What Happens At A DUI Formal Review Hearing In Okaloosa County For the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles?

You generally have three choices when faced with a DUI administrative suspension at a hearing in Okaloosa County. Here are your options:

  1. Request a Waiver Review. This only applies to Florida residents. Out of state defendants are not allowed to do waiver reviews locally. This is the recommended course of action in most first-offense DUI cases. It allows you to drive with a business purposes permit without having to serve a 30 day hard no drive suspension (or 90 days in the case of a refusal.)
  2. Do nothing. This is one option, but is not recommended. You only have 10 days after your DUI arrest to make the request for either a waiver review or a formal review. If you don’t do either one, then you lose your driving privileges for a minimum of 30 days, and the only way to get a hardship license is to complete the DUI school and subsequently apply for the permit.
  3. The third option is to request a formal review hearing. This is the recommended course of action for those charged with second and subsequent DUIs as well as defendants who reside outside the State of Florida. The formal hearing is like a mini-trial that allows you or your attorney to challenge the administrative suspension of your driver’s license. If successful at the formal hearing, it is possible to have the administrative suspension invalidated and reclaim your driver’s license, pending the result of the criminal court case.

It is considered best-case practice in Okaloosa County & Walton County to have an experienced DUI attorney already hired within the 10 day window, so that their office can make the proper request and file the appropriate paperwork to ensure the process is initiated correctly and in a timely manner.

The next step is to request the hearing packet and the discovery for the formal review and also issue subpoenas for the officers involved as well as any other relevant witnesses. After those steps are completed, it is the duty of your attorney to sufficiently prepare for the formal review in order to maximize the chances of successfully contesting the administrative suspension.

If we can prevail at the administrative hearing, that result could make a difference, not only with your ability to drive, your driving record, and your insurance premiums, but could ultimately lead to a positive result regarding the DUI charges in the criminal case.

If you were arrested in Okaloosa County on DUI, and driving is a must for your continued employment, don’t hesitate to call me and ask questions and see if I can help. The call is free – Call (850) 362-6655