In Florida, it’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other chemical substances. Driving under the influence (DUI) can result in serious legal consequences, including revoking your driver’s license.
While many drivers believe that multiple DUIs are required to lose their license, the truth is that a single DUI conviction will lead to the loss of your driver’s license under Florida law. The exact length of the revocation period varies depending on the unique circumstances of the offense.
There are two ways to lose your driver’s license in Florida: suspension and revocation. A suspension is a temporary loss of your driving privileges. Upon completion of the suspension period, you can apply for reinstatement of your existing driver’s license.
In contrast, revocation is the permanent termination of your driving privileges under your existing driver’s license. The only way to fully regain your driving privileges after revocation is to seek a new driver’s license as if you were applying for a license for the first time.
After you’re arrested for DUI, you’ll face an automatic 6-month administrative suspension of your license if you took the breath test and blew over a .08. If you refused the breath test then you will face a 12-month suspension.
During the first 10 days of the suspension period, you can challenge the suspension with the DMV. If you can present strong evidence that there were errors in your arrest, or in the administration of the breath test, you may be able to regain your full driving privilege until your criminal case is resolved. If your trial ultimately results in a conviction, your driver’s license will be suspended by the court.
|Offense||Length of revocation|
|First-time DUI without bodily injury||6 months to 1 year|
|First-time DUI with serious bodily injury||3-year minimum|
|Second DUI within 5 years||5 years|
|Second DUI (more than 5 years since last conviction)||6 months to 1 year|
|Third DUI within 10 years of second conviction||10-year minimum|
|Third DUI (more than 10 years since last conviction)||6 months to 1 year|
|Fourth and subsequent offenses||Permanently revoked|
|DUI manslaughter||Permanently revoked|
Once you’ve been convicted of a DUI, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) will notify you that your license has been revoked and will specify the length of the revocation period.
You’ll also be notified of your right to request a hardship reinstatement, which allows the FLHSMV to restore restricted driving privileges — such as driving for work purposes — without a full reinstatement of your driver’s license.
If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Florida, it’s important to take immediate steps to protect your driving privileges. An experienced attorney can help you challenge any administrative suspensions and explore the possibility of hardship reinstatement so that you may continue driving while your case is pending.
They can also mount a compelling defense against your DUI charge to reduce your odds of facing other penalties, such as fines or jail time.
Katz & Phillips, P.A. is a criminal defense law firm with extensive experience in DUI cases throughout the state of Florida. In fact, David Katz and James Phillips are two of only four board-certified DUI defense experts in Florida. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let our board-certified DUI defense lawyers protect your rights.