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How many DUIs can you have
before you lose your license?

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. 

If you need help determining how long your license will be revoked after a DUI, call (321) 332-6864 to speak to a DUI attorney in Orlando, FL

how many dui before you lose your license

Suspension vs. revocation

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.

How long does a license suspension last?

OffenseLength of revocation
First-time DUI without bodily injury6 months to 1 year
First-time DUI with serious bodily injury3-year minimum
Second DUI within 5 years5 years
Second DUI (more than 5 years since last conviction)6 months to 1 year
Third DUI within 10 years of second conviction10-year minimum
Third DUI (more than 10 years since last conviction)6 months to 1 year
Fourth and subsequent offensesPermanently revoked
DUI manslaughterPermanently revoked

Hardship reinstatement may be available

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.

Reach out to an attorney for assistance

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.

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