Florida DUI – Why did the police officer take my driver’s license?

Many drivers do not realize that in the state of Florida drivers have given their implied consent to submit to a blood alcohol content test (BAC) if they are asked do so by a law enforcement officer.

Topographic map of the State of Florida, USA (...

So when can a Florida police officer take your driver’s license? Under Florida driving statutes they may seize your Florida license if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher or if you decline to take the blood alcohol content test (which can include testing of your blood, breath or urine).

Generally, the arresting officer will confiscate the driver’s license at the scene and issue a ticket which can also act as the driver’s temporary driving permit. The temporary driving permit will be good for the next 10 days. At which time the driver must decide if they will file a request for an administrative license hearing or they will begin the administrative license suspension without fighting the civil charges. Administrative license suspensions must be challenged within 10 days from the date of the Florida drunk driving arrest.

The length of time for the administrative license suspension will depend on whether you took the test and failed or whether you refused the test and the number of times you have been arrested for DUI or refused the BAC testing in the past.

Drivers usually can request a hardship license 30 days after the administrative license suspension (or 90 days if they refused the BAC test), but this license will only allow them to drive at specific times and to specific locations such as school or work. Hardship licenses are also only allowed after you have completed a DUI school and applied to the department for a hearing. The court will require you to install an ignition interlock device for up to 6 months if your blood alcohol content is 0.15% or higher.

I was not convicted of DUI. Why did I lose my license?


Many drivers think that if they are ultimately found not guilty of drunk driving that they will automatically get their driver’s license reinstated. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, driving in Florida is a privilege, not a right, and the administrative penalties imposed by the state are separate from the criminal punishments imposed under Florida’s DUI laws.

Even if you are eventually found not guilty or if you are acquitted of the drunk driving charges you may still not be able to drive until you complete the suspension and the reinstatement procedures.

What happens to my commercial license in Florida after DUI?


If you have been convicted of driving under the influence Florida you will lose your commercial driver’s license for one year and you will not be eligible to apply for a hardship license. After the one year suspension you may pay the disqualification reinstatement fee  and restore your commercial driver’s license.  Commercial drivers who are arrested for drunk driving in Florida and who were transporting hazardous materials will have to wait three years before they can have their commercial driver’s license restored.

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Beth L. is a content developer for LeadRival, a cutting edge company that helps connect DUI lawyers with DUI clients. Beth L. writes about a variety of DUI topics to help drivers who have been arrested for DUI, getting them the legal help they need.

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