Can I obtain a temporary permit to drive while my license is suspended?

In some cases it is possible to get a temporary permit to drive when an individual’s license is suspended due to a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI). The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) suspends licenses for a certain amount of time for DUI arrests.

During the first 10 days of a DUI arrest, the ticket given by the police officer indicating the DUI arrest and license suspension can be used as a temporary permit to drive. Only driving for employment or other business-related purposes is allowed under the permit.

A person arrested for DUI has 10 days from the arrest date to either request an administrative hearing or give up their right to a hearing in return for a hardship license. Upon requesting an administrative hearing, the DHSMV will issue a temporary driving permit that is usually valid for 45 days.

At the hearing if the department finds the driver’s license suspension was justified, the offender will face a hard suspension, also known as a no-driving period, before being able to apply for a hardship license. A person with one DUI who blew over 0.08 in the breath test can apply after 30 days of the hard suspension. Those who refused to take the breath test can apply for a hardship license after 90 days of their driving suspension.

Only people who have never had a prior DUI conviction or DUI administrative suspension are eligible for a hardship license that temporarily reinstates driving privileges to specially designated areas. In order to obtain a hardship license, the person is required to enroll in DUI school and submit proof of enrollment to the DHSMV.

The hardship license will either be Business Purposes Only or Employment Purposes Only. A Business Purposes Only license authorizes any driving necessary to maintain livelihood. This includes driving to and from work, school, church or a doctor. An Employment Purposes Only license is more restricted. A person is only allowed to drive to and from work or for any on-the-job purposes as required by an employer or job.

It is important to note that neither type of hardship license can be used for pleasure, nonessential driving or recreational purposes. In addition, not all drivers with license suspensions are eligible for hardship licenses. State law prohibits drivers with two or more DUI convictions or suspensions from two or more breath test refusals from obtaining hardship licenses.

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