Florida DUI: Losing Your License & The Importance Of Getting A Temporary Permit ASAP

Did you know that when you're arrested for driving while under the influence (DUI) in Florida, your license is immediately taken by the police officer and suspended? To extend your ability to drive, you must apply for a temporary permit - and quickly. But, how does that work?

Florida Attorney William Umansky

We asked William D. Umansky, a Florida attorney with over 15 years of experience whose practice focuses in the areas of personal injury and criminal defense, to explain how driver's license suspensions and temporary permits work in Florida DUI cases. Here's what he told us:

When you get arrested, you should immediately hire a lawyer because your license is immediately taken by the police officer and suspended. You are given a citation to drive on and that is only good for driving to and from work and school for ten days. So, if you want to extend your ability to drive beyond those ten days, you need to get a temporary permit. However, the only way you're going to get that is by filing for an administrative review hearing. It's definitely advisable to hire a lawyer for that because there are many legal and technical arguments that a lay person will not know; plus in some cases, the lawyer has to subpoena witnesses and the lay person may not have the ability or power to do so.

What happens if you don't apply for a temporary permit?

If you don't apply for this administrative hearing within ten days, Umansky says that you'll lose your ability to contest your driver's license suspension. He explained, "You'll automatically get a six-month suspension if you blew over a .08. If you refused to provide a breath sample, you'll automatically get a year suspension or an 18-month suspension if you previously refused on a DUI charge."

He says that you're going to want to have an attorney apply for this administrative hearing within ten days. He continued, "The attorney should be able to get you an extended driving permit which will allow you to drive between another 30 to 45 days during the pendency of your hearing. If you win your hearing, then you can get your temporary permit and trade it in for your driver's license. If you lose the hearing, then you know your suspension is going to be for six months if you blew over .08, 12 months if you refused a breath test or 18 months if you previously refused a breath test."

If you have a DUI issue, contact an experienced Florida DUI attorney to discuss your situation and evaluate your options. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.