Florida’s Special Supervision Services (SSS) Program

The Special Supervision Services (SSS) are defined in DHSMV Administrative Rule 15A‐10. The determination of statutory eligibility are defined in 15A‐10.029. This article explains the basics. If you want to see the problems with Florida’s approach to imposing a permanent revocation for a 4th DUI in Florida, read the 250 or more comments on a blog article we wrote explaining the process.

If your license was revoked, you might be required to enter the special supervision services program in order to obtain hardship driving privileges during any portion of the revocation periods. The revocation period depends on the type of conviction and/or whether any DUI-related convictions are on the driving record such as:

  • minimum 3-year revocation
    • for Manslaughter
    • for Vehicular Homicide
    • for a DUI Serious Bodily Injury (with no prior DUI-related convictions)
  • 5-years revocation
    • for a 2nd DUI within 5 years of any prior
    • for a DUI Manslaughter (with no prior DUI-related conviction)
  • 10-year revocation
    • for a 3rd DUI within 10 years of any prior
  • a permanent revocation
    • for a 4th DUI in the lifetime of the driver
    • for DUI Manslaughter (with a prior DUI related conviction)

You can find out about the Special Supervision Services program from Level II DUI School, Sober community contacts, or the Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR) Office. The purpose of the Special Supervision Services (S.S.S.) includes:

  • reducing the number of people driving without a license
  • giving people that have demonstrated their ability to lead a productive and sober life an opportunity to drive on a legal basis
  • creating an abstinence-based program that discourages the consumption of alcohol, intoxicating, or illegal substances

Must of this information is taken from DHSMV Administrative Rule 15A‐10 or training materials presented to hearing officers at the DHSMV who conduct the hardship hearings obtained through a public record request in June of 2019.

Attorney to Help Clients Navigate the SSS Program in Florida

Before you can enter the program, you must complete the process for an “Applicant Hearing” with the Bureau of Administrative Review (B.A.R.) office in order to obtain a letter of authorization to proceed with application. An attorney can help you navigate the system at every step.

First, we can help you decide when you need to enter the SSS program. Second, we can make sure you have completed all of the eligiblity requirements. Third, we can contact the BAR office on your behalf to schedule the hearing and request a 30 day letter of authority.

Your attorney can help you schedule a phone conference so that you can attend the hearing telephonically without needing to come to Florida.

We charge $400 for the intial consultation. During the consulation, we look at your life time driving record and go through the eligiblity requirements with you. We can help you understand the pros and cons of entering the SSS program. If you are eligible and decide to proceed, we charge an additonal $400 an hour to help you through the rest of the process. The typical charge is $1,200 (which includes the $400 initial consultation fee).

Most people do NOT need an attorney to gain approval to enter the SSS program. The entire process is set up for someone who does NOT have an attorney. But in some cases, it might be helpful to have an attorney, especially if you live out of state or are worried about meeting the eligibility requirements, or want to avoid any delay.

We can also help you navigate the SSS Appeal process is outlined in AR 15A‐10.031. Your appeal goes to a neighboring DUI Program. If the second program disagrees with the first programs decision, the your appeal goes to the BAR for a full hearing. Keep in mind that hiring an attorney to help you through the initial part of the process is much better then needing an attorney for an appeal.

Call 813-250-055o to discuss the case with an attorney.

Statutory Eligibility Requirements to Enter the Florida’s SSS Program

The statutory eligibility requirements for a five (5) year revocation or under include:

  • 1 year of “hard time” from date of conviction;
  • 1 year of no driving;
  • 1 year of no alcohol and / or illegal drug use

The statutory eligibility requirements for a ten (10) year revocation include:

  • 2 years of “hard time” from date of conviction
  • 1 year of no driving
  • 1 year of no alcohol and / or illegal drug use

The statutory eligibility requirements for a permanent revocation include:

  • 5 years of “hard time” from date of conviction
  • 5 years of no driving
  • 5 years of no alcohol and / or illegal drug use

The DMV’s Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Requirements include:

  • Under a five (5) year revocation = 1 year IID
  • Under a ten (10) year revocation = 2 years IID
  • Under a permanent revocation = 5 years IID IID requirement which may be increased by the court

Fees for the Special Supervision Services Program

The fees for the Special Supervision Services Program are approved by the DHSMV. The current related fees associated with the SSS Program include: 

  • Pre‐screen application: $25.00
  • Application Fee: $326.00 (includes initial Drug test, FDLE & DDL Record Check and State Assessment Fee)
  • Monthly Monitoring Fee: $55.00
  • IID Monthly Monitoring Fee: $10.00
  • Record Checks (6 months) FDLE, DDL: $39.00
  • Chemical Testing Fee: $34.00

Requirements to Enter the SSS Program in Florida

The rqeuirements to enter the SSS program in Florida include:

  • completing the DUI School since the last DUI arrest (Per AR 15A‐10.009 Program Jurisdiction, the client must attend the DUI Program where they live, work or attend school)
  • paying any outstanding fines
  • having a vehicle or the ability to purchase a vehicle if approved for the program
  • having the financial ability to afford the program
  • being able to physically report in person for the monthly meetings

The SSS Application Process includes:

  • the prescreen
  • the enrollment
  • the investigation

Steps in the Special Supervision Services (S.S.S.) Application Process

The steps in the special superevision services (SSS) application program incude:

