In addition to fines and possible jail time, the most immediate consequence of a DUI conviction is the loss of your driving privileges. Under Florida law, conviction of a first DUI carries a minimum 180 days revocation of your driver’s license. Depending on the facts and circumstances, a judge may extend that revocation up to 1 year. And if the DUI resulted in serious injury to someone else, the minimum revocation period is extended to 3 years.
Hardship Licenses & Post-Suspension Reinstatement
If you have lost your license following your first DUI conviction, you need to be aware of the process for regaining your driving privileges. The first thing you need to know is that it may be possible to regain limited driving rights prior to the end of your suspension. If you need to drive for work, you can apply for a “hardship license” by asking for a hearing before the Administrative Reviews Office in the county where you live.
And when your suspension period ends, you will also need to complete any DUI school or treatment program ordered by the court and present proof of your enrollment to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles before getting your license back. You must actually complete DUI school or treatment within 90 days after your driving privileges are reinstated, otherwise the Department will cancel your license again until you present proof that you finished the applicable program.
You are required to take and pass an examination when applying for a hardship license or reinstatement. There are a number of additional costs associated with this, including a license fee and revocation reinstatement fee. The Department will also need to see proof of car insurance with minimum liability coverage of $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident, and $50,000 for property damage.
In some cases, a judge will also order the installation of an ignition interlock device as a condition of driver’s license reinstatement. This is usually required for a first-offense DUI where the defendant had a recorded blood-alcohol level of 0.15 percent or higher or a person under the age of 18 was in the vehicle at the time of the arrest. Ignition interlocks are also mandatory when receiving a hardship license. The driver is responsible for the costs of installing the interlock device on their vehicle.
Need Help With a Florida DUI Case?
The process of getting your driver’s license back becomes more onerous with a second or subsequent DUI conviction. That is why it is important to avoid a first conviction if possible. A qualified Orlando DUI defense attorney can help. While no lawyer can guarantee an acquittal, it may be possible to minimize the length of a potential license suspension for a first offense.
At the offices of Moses & Rooth, Attorneys at Law, we have experience as both prosecutors and defense lawyers in DUI cases. We can put our skill to work for you. Call us today at 407-377-0150 to schedule a free consultation.