The Holiday Season is a time for celebrating. Be careful not to bring in the season with a DUI.
A first time arrest for DUI has consequences that include suspension of driver’s license, conviction of a misdemeanor and up to 6 months in jail. A third conviction for DUI within 10 years is a felony.
DUI involves not just a criminal case but also administrative action by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The first conviction of DUI causes a one year suspension of your driver’s license (DL) if you refuse the breathalyzer test. If the test is taken and the blood alcohol level is .08% or higher, the DL suspension is 6 months.
Upon arrest for DUI, the DL is suspended after 10 days. This suspension can be contested by requesting an administrative hearing within 10 days of arrest. The administrative action results in a one year DL suspension if the person refused the breathalyzer and a six month suspension if the test was taken and the result was .08% or higher.
A recent change to the law allows one to immediately request a business purpose only (BPO) DL if the right to an administrative hearing is waived. If an administrative hearing is held and the suspension upheld, a person must wait 90 days before the BPO license can be requested, if they refused to take the breath test. If the breath test was taken, the period is 30 days.
The decision to waive the administrative hearing is important and should be discussed with an experienced attorney. The best way to avoid these problems is to use a designated holiday driver when drinking and have a very happy holiday.
Law Offices of Mark L. Horwitz, P.A.
17 East Pine Street
Orlando, FL 32801