Anyone who has been charged with a DUI, or has a loved one who has been charged with a DUI, can tell you that in Florida, a driver who is charged with DUI can appeal his license suspension, but if he or she loses the appeal, an automatic 30 to 90 day suspension goes into effect depending on whether or not the driver gave a breath sample over .08 (the legal limit) or refused to provide a breath sample. During the 30 to 90 day period, a driver cannot drive AT ALL - not to work, not to school, not for any other reason.
Well, that law changed this week.
According to the DHSMV (DMV), approximately 40,000 people are arrested for DUI each year, and the majority of those that request a formal appeal end up having their driver license suspensions sustained anyway.
With regard to fees, DHSMV charges a $25 fee for the formal review hearing, which is deposited into a DMV trust fund; a $48 fee for the "hardship" driver license, which is deposited into the General Revenue Fund; and a $12 fee, which is deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund, to place the "business purposes only" restriction on the driver license.
The NEW law allows a driver that has been arrested for DUI to waive his or her right to a formal review hearing and receive a driver license restricted to business purposes only, if eligible, without having to sit out the applicable 30 or 90 day period. Because the overwhelming majority of licensees that currently request a formal review end up having their driver license suspensions sustained, waiver of this hearing will result in a cost savings for DMV and allow licensees to driver legally sooner.
What does this mean for you?
If you are charged with DUI, you can now waive your right to an appeal, pay a fee, and drive on a hardship permit during your entire DMV license suspension. Thus: On a first time DUI, you can drive for work, school, medical, or religious reasons during your ENTIRE suspension period! This is great news for anyone charged with DUI in Florida.
Call the law firm of Taracks & Associates today at 813-281-2897 if you have questions about your rights under this new law change.