Driving is not a right. It is a privilege in Florida. As such, the DMV has a lot of authority over whether or not a person has a driver’s license. Chapter 322 of Florida Statutes lays out specific laws regarding driver’s licenses.
The most common reasons people lose their driver’s licenses include:
1. Drug related offenses – Per section 322.055, when a person is convicted of a drug related offense, the court shall direct the DMV to revoke the driver’s license of the person for 1 year;
2. Habitual Traffic Offender – Per section 322.264, when a person has accumulated the specified number of convictions in (1) or (2) within a 5-year period the license is suspended for 5 years:
(1) 3 or more convictions of any one or more of the following:
a. Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from operating a vehicle;
b. Any violation of 316.193 (DUI)
c. Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used
d. Driving a motor vehicle while his or her license is suspended or revoked (MOST COMMON)
e. Failing to stop and render aid as required under the laws of this state in the event of a motor vehicle crash resulting in the death or persona injury of another OR
f. Driving a commercial motor vehicle while his or her privilege is disqualified
(2) 15 convictions for moving traffic offenses for which points may be assessed as set forth in 322.27 including those in (1);
3. DUI – Per section 316.193, DUI convictions result in suspensions anywhere from 6 months to permanent revocations.
If the DMV suspends, cancels, or revokes a person’s driver’s license, the person shall be immediately notified and given the opportunity for an administrative hearing. At such a hearing, a person may show that a suspension will cause a hardship on their business or family and it is necessary to have a license for business purposes. Completion of driver training courses or DUI program courses may be required.
If your license was revoked because of an HTO, you must wait at least 12 months from the date of revocation to petition for a hearing. Also, if your license was suspended because of a DUI conviction, you must wait 180 days before you are eligible for a hearing. If you have had two or more DUI convictions within a 5-year period, you are permitted to apply for the hardship after one year from the effective revocation date.
Finally, if you refuse to submit to a breath test, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for a year. You may immediately apply for a hardship. However, a second refusal results in an 18 months suspension with no opportunity to get a hardship and a first-degree misdemeanor charge just for the refusal.