New Florida Legislation Went Into Effect July 01, 2013 Altering Several DUI Related Statutes

For those arrested for DUI, the legislation made four significant changes to the law that can alter several related DUI outcomes:

  1. A person can now choose to “waive” their right to a review of their administrative driver’s license suspension and, if eligible, can get a “business purpose only” (a/k/a hardship) driver’s license immediately. This applies to those who took the breath test and those who refused. Under the old law, a driver arrested for DUI who took the breath test and blew .08 or higher and the driver who “refused” to take the breath test had periods of 30 days and 90 days respectively when they could not drive for any purpose if they either did not seek review of their suspension or sought review and lost the hearing.
  2. Hearing Officers can now conduct Formal Review Hearings by “communications technology” which, although undefined in the new statute, we presume to mean by telephone and possibly by video conference.
  3. Failure of the arresting officer or the breath test operator (but not other witnesses) to appear at the Formal Review Hearing, if properly subpoenaed, will result in the invalidation of the administrative suspension.
  4. Lowers the Ignition Interlock Device threshold from .05 to .025. Ignition Interlock Devices (IID) have been required for those convicted of a second or subsequent DUI and for those convicted for the first time if their breath test level was .15 or higher, or if a Court otherwise orders the installation of the device. In the past, the IID was programmed to require the convicted driver to blow into the device before starting their car. The IID would prevent the drivers car from starting if the drivers breath alcohol level registered .05 or higher. That threshold has now been reduced to .025.

The “waiver” is probably the most significant change because the decision to “waive” the Formal Review Hearing must be made, the Waiver form signed and filed, and the driver must sign up for DUI school, all within 10 days of the date of arrest.

Therefore, it is important that the arrested person consult with an experienced Gainesville DUI attorney as soon as possible after the date of their arrest. Feel free to give me a call at 800-373-8000 or contact me online. Consultations are always free and welcomed. We also offer a free, no obligation guide book, on Ways to Possibly Avoid a DUI Charge or Conviction in Alachua County.