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Administrative DUI Suspension

Lawyers for License Suspension in South Florida

After a DUI arrest, the arresting officer will take your license and issue a notice of suspension. The notice of suspension occurs if you blew over a .08 or if you refused a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine. Within ten (10) days of the arrest, you must make a decision to do one of the following:

  • Do nothing and suffer all of the consequences of the administrative suspension including the hard suspension;
  • Request a formal review hearing under Florida Statute 322.2615 and receive a 42-day driving permit; or
  • Request a waiver review hearing for immediate reinstatement (only applicable for a first DUI or DUI related arrest). If you waive all your rights, you are stipulating to the administrative suspension which will remain on your driving record for the next 75 years. Never waive your rights until after you have spoken to an experienced DUI defense attorney.  

Contact the lawyers at Meltzer & Bell, P.A., DUI & Criminal Trial Lawyers, “The Traffic Stop” to not only help you decide which option to pursue, but to help you complete the process that you choose.

Palm Beach County Attorneys for Administrative Suspension Hearings

The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A., "The Traffic Stop," are experienced in fighting the administrative suspension during a formal review hearing. Our DUI attorneys represent clients at formal review hearings with the various Bureau of Administrative Review (BAR) offices throughout Southern Florida.

If you were arrested for DUI in Palm Beach County or Broward County, we can analyze your situation and discuss your available options. 

Call us today at (561) 557-8686 to schedule your appointment. We can help you decide the best way to proceed and answer any questions that you may have regarding your charges.

Information Center on DUI License Suspension

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Reason to Hire an Attorney to Request a Formal Review Hearing

Doing nothing is the worst option because you will suffer a hard suspension that begins ten days after the arrest. If you do nothing within the first ten days, then you forever waive the right to contest the administrative suspension. For this reason, retaining a DUI attorney within the first ten days after the arrest is critical. 

However, if the ten days has passed, there is a possibility based on a limited number of circumstances that you may still be able to challenge the suspension.  The lawyers at Meltzer & Bell, P.A., “The Traffic Stop” have been successful at obtaining hearings for their clients even though the ten days have passed.  Never think it is too late to seek help. Call us to talk about it.

After you retain a DUI defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A., we will help you decide whether you should seek immediate reinstatement or let us demand a formal review hearing on your behalf.

If we demand the formal review hearing on your behalf, we can also help you obtain a 42-day permit so that you can continue driving while your attorney fights to invalidate the administrative suspension. You are entitled to a 42-day permit if your driver's license is otherwise valid at the time of the offense and the ten days after that (except for the administrative suspension).

If you have a prior DUI conviction or administrative suspension, then most attorneys agree that there is no downside to requesting the formal review hearing. Also, no downside exists if you do not need to drive in the State of Florida during the hard suspension period. There are considerable upsides to demanding a formal review hearing, including the fact that your criminal defense attorney can subpoena all of the witnesses. Those witnesses may include:

  • The officer that conducted the stop (or arrived first at the scene after a crash);
  • The arresting officer;
  • The breath test operator;
  • The agency inspector that maintains the breathalyzer instrument (if you submitted to a breath test); and
  • Certain civilian witnesses named in the police reports.

If the arresting officer or breath test technician fails to appear at the hearing AND fails to provide just cause for his or her non-appearance within 48 hours, then the hearing officer is required to invalidate the suspension. Even if all of the witnesses appear, your attorney may have other reasons to demand that the suspension is invalidated, including insufficient evidence on one or more issues in the case.

If the suspension is not invalidated, then when the 42-day permit expires, your hard suspension will begin. During that hard suspension, you cannot drive for any reason. The hard suspension period can range from 30 days to 18 months depending on whether you took the test or refused, and whether you have any prior suspensions for blowing over .08 or refusing.

At the end of the hard suspension, you can go the Bureau of Administrative Review (BAR) office in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County to request a hardship license. You must show proof that you have enrolled in, but not necessarily completed, DUI school.

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How Long is the Administrative Suspension?

If you do not get immediate reinstatement and if your administrative suspension is not invalidated at the formal review hearing, then you will suffer a hard suspension.

For a first offense, your suspension will last for six months with a 30-day hard suspension. If you refused to test, then the suspension is for 12 months with a 90-day hard suspension.

For a second offense in which you took the breath test and have no prior refusals, the suspension is for 12 months with a 30-day hard suspension.  If you refused to test for the second offense, then the suspension is for 12 months with a 90-day hard suspension unless the prior suspension was also for a refusal. For a second refusal, the suspension is for 18 months with an 18-month hard suspension.

For a third offense in which you took the breath test or refused, the suspension is for 12 months with a 12-month hard suspension unless any prior suspension was for a refusal. For a second or subsequent refusal, the suspension is for 18 months with an 18-month hard suspension.

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The Waiver Review Hearing for Immediate Reinstatement after a First DUI

Beginning July 1, 2013, first-time offenders in Fort Lauderdale and other Florida cities will have an additional option. For a first time DUI suspension with no prior DUI related offenses, the driver may be eligible to request a review of eligibility for a restricted driver license. By accepting a restricted driver license, the driver agrees to waive the right to a review of the suspension under Florida Statute 322.2615.

To elect this option, the driver must personally appear at a Bureau of Administrative Review Office (BAR) within ten days of the DUI arrest.
Although an attorney can demand a formal review hearing and obtain the 42-day permit for you without your presence, if you want a waiver review hearing you must personally appear.

An attorney is not permitted to demand the waiver review hearing without you being present at the Bureau of Administrative Review Office. The driver must appear in person, request the waiver review option, pay a non-refundable fee of $25, and show proof of enrollment in DUI school. The downside of the waiver review hearing is that you are not permitted to contest the administrative suspension of your driver's license.

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Additional Information

Bureau of Administrative Review Office (BAR) - The BAR office for any DUI arrest made in Palm Beach County is located at the following address: 1299 West Lantana Road, Lantana, FL 33462. (561) 540-1191 (Phone) (561) 540-1198 (Fax)

Administrative DUI Suspension Laws in Florida - Visit the website for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for more information on the administrative suspension, including the rules for a person under 21 with a BAC of .02 or above, administrative suspension laws under Florida Statute 322.2615, 316.193, or 316.1932, the administrative disqualification for a CDL driver, business or employment reinstatement, and hardship licenses.

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Finding an Attorney for the Administrative Suspension of your License in Broward County

If you were arrested for DUI, then contact an experienced DUI attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to discuss your options to contest the administrative suspension of your driver's license. We can explain the three options and help you make the best decision for your particular case.

If your driving privilege is suspended or revoked you may be eligible to apply for a hardship license or reinstatement. If you are administratively suspended for a breath or blood alcohol level of .08 or above or refuse to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test and wish to appeal this suspension, your criminal defense attorney can demand a formal or informal review hearing at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews for Broward County or Palm Beach County within 10 days of your date of arrest.

Although a person with a first time DUI may be eligible to request a review of eligibility for a restricted driver license, by accepting a restricted driver license, the driver agrees to waive the right to a review of the suspension. Let us help you understand the options and make the best choice for your case. 

We represent clients contesting the administrative suspension after a DUI arrest in West Palm Beach, FL, and throughout Palm Beach County, as well as cities such as Ft. Lauderdale and Boynton Beach in Broward County.

This article was last updated on Monday, November 1, 2016.

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