Administrative Suspensions

Florida Statute § 322.2615 establishes that a law enforcement officer or correctional officer can suspend the driving privileges of a person who has been driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and has an unlawful breath or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, or of a person who has refused to submit to a urine test or a test of his or her BAC.

Administrative suspensions typically takes effect the same day that an offender is arrested, and those individuals only have 10 days to request administrative review hearings to challenge any suspensions.

DUI administrative license suspensions in Florida are a completely separate matter from the criminal case following drunk driving arrests. Even if an alleged offender is not convicted of DUI, it is still possible that such a person could have his or her license suspended.

Lawyer for Administrative Suspensions in Pensacola, FL

Has your license been suspended in the Florida Panhandle because of a failed DUI chemical test or refusal to submit to such a test? It will be extremely important for you to take legal action as soon as possible.

Pensacola criminal defense attorney James M. Burns defends clients arrested for DUI crimes in communities all over Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, including Navarre, Milton, Pace, Fort Walton Beach, Perdido Key, and many others.

He can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call (850) 457-6002 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Contact The Law Office of James M. Burns today.


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Overview of DUI Administrative Suspensions in Escambia County


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Administrative Suspension Hearings in Florida

Florida Statute § 322.2615, Florida Statute § 322.2616, Florida Statute § 322.271, and Florida Statute § 322.64 authorize the Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR) to conduct hearings and reviews for the purpose of determining eligibility to reinstate driver license suspensions and revocations.

While BAR conducts administrative reviews and hearings for a variety of issues, a majority of the issues concern driving with an unlawful BAC or refusal to submit to chemical testing.

Three of the most common kinds of hearings and reviews are formal reviews, informal reviews, and hardship hearings. At a formal review, a driver can challenge the suspension or revocation of his or her driver’s license, and counsel and witnesses are allowed to be present.

At an informal review, a hearing officer reviews all materials in case a file to challenge the suspension or revocation of driver’s licenses, and only the hearing officer is present during the review. A hardship hearing allows a driver to request a business or employment restricted license when a suspension or revocation is causing undue hardship.

Under Florida Statute § 322.2615(7), the hearing officer will determine by a preponderance of the evidence during a formal or informal hearing whether sufficient cause exists to sustain, amend, or invalidate a suspension. The scope of the review is limited to the following issues if the license was suspended for driving with an unlawful BAC:

  • Whether the law enforcement officer had probable cause to believe that the person whose license was suspended was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in this state while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or chemical or controlled substances; and
  • Whether the person whose license was suspended had an unlawful BAC of 0.08 or higher.

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Refusal

When a license was suspended for refusing to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test, the scope of the review is limited to the following issues:

  • Whether the law enforcement officer had probable cause to believe that the person whose license was suspended was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in this state while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or chemical or controlled substances;
  • Whether the person whose license was suspended refused to submit to any such test after being requested to do so by a law enforcement officer or correctional officer; and
  • Whether the person whose license was suspended was told that if he or she refused to submit to such test his or her privilege to operate a motor vehicle would be suspended for a period of one year or, in the case of a second or subsequent refusal, for a period of 18 months.

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Pensacola Administrative Suspensions Penalties

The length of a suspension following DUI an arrest for unlawful BACs or refusing to submit to chemical testing depend on whether an alleged offender has previously had his or her license suspended or previously refused to submit to testing. Generally, the lengths of possible suspensions are as follows:

  • First refusal to submit to testing — One year;
  • Second or subsequent refusal to submit to testing — 18 months;
  • Second or subsequent refusal by a commercial vehicle driver — Permanent disqualification;
  • First suspension for driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher — Six months;
  • 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 — One year; and
  • Second or subsequent suspension for a commercial driver with a BAC of 0.04 or for driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances — Permanent disqualification.

Again, it is critical to note that an alleged offender only has ten days to request administrative hearings. Failure to do so can deprive individuals of the opportunity to regain their licenses for several months, possibly even years.


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Escambia County Administrative Suspension Resources

Escambia County DMV Guide – Visit the Florida DMV for Escambia County for more information about the services provided by the Escambia County DMV Office or the Clerk of Court. The Clerk of Court delivers multiple types of services, including handling civil and criminal court services, bail bonds, boating and fishing citation, traffic citations, marriage licenses, and much more.


Florida Statute §316.193 – Visit Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida Legislature for the full legislative language used to charge a first, second, or third offense DUI charge.


Reinstating License After DUI – Visit the Florida DMV for more information about the reinstatement process or for how to apply for a hardship for temporary use of your license for activities that are work or business related.


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Find a Lawyer for Administrative Suspensions | Escambia County Defense Attorney

If your license has been suspended because you allegedly drove with a BAC of 0.08 or higher, or you refused to submit to a chemical test in Escambia or Santa Rosa County, it is in your best interest to quickly retain legal counsel.

The Law Office of James M. Burns represents individuals Milton, Pace, Navarre, Perdido Key, Fort Walton Beach, and other areas throughout the Northwest Florida.

James M. Burns is a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Pensacola who understands how these types of investigations are supposed to be handled because of his prior experience as a DUI Investigator while he served as a certified police officer.

Call (850) 457-6002 or complete an online contact form to have our attorney provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.

This article was last updated on December 21, 2017.