving, driving for educations purposes, and driving for church or for medical purposes”. The terms “necessary,” “livelihood,” “educational,” and “medical” may be up for debate, but at least you know that you can get to work and back.
Getting this special “business purposes only” license requires you to take advantage of a new law passed in 2013. Fla. Stat. 322.271(2)(b) allows for the driver to request a waiver of the formal suspension review hearing (with limited exceptions) and obtain the business purposes only license. A strict condition of taking advantage of this process is to apply within 10 days of being charged.
The alternative of going through the quick waiver process is a formal administrative hearing. If you are found to have refused to blow into the machine or determined to have been driving under the influence of alcohol in violation of law then you won’t be eligible for a hardship license for 30 days if you blew and 90 days if you refused! Of course if you win, you won’t have any suspension, but you take a big risk. After the 30 or 90 days is up, the hearing officer will determine if you are allowed to have the business purposes only license, a more limited kind for “employment purposes only,” or possibly no hardship license at all.
A condition to getting a hardship license is signing up for DUI school. Two common providers that will allow you to register online is Metro Traffic School https://www.metrotrafficschool.com/dui-school.html and the Advocate Programhttps://payment.advocateprogram.com/Dui/DuiOnlineRegistration. The classes generally require a $50 down payment.
If you plan to take advantage of the waiver program and get a business purposes only license register for the DUI class before you go to the DMV and take the proof of your enrollment with $25. You will be one step closer to getting back on the road and your life back on track.
For more information related to how to get to work after your DUI call Matthew E. Ladd, Esq., 305-665-3978 or in the event it’s a weekend call the emergency line at 305-984-4649.
Nothing contained herein should be considered as formal legal advice or the formation of an attorney-client relationship. The article is written merely for general information purposes and may or may not apply to your specific situation. Exceptions exist in all circumstances and the above matter involves discretion exercised by officials.
Here’s the FAQ publised on the FLDHSMV webpage regarding the hardship license.
Hardship for Refusal Suspension
Added: September 9, 2013 / Updated: December 23, 2014
How do I get a hardship license with a Refusal to Submit to a Breath,Urine or Blood test suspension?
First offense is a one year suspension. You will be suspended as of the arrest date for one year for the first offense and 18 months for any consecutive offenses. If you have a valid driver license, you will be given a 10-day permit on the date of arrest. No hardship license is permitted if you have refused to submit 2 or more times.
First Time DUBAL or Refusal Suspension: Effective July 1, 2013
Effective July 1, 2013, the Administrative Suspension Waiver Law went into effect – Florida Statute 322.2615 (1)(b)3 and 322.271(7).
The purpose of the waiver is for you to have the opportunity to “waive” your option for a formal or informal hearing. You cannot “change your mind” once you have been approved for the waiver.
Eligibility for the waiver:
1. It’s your first Dubal or Refusal (in state or out of state).
2. Have not had a prior Refusal, Dubal, Reckless driving conviction (DUI that was reduced to a reckless) or prior DUI conviction in Florida or out of state.
3. Must apply for and have the review for the waiver within 10 days of the offense with the Administrative Review office. Click here to find a list of counties in Florida. Select your county and then scroll until you see “Under Suspension – need driver license for work” to find the Administrative Review office for that county.
4. When you contact the Administrative Review office you will be required to complete an application/affidavit for waiver and it must be witnessed by a hearing officer. If the waiver review is by telephone, application/affidavit can be witnessed by another adult.
5. If you are granted authority for the waiver, then you are immediately issued a “BPO” Business Purposes Only driver license until you appear in court for the DUI.
6. There is a $25.00 fee for the Waiver with proof of DUI school enrollment. All major credit cards accepted.
You must provide proof of enrollment in an approved DUI School to the Administrative Review office where you live for consideration for a hardship license. If given approval to reinstate early for hardship, you must pay a reinstatement fee and any applicable license fee. Failure to complete the course within 90 days after reinstatement will result in cancellation of your driver license by the department until the course is completed. If referred, treatment is required. Failure to complete treatment may result in cancellation of your driver license.
Here’s the Administrative Rule:
15A-1.019 Reinstatement; Hardship.
Any driver whose driver’s license has been suspended, revoked, or cancelled for any reason, other than those that are statutorily prohibited, and habitual offenders during the first year of their five year revocation, may apply immediately to the Department for the modification of the order or the reinstatement of a license pursuant to Section 322.271, F.S., as follows:
(1) Furnish the Department with a completed Application for Administrative Hearing (form HSMV-78306, Revised 12/13, http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-04157, and herein incorporated by reference), obtained from a Department office, and the following:
(a) Driver’s license, if in applicant’s possession.
(b) A list of all arrests for traffic violations in this and any other state.
(c) Proof of driver improvement school requirements as provided in Section 322.271, F.S.
(2) If, after the hearing, the Department modifies its suspension, revocation or cancellation order or reinstates the use of the applicant’s driver’s license, such use will be for employment or business purposes only as defined in Section 322.271, F.S. for the remaining period of the original suspension or revocation.
(3) If, after the hearing, the Department affirms its original order, no further hearing shall be held, except that another hearing shall be granted by the Department if proof of new evidence is submitted.
(4) A violation of the restrictions imposed on the use of a reinstated license shall cause the license to be automatically suspended or revoked for the remainder of the period of the original suspension or revocation.
Rulemaking Authority 322.02 FS. Law Implemented 318.15, 322.16, 322.245, 322.271, 322.28, 322.282 FS. History–New 11-20-75, Formerly 15A-1.19, Amended 12-22-92, 6-3-14.