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Two Ways to Protect Driving Privileges after a DUI

If you get arrested, the arresting officer might trigger an on-the-spot administrative suspension if:

  • you allegedly have a BAC over .08; or
  • you allegedly refused to submit to a lawfully requested breath, blood, or urine test.

If you read the DUI citation, you will find a notice of the suspension that gives you three options:

  1. do nothing (suffer a 6 month to 18-month administrative suspension of your driving privileges with a 30 day to 18-month hard suspension);
  2. apply for the review waiver hearing for immediate hardship driving privileges after stipulating to the 6 to 12-month administrative suspension remaining on your driving record for 75 years (only available for a first DUI);
  3. contest the administrative suspension by demanding a formal review hearing (your attorney can help you obtain a 42-day hardship permit before the formal review hearing takes place).

Immediate Hardship Reinstatement or 42 Day Permit?

Contact us to find out why we always recommend that our clients DEMAND the formal review hearing so that we can contest the administrative suspension during a formal review hearing. We also help our clients secure a 42 day driving permit so there is no interruption in their driving privileges.

If we win the hearing, then the administrative suspension is removed from the driving record and the full driving privileges are restored. If we lose the formal review hearing, then the administrative suspension remains, a 30 to 90 day hard suspension must be served, and then a hardship licensed can be obtained.

You should carefully consider the pros and cons of each approach before you decide.

Option 2 – Stipulating to the Administrative Suspension for Hardship Reinstatement

If you cannot afford to hire a criminal defense attorney, then applying for immediate hardship privileges is better than doing nothing. The DHSMV calls this the option the “Review Waiver Hearing.”

Starting on July 1, 2013, a driver can waive their right to a formal review hearing for a first time DUI in order to obtain immediate hardship driving privileges (thereby avoiding the 30 or 90 day hard suspension).

In order to qualify for immediate hardship driving privileges at the “Review Waiver Hearing” you have to basically stipulate to the administrative suspension remaining on your driving record for the next 75 years. In other words, you waive your right to ever contest the administrative suspension.

In exchange, the DHSMV will conduct a hearing to determine if you can obtain “immediate hardship reinstatement.” To qualify for the immediate hardship reinstatement, you must:

  • complete an application for an immediate hardship reinstatement (which means you are stipulating to the administrative suspension remaining on your driver’s license for 75 years);
  • pay $12 for the filing fee; and
  • show proof that you enrolled in and paid for DUI school in the county in which you live or work.

Since the DHSMV is not opened during the COVID-19 crisis, you must mail these documents to the DHSMV and we recommend also emailing a copy to the BAR. After you are approved, you can obtain the plastic hardship license at a full-service DHSMV office.

At the DHSMV office, you will be required to pay a $130 administrative fee and a $45 reinstatement fee, and any license fee required.  You must also show proof of liability insurance on the arrest date and proof of current liability coverage.

Option 3 – Contesting the Administrative Suspension Through a Formal Review Hearing

Contact an attorney at Sammis Law Firm to find out how an experienced DUI defense attorney can help you demand a formal review hearing. You do not have to enroll in DUI school to demand the formal review hearing.

Additionally, your attorney can help you obtain a 42 day permit so that you can continue driving for hardship purposes.

At the formal review hearing, we can subpoena the arresting officer, backup officer, breath test operator, and/or agency inspector. We can obtain the video at the scene of the DUI investigation or at the central breath testing (CBT) unit.

Call 813-250-0500.


This article was last updated on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.

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