fbpx

What is the 10 day rule for DUI in Florida?




Understanding the 10-Day Rule for DUI in Florida

The 10-day rule for DUI in Florida is a critical timeframe that every driver should be aware of. This rule dictates that you have only 10 days from the date of your DUI arrest to take certain actions to protect your driving privileges. Failure to act within this period can result in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. Understanding this rule is essential for anyone facing DUI charges in Florida.

What Happens During the 10-Day Period?

During the 10-day period following your DUI arrest, you have the opportunity to request a formal review hearing with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). This hearing is your chance to contest the administrative suspension of your driver’s license. If you do not request this hearing within the 10-day window, your license will be automatically suspended.

What is the 10-day rule for DUI in Florida? The 10-day rule for DUI in Florida mandates that you have 10 days from the date of your DUI arrest to request a formal review hearing to contest the administrative suspension of your driver’s license.

Understanding the importance of this 10-day window can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. If you act promptly, you may be able to avoid the automatic suspension of your driver’s license, which can have severe consequences on your daily life and employment. It’s important to note that this rule applies to both first-time offenders and those with prior DUI convictions.

During this period, it’s crucial to gather all necessary documentation and evidence to support your case at the formal review hearing. This includes any witness statements, video footage, and other relevant information that can help challenge the suspension. Consulting with an experienced DUI attorney can greatly enhance your chances of success in this hearing.

Failing to act within the 10-day period means you will lose the opportunity to contest the suspension, leading to an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. This can affect your ability to drive to work, school, or other essential activities, making it imperative to take immediate action.

For more detailed information on the steps to take within this crucial period, you can refer to our comprehensive guide on License Options After DUI and how to obtain a BPO hardship license if necessary.


Steps to Take Within the 10-Day Rule for DUI in Florida

Taking immediate action within the 10-day period is crucial to protect your driving privileges. Here are the steps you should follow:

DUI Breath Test Device

Requesting a Formal Review Hearing

To contest the suspension of your driver’s license, you must request a formal review hearing with the DHSMV. This request must be made within 10 days of your DUI arrest. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present evidence and argue against the suspension of your license. It is highly recommended to seek the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney to represent you during this process.

What is a formal review hearing? A formal review hearing is a process where you can contest the administrative suspension of your driver’s license following a DUI arrest in Florida.

Here are the key steps to follow:

  • Gather Necessary Documentation: Collect all relevant documents, including the DUI citation, arrest report, and any evidence that can support your case.
  • Submit the Request: You must submit the request for a formal review hearing to the DHSMV within the 10-day period. This can be done in person, by mail, or online.
  • Prepare Your Defense: Work with your DUI attorney to prepare a strong defense. This may include challenging the legality of the traffic stop, the accuracy of the breathalyzer test, or any procedural errors made by the arresting officer.
  • Attend the Hearing: On the scheduled date, attend the formal review hearing with your attorney. Be prepared to present your case and provide any necessary evidence.

Obtaining a Temporary Permit

While waiting for the formal review hearing, you may be eligible for a temporary permit, also known as a Business Purposes Only (BPO) license. This permit allows you to drive for essential purposes such as work, school, and medical appointments.

How do I obtain a temporary permit? To obtain a temporary permit, you must apply for it at the DHSMV. The permit is typically valid for 42 days, allowing you to drive for essential purposes while your case is pending.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Visit the DHSMV Office: Go to your local DHSMV office to apply for the temporary permit. Bring all necessary documentation, including proof of employment or school enrollment.
  2. Pay the Fee: There is a fee associated with obtaining a temporary permit. Be prepared to pay this fee at the time of application.
  3. Receive the Permit: If approved, you will receive the temporary permit, which allows you to drive for essential purposes during the 42-day period.

For more detailed information on obtaining a temporary permit, refer to our guide on Getting a BPO Hardship License.

Consulting with a DUI Attorney

Given the complexities of DUI laws and the importance of the 10-day rule, consulting with a DUI attorney is highly advisable. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal process, gather evidence, and represent you at the formal review hearing. Their expertise can significantly increase your chances of retaining your driving privileges.

Why should you consult a DUI attorney? Consulting a DUI attorney ensures that you have professional guidance and representation, which can greatly enhance your chances of successfully contesting the suspension of your driver’s license.

Here are some benefits of consulting with a DUI attorney:

  • Expert Legal Advice: A DUI attorney can provide expert legal advice tailored to your specific case, helping you understand your rights and options.
  • Strong Defense Strategy: An attorney can develop a strong defense strategy, challenging the evidence against you and advocating for your rights at the formal review hearing.
  • Peace of Mind: Having a professional handle your case can reduce stress and provide peace of mind, knowing that you have an experienced advocate on your side.

For more information on how a DUI attorney can assist you, visit our page on DUI Formal Review Hearings in Florida.


Consequences of Missing the 10-Day Deadline

Failing to act within the 10-day period can have serious consequences for your driving privileges. If you do not request a formal review hearing within this timeframe, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended. The duration of the suspension can vary depending on the specifics of your case, including whether it is your first DUI offense or a subsequent one.

Impact on Your Driving Record

An automatic suspension of your driver’s license will be recorded on your driving record. This can have long-term implications, including increased insurance premiums and potential difficulties in obtaining employment that requires driving. It is essential to understand the importance of the 10-day rule and take prompt action to protect your driving privileges.

What happens if you miss the 10-day deadline for a DUI in Florida? Missing the 10-day deadline results in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license, which will be recorded on your driving record.

Duration of License Suspension

The length of your license suspension depends on several factors, including whether it is your first DUI offense or a repeat offense. For a first-time DUI offense, the suspension period is typically six months. However, if you have prior DUI convictions, the suspension period can be significantly longer. It’s important to note that the suspension period is separate from any criminal penalties you may face if convicted of DUI.

Here are the typical suspension periods:

  • First DUI Offense: 6 months
  • Second DUI Offense: 1 year
  • Third DUI Offense: 2 years

For more detailed information on the consequences of a DUI conviction, visit our page on collateral consequences of DUIs.

Financial and Personal Implications

The financial burden of a DUI conviction can be overwhelming. In addition to fines and legal fees, you may be required to attend DUI education programs, install an ignition interlock device, and pay increased insurance premiums. The impact on your personal life can also be significant, affecting your ability to commute to work, run errands, and fulfill family responsibilities.

How does a DUI affect your insurance rates? A DUI conviction can lead to significantly higher insurance premiums, as insurance companies view DUI offenders as high-risk drivers.

Here are some of the financial and personal consequences:

  1. Increased Insurance Premiums: Insurance companies often raise premiums for drivers with a DUI on their record.
  2. Legal Fees: The cost of hiring a DUI attorney and court fees can add up quickly.
  3. DUI Education Programs: You may be required to attend DUI school, which involves additional costs.
  4. Ignition Interlock Device: Installation and maintenance of this device can be expensive.

For more insights on the financial implications, check our detailed guide on Florida DUI costs.

Employment Challenges

A DUI conviction can create significant challenges in your professional life. Many employers conduct background checks and may be hesitant to hire someone with a DUI on their record, especially if the job involves driving. Additionally, if you already have a job that requires driving, a suspended license can jeopardize your employment.

Can a DUI affect your job prospects? Yes, a DUI can affect your job prospects, particularly if the position requires a clean driving record or involves operating a vehicle.

Here are some potential employment-related consequences:

  • Job Loss: If your job requires a valid driver’s license, a suspension could lead to termination.
  • Difficulty Finding Employment: A DUI on your record can make it harder to find new employment, especially in fields that require driving.
  • Professional Licenses: Certain professions, such as nurses and commercial airline pilots, may face additional scrutiny and potential disciplinary actions.

For more information on how a DUI can impact your professional life, visit our page on professionals charged with DUI.

Long-Term Consequences

Beyond the immediate impact, a DUI conviction can have long-term consequences that affect various aspects of your life. These include difficulties in securing housing, obtaining loans, and maintaining personal relationships. The stigma associated with a DUI conviction can be challenging to overcome, making it essential to take the necessary steps to protect your driving privileges and avoid a conviction.

What are the long-term consequences of a DUI conviction? Long-term consequences of a DUI conviction include difficulty securing housing, obtaining loans, and maintaining personal relationships due to the stigma associated with the conviction.

For a comprehensive understanding of the long-term effects of a DUI conviction, refer to our Florida Guide to the Collateral Consequences of DUIs.



How a DUI Attorney Can Help with the 10-Day Rule

Navigating the complexities of the 10-day rule for DUI in Florida can be challenging, but a skilled DUI attorney can provide invaluable assistance. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights, gather evidence, and represent you at the formal review hearing. Their expertise can significantly increase your chances of retaining your driving privileges.

Having a DUI attorney represent you at the formal review hearing can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. They can present a strong defense, challenge the evidence against you, and advocate for your rights. With their guidance, you can navigate the legal process more effectively and work towards a favorable resolution.

What is a formal review hearing for a DUI? A formal review hearing is an administrative proceeding where you can contest the suspension of your driver’s license following a DUI arrest.

At the formal review hearing, your attorney can:

  • Challenge the Evidence: Question the validity of the breathalyzer or field sobriety tests.
  • Present Witnesses: Bring in witnesses who can testify on your behalf.
  • Cross-Examine Officers: Question the arresting officers about the procedures they followed.
  • Highlight