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Driver’s License Suspension Hearing

Under Florida law, anyone suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or who is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while drinking and driving can receive a driver’s license suspension. Additionally, anyone who refused to submit to alcohol testing could receive an administrative driver’s license revocation. The individual only has a period of 10 days to dispute the suspension by requesting a hearing with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

An administrative driver’s license suspension is not a criminal penalty for a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction. The administrative license suspension is commonly known as a civil penalty and is separate from any subsequent criminal penalties or proceedings that may arise from a DUI charge or conviction. An individual can still receive an administrative license suspension in Florida even if they are not later charged with a driving under the influence offense.

Since the window to request an administrative license review hearing is very small, it is important to immediately contact a criminal defense lawyer in the Florida Panhandle to represent you and possibly help you have your driving privileges reinstated.

Destin License Suspension Hearing Lawyer

Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC for a consultation about your driver’s license suspension hearing from a DUI offense throughout the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Crestview, South Walton, Fort Walton Beach, Milton, Navarre, DeFuniak Springs, Pensacola and Panama City.

The attorneys of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC are experienced in representing individuals at driver’s license suspension hearings and will make every effort to help you reinstate your driving privileges. Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation today at if you need representation at your driver’s license revocation hearing throughout Destin and South Walton.


Destin Administrative Driver’s License Suspension

According to Florida Statutes § 322.2615, an individual can face a driver’s license suspension or revocation for:

  • Refusal to submit to breath, blood or urine alcohol testing; and
  • Failure to pass an intoxication test with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher (per se DUI).

An administrative license suspension period in Florida depends on whether the alleged offender refused to submit to testing if they failed to pass an intoxication test, how many previous refusals they have had and whether the alleged offender was a juvenile or operating a commercial motor vehicle.

Under Florida's implied consent laws (Florida Statutes § 316.1932), an individual can face a license suspension for the following period if they refuse to submit to chemical testing:

  • One Year — First refusal to submit to testing.
  • 18 Months — Second or subsequent refusal to submit to testing.
  • One Year — First refusal to submit to testing by a commercial vehicle driver.
  • Permanent Disqualification — Second or subsequent refusal by a commercial vehicle driver.
  • One Year — First refusal to submit to testing by a driver under the age of 21.
  • 18 Months — Second or subsequent refusal to submit to testing by a driver under the age of 21.

Intoxication Test - According to Florida Statutes § 322.2615, an individual can face an administrative license suspension for the following periods if they fail to pass an intoxication test:

  • Six Months — First suspension for driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher.
  • One Year — Second or subsequent suspension for driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher.
  • One Year — First suspension for a commercial driver with a BAC of 0.04 or higher or for driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
  • Permanent Disqualification — Second or subsequent suspension for a commercial driver for driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.
  • Six Months — First suspension for drivers under the age of 21 with a BAC of 0.02 or above.
  • One Year — Second or subsequent failure to pass an intoxication test with a BAC of 0.02 or above.

These suspension periods are effective immediately upon arrest. However, if the driver is eligible, the officer will issue a 10-day temporary driving permit.


License Suspension Hearing in Destin

Fla. Stat. § 322.2615 authorizes the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FDHSMV) to conduct formal and informal reviews to determine whether an administrative licenses suspension should stand. The hearing must be held within 30 days of the request for the hearing

Florida law provides for two types of administrative licenses suspension hearings, formal and informal administrative license suspension hearings. In a formal administrative license review, the individual is allowed to present and cross-examine witnesses. The decision made at a formal review hearing must be made within 7 days of the hearing. Additionally, in an informal administrative license review, the hearing officer will examine any evidence or materials provided by the alleged offender and law enforcement officer in order to determine if the suspension was justified. Witness testimony and cross-examination are not permitted in an informal review.

The issues the hearing officer will determine at the administrative license revocation are:

  • Whether the alleged offender had a BAC of 0.08 or higher;
  • Whether the law enforcement officer had probable cause to believe the alleged offender was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • Whether the alleged offender refused to submit to testing; and/or
  • Whether the individual whose license was suspended was told their license would be suspended and the period of suspension.

The standard of review at and administrative license hearing is by a preponderance of the evidence, which means that you more likely than not refused to submit to testing or more likely than not had a BAC of 0.08 or higher while operating a motor vehicle.


Effect of a DUI License Hearing in South Walton

If the administrative hearing officer determines the suspension should be sustained or upheld at the hearing because the issues were conclusively established by the evidence at the hearing, the alleged offender’s driving privileges will be revoked for the suspension period. This decision cannot be used as evidence in a subsequent DUI trial.

If the suspension is not sustained after the hearing because there was insufficient evidence to suspend the individual’s license, the alleged offender will be able to maintain their driving privileges.

Additionally, some individuals whose licenses remain suspended after the hearing may be permitted to apply for a hardship license. Although these temporary driving permits are generally allowed, they are not permitted if the alleged offender has received a suspension for their second or subsequent refusal or if the driver was operating a commercial vehicle. It is  important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in the Florida Panhandle to determine if you are eligible to apply for a temporary permit.


Adkinson Law Firm, LLC | South Walton Administrative License Revocation Attorney

If your license has been suspended due to a DUI offense throughout the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Okaloosa County, Santa Rose County, Bay County, Walton County, Holmes County, Washington County and Escambia County, contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today.

Clay Adkinson of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC is an aggressive South Walton criminal defense attorney who will make every to help you reinstate your driver’s license. Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation at or send an online message about your driver’s license suspension today.