  • an applicant Hearing with the Bureau of Administrative Review (B.A.R.) office
  • obtaining a letter of authorization to proceed with application.
  • contacting a DUI Program (in the county where you live, work or attend school)
  • wait for the DUI program to conduct steps to active supervision:
    • Pre‐screening Interview
      • Verify completion of the DUI Program and Treatment.
      • Verify current consumption of alcohol (including non‐alcoholic beers or wines) and use of prescription or over the counter drugs.
      • Verify the last date any alcohol, including non‐alcoholic beer or wine, was consumed.
      • Review reasons for abstaining from alcohol and other drugs.
      • Review tool used for maintaining abstinence from alcohol & other drugs
      • Advise applicant of program fees and requirements.
      • If client meets eligibility criteria and is advised of fees and program rules and regulations, client is allowed to enroll in the program. (Usually takes about 2 hours to enroll)
    • Application
      • Client given enrollment application packet
      • Release forms for DHSMV, treatment agencies, doctors, etc.
      • SSS Information Sheet
      • Client rights and appeal process form
      • Statement of Abstinence form
      • Medical Marijuana Statement of Understanding
      • History and Physical Form
      • Referral for Drug Testing.
    • Special Supervision Services Application Review Process can take 2‐3 months – when all records are received and reviewed by certified SSS Evaluator, client is seen for psycho‐social interview
      • Driving Record and Criminal Record Review
      • Statement of Abstinence from three references
      • Review of DUI and Treatment records
      • Drug test during the application process
      • Medical Records review
    • Psychosocial Evaluation or Interview
      • Client Completes Reinstatement Review Inventory III Test
      • Inventories question is ‘Has the applicant changed since drivers license was suspended or revoked
      • Inventory has 100 questions and takes about 30 minutes to complete
      • Truthfulness Scale: Scale identifies denial, minimization and ‘faking well’
      • Stress Coping Scale: Scale identifies how applicant handles stress.
      • Poorly handled stress can exacerbate problems and judgment
    • Staffing – after the psychosocial interview, client’s case is set to be staffed by clinical team
    • Case management plan (if approved and accepted into the program, the client is given a Case Management Plan that must be complied with in order to remain in the program.

What Happens if I’m Accepted in Florida’s SSS Program?

Upon acceptance, DUI Program sends letter of recommendation to local BAR office. The BAR office will issue the client reinstatement letter for any local office for reinstatement of the driver’s license.

What Happens if I”m not Accepted in Florida SSS Program?

If you are not accepted, you have the right to appeal the decision. The appeal paperwork is sent to DHSMV and a neighboring DUI Program for a hearing.

Keep in mind that if you report that your last drink was during the period in which you were required to abstain, then you will not be eligible to re-apply until the required time period has elasped since your last drink

If the SSS program find out about a DUI conviction that is not included on your driving record, then the SSS program will contact the Florida BAR Office to advice them about the other DUI conviction. The BAR Office will then investigate the claim, and add the DUI to the Florida driving record.

Special Supervision Services Case Management Plan

If you are approved for the SSS Program, a Case Management Plan (CMP) is developed by the Staffing Committee. The CMP will clearly state what specific requirements the client will have to meet to remain active in the program. The requirements generally include:

  • reporting on time for all monthly appointments
  • following all Ignition Interlock Device requirements
  • not using ANY products containing alcohol, including mouthwash and cold / cough medicine such as Nyquil
  • only taking medications prescribed by their Doctor, as directed by their Doctor
  • reporting any changes or additions with their health care providers or medications
  • attending two sober support group meetings per week with documentation and signatures
  • submitting to random chemical testing.

Case Management Plans are individualized and are reviewed annually for each SSS Client. If the client is compliant and appears to be progressing satisfactorily, requirements may become less restrictive.

The frequency of reporting to Special Supervision Services is listed in AR 15A‐10.034, as follows:

  • at least once per month for the first year or until the IID is removed
  • for the second year and after the IID is removed, the reporting may be reduced to bi‐monthly visits
  • for the third year, the reporting may be reduced to quarterly visits
  • for the fourth year, reporting may be reduced to three (3) times per year for 5 or 10 year revocations
  • for permanent revocation, a minimum of quarterly visits per year is required

During the periodic update interviews, you will be asked the following types of questions:

  • Has there been any drug or alcohol use since last seen
  • Date of last chemical test (minimum 1 time per year)
  • Have there been any traffic tickets or citations issued, any arrests or convictions?
  • What type of medication have you used (prescribed or over the counter)
  • Review clients family, employment and health situations
  • Collect any documentation required by CMP
  • Ensure FDLE and DDL reports are requested and reviewed every six months
  • Record any revisions to CMP.

Special Supervision Services Cancellations & Withdraws

The Client must faithfully comply with all the rules of the program and their case management plan. Failure to comply will result in a Notice of Cancellation being faxed to DHSMV in Tallahassee for immediate cancellation. Clients have the right to contest a cancellation through the appeal process and may be eligible to reapply to the program unless they are cancelled for use of a substance.

Clients may, at any time, voluntarily withdraw from the program. DHSMV would be notified of their cancellation and they would be eligible to reapply in the future.

Special Supervision Services Appeals

The SSS Appeal process is outlined in AR 15A‐10.031. The client has the right to appeal the decision of a program that has denied their acceptance into the program or has cancelled them from the program.

The client can choose to appeal with a neighboring DUI Program. If an appeal is filed, the first program will wait for the outcome of the appeal before notifying the BAR of the results. If the second program agrees with the first program, the decision stands. If the second program disagrees with the first program’s decision, then the appeal goes to the BAR for a full hearing.

Additional Resources

Special Supervision Services Program Information – Visit the website of the Florida Safety Council, DUI Division, to find information on Florida’s Special Supervision Services (SSS) Program including the eligibility requirements for the Driver License Revocation Periods listed in Section 322.271 and 322.28 for a 2nd, 3rd or 4th DUI, application procedures, an information sheet listed as HSMV 77012 (Rev. 7/1/98).

This article was last updated on Friday, June 14, 2019.