The actual suspensions in Okaloosa County after a DUI vary based on the actual arrest. They are:
First Offense DUI
The first thing to understand is that there are two kinds of suspensions. One is referred to as a “soft” suspension, which means you can still drive during the suspension, but only on a limited basis with a Business Purposes Only (BPO) license. On a first offense DUI case in which you took the breath test and the Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level was over a .08, your license will be suspended for six (6) months. If you refuse the breath test on a first offense, then the suspension will be for twelve (12) months.
If the BAC was over a .15, then an additional requirement of 6 months of ignition interlock may apply as well.
The other type of suspension is referred to as a “hard” suspension. This means no driving whatsoever, period. In cases where the BAC level is over a .08, the length of the hard suspension is 30 days. If the breath test was refused, then the length of the hard suspension is for 90 days.
Additionally, if the suspension is upheld at the formal review, then after the hard no drive period is over, the client must also complete the DUI school in order to maintain the hardship license during the remainder of the “soft” suspension.
Keep in mind that these “hard” suspensions do not apply to first offense DUI cases where the client has opted for the “waiver review.” As discussed previously, the “waiver review” has the advantage of no hard suspension, but in order to achieve this, you have to waive your right to either an informal or formal administrative hearing. In order to properly decide which option to select to maximize your chances for success in your individual case, it is critical to discuss these issues with an experienced DUI attorney.
Second Offense DUI
If you are dealing with a second offense DUI, the suspensions are far more punitive. In cases where you took the breath test and the result was over .08, you face a one year hard no drive suspension. There are virtually no exceptions to this rule and it makes it nearly impossible to get a hardship license, unless the second offense DUI charges are dropped or reduced to a lesser charge. In addition to the strict suspension, you may also face a mandatory ignition interlock for one to two years, and that is after the one year hard no drive suspension is completed.
Second Offense DUI within Five Years
A second offense DUI within five years of the first offense qualifies for a five (5) year suspension/revocation with a one year hard no drive period. The person can apply for a hardship reinstatement after one year, but multi-offender DUI school is required as well as mandatory ignition interlock for one to two years.
Third Offense DUI within 10 years
Besides being a felony charge, a third DUI conviction within 10 years of the second offense mandates a 10 year license suspension/revocation, with a two year hard no drive period. Afterwards, the person can apply for hardship reinstatement after completing the multi-offender DUI school, and the mandatory ignition interlock would apply for two years.
DUI with Serious Bodily Injury
If charged with DUI with Serious Bodily Injury or a Vehicular Homicide, the subject person faces a three year license revocation, but may apply for hardship after completing DUI school and/or the advanced driver improvement course.
If charged with DUI manslaughter, with no prior DUI convictions, the subject person faces a permanent driver’s license revocation, but may be eligible for a hardship reinstatement after five years if certain criteria are met.
Regardless of whether you’ve been arrested for a first time DUI or your third, you need a good attorney to have any chance to get your drivers license back after a DUI in Okaloosa County or Walton County. Call me at (850) 362-6655 for a free consultation.