Driving on a Restricted Driver’s License
If you were cited under Florida Statute Section 322.16 for driving a motor vehicle for a purpose not allowed under a restricted driver’s license (such as a hardship, employment purpose only, or business purpose only license), then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm.
With offices in Tampa, FL, we represent clients charged with criminal traffic offenses throughout Hillsborough County and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to discuss your case.
Types of Restrictions on the Florida Driver’s License
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has imposed various restrictions on a person’s driver’s license or driving privileges. One of the most common types of restriction is the “Business Purpose Only” or “Employment Purpose Only” restriction.
This type of hardship license is available after a DUI arrest for an administrative suspension or a DUI conviction requiring a court-ordered restriction.
Florida’s Business Purpose Only and Employment Purpose Licenses – After a DUI arrest or conviction, if the driver can meet specific eligibility requirements and demonstrate the need for a hardship license, the DHSMV can give the driver a temporary permit even though the driver’s license was suspended or revoked. Besides DUI cases, a hardship license can also be awarded after a habitual offender revocation or a revocation for a drug conviction.
The requirements for a “Business Purpose Only” or “Employment Purpose Only” permit are set out in Florida Statute Section 322.271(1)(c).
- The term “business purposes only” means “a driving privilege that is limited to any driving necessary to maintain livelihood, including driving to and from work, necessary on-the-job driving, driving for educational purposes, and driving for church and for medical purposes.”
- The term “employment purposes only” means a driving privilege limited to driving to and from work and any necessary on-the-job driving required by an employer or occupation.
Read more about the definition of the business purpose only restricted driver license in Florida.
Punishments for Violating the “Business Purpose Only” Restriction
Under Florida Statute Section § 322.16(5), Fla. Stat., violation of a restriction imposed pursuant to § 322.16(1)(c) is a second-degree misdemeanor. That subsection provides that the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may impose other restrictions on the use of the license with respect to time and purpose of use.
One of the most common violations is driving for purposes not allowed by a “business purpose only” restriction after an administrative or court-ordered suspension for DUI. As a second-degree misdemeanor, the crime is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Under § 322.16(6), a violation of a restriction imposed pursuant to another subsection is a moving violation. See Ch.2010–62, § 28, Laws of Fla.
Administrative Suspension after Driving on “Business Purpose Only” Restriction
The most serious consequence of this criminal charge is that the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, upon receiving notice that you were cited or arrested for this offense, will administratively suspend or revoke your driving privileges.
Additionally, the violation means you are no longer eligible to obtain a hardship license or “business purpose only” permit during the rest of your DUI suspension. You can request a formal or informal review hearing to contest any administrative suspension imposed by the FDHSMV.
Defenses to a Violation of a Restriction on the Driving Privileges
Important defenses can be raised in this case. Although the officer may suspect that the driver violated the restriction, the driver can often refute this accusation by showing a legitimate business purpose under the catch-all phrase for “driving necessary to maintain livelihood.”
In many of these cases, with the proper defense, the driver can make that showing. Other defenses can include a showing that the defendant was not driving, the restriction had not been imposed, or the initial stop of the vehicle was without probable cause or reasonable suspicion.
What does “Business Purpose Only” mean?
The term “business purposes only” means “a driving privilege limited to any driving necessary to maintain livelihood, including driving to and from work, necessary on-the-job driving, driving for educational purposes, and driving for church and medical purposes.” See State v. Quiroli, 9 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 780b (15th Jud. Cir., Sep 12 2002).
Depending on the circumstance, the courts have found other allowed purposes to include:
- driving necessary to obtain food. See State v. Quiroli, 9 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 780b (15th Jud. Cir., Sep 12 2002); and
- driving to pay a utility bill. See Vilches v. State, 12 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 530a (11th Jud. Cir., Mar 29 2005).
This article was last updated on Wednesday, January 12, 2022.