Your Future Deserves Protection

Using a hardship plea to keep your driver’s license after a DUI

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2024 | Dui Defense

Losing a driver’s license due to a DUI can be devastating for working families. Without the ability to drive, it can be impossible to get to work, especially if driving is part of the job.

If a judge accepts it, a hardship plea can help avoid the full revocation of driving privileges. This plea shows the court that losing a license will prevent a parent from being able to provide for the family. However, requirements vary based on the severity of the charges.

Eligibility for a hardship reinstatement

Individuals convicted of a DUI in Florida may be eligible to have their driver’s licenses reinstated for business or employment purposes. For example, a person who must commute a long distance to his or her workplace or who uses a commercial driver’s license as part of the job may apply for permission to drive.

First DUI

For a first DUI conviction, the individual must complete DUI school and apply to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for a hearing. If the blood alcohol level was 0.15 or higher, the person must also install an ignition interlock device on the designated vehicle for up to six months.

Subsequent DUI charges

Individuals may apply for a hardship license after subsequent DUI charges if they can prove they did not drink alcohol, do drugs or drive a vehicle during the past year. They must complete DUI school and stay in the DUI supervision program for the rest of the revocation period. The person may also have to install an ignition interlock device for one to two years.

DUI manslaughter

A DUI manslaughter conviction with no prior DUIs results in a permanent revocation. Individuals may be eligible for hardship reinstatement after five years if they meet the following requirements:

  • No arrests for drug-related offenses for at least five years
  • No driving without a license for at least five years
  • Alcohol and drug-free for at least five years
  • Completion of DUI school and supervision under the DUI program for the remainder of the revocation period

If individuals meet these requirements, they must install an IID for two years.

Florida law considers driving a privilege and does not always allow reinstatement. It prohibits any hardship reinstatement after two or more suspensions for test refusal or if the driver has two or more DUI convictions. Furthermore, individuals disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle cannot obtain a hardship license to operate one.