Restricted Driver Licenses after a DUI Refusal

If you were arrested for DUI and refused the breath, blood, or urine test, your driving privileges might be suspended administratively (sometimes called the on-the-spot suspension). This article explains the process of obtaining either a 42 day permit while you wait for the formal review hearing or the restricted driver’s license if you waive your right to the formal review hearing.

The restricted driver’s license is defined in Section 322.271(1)(c), F.S. A “business purposes only” (“BPO”) restricted driving privilege as limited to 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. An “employment purposes only” (“EPO”) restricted driving privilege is limited to driving to and from work and necessary on-the-job driving.

Your options for obtaining the 42 day permit or restricted driver license depend, in part, on whether you have any prior DUI arrests.

Attorney for Restricted Driver License After a DUI Refusal

If you were arrested for a DUI involving a refusal to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test. Contact the DUI defense attorneys at Sammis Law Firm. We represent clients throughout the greater Tampa Bay area. We can explain the pros and cons of immediately seeking a restricted driver license or obtaining a 42 day permit while you await the formal review hearing.

We represent clients on a first DUI refusal, as well as clients with a prior DUI arrest or conviction. We also represent clients charged with the separate crime of refusing to submit to a lawful test of breath, urine, or blood after having previously suffered an administrative suspension for refusing to submit under Section 316.1939.

Our main office is in Tampa, FL. We also have offices in Clearwater in Pinellas County and New Port Richey in Pasco County. Call 813-250-0500.

For a first DUI arrest: 

If you’ve never been arrested for DUI before, you can waive all of your rights to contest the suspension by stipulating to it in exchange for an immediate hardship license. There are several downsides to the “waiver review hearing” seeking immediate reinstatement of hardship driving privileges. First, you are giving up your right to contest the suspension during a formal review hearing. That means that 12 month administrative suspension will remain on your driver’s license for the next 75 years. A second DUI refusal during those 75 years will result in an 18 month administrative suspension and criminal charges for a second refusal which is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail.

Alternatively, you can hire an attorney to demand a formal review hearing and secure your 42 day permit. If you win the formal review hearing, the 12 month administrative suspension for refusing will be removed from your driving record. Another benefit to having a formal review hearing is your attorney can subpoena the stop officer, arresting officer, and any other witnesses listed in the police reports. During the formal review hearing, your attorney can question all those witnesses under oath and that information can later be used to impeach those witnesses if they change their story of what occurred.

If you have a prior DUI arrest:

If you have a prior DUI arrest that resulted in either an administrative suspension or a court-ordered suspension after a conviction, you won’t qualify for the “waiver review hearing” and the immediate hardship license. In that case, there is no downside to requesting the formal review hearing and obtaining a 42 day permit.

If you do not win the formal review hearing, then you can apply for restricted driving privileges through DHSMV’s Bureau of Administrative Review after at least
90 days have elapsed from the date of the suspension. See Section 322.2615(10)(a), F.S.

Click here to download the DHSMV’s Application for Administrative Hearing, Form HSMV 78306 (Rev. 1/2022).

If you have 2 prior refusal suspensions or 2 prior DUI convictions: 

As explained in Section 322.271(2)(a), F.S., the restricted license may not be granted to a person whose license has been suspended two or more times for testing refusal, or who refused testing following two or more DUI convictions.

This article was last updated on Thursday, August 3, 2023.