Anyone in Florida who is convicted of impaired driving may have to face several consequences. Along with fines, fees and court costs, a DUI conviction usually also leads to license suspension. This could adversely impact various aspects of the person’s life. Along with the inability to get the necessary shopping done, how will he or she get to work — after all, an income is essential to pay fines.
Fortunately, the criminal justice system in Florida offers a DUI hardship license. This is in recognition of the driver’s obligations to pay bills. However, a driver who obtains such a license may only drive to limited destinations. These could include traveling between home and work or school, attending alcohol or drug treatment programs, to the doctor’s office for medical appointments, and sometimes a parent might get permission to take his or her children to schools or doctors. Furthermore, time limits may apply, such as restrictions on night-time driving.
In Florida, eligibility restrictions will only allow those with first time DUI convictions to obtain a DUI hardship license — although exceptions exist. A driver who receives a hardship license must attend and complete DUI school, and apply for a hearing with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) for possible reinstatement of a hardship license. Another mandatory requirement for anyone whose blood alcohol level was above .15 percent is an ignition interlock device for periods up to six months.
First-time offenders who are convicted of DUI in Florida might have questions about their rights and how to go about obtaining a DUI hardship license. Answers can be obtained from an experienced DUI defense attorney. A lawyer can explain the driver’s legal rights, and provide the necessary support and guidance through ensuing legal proceedings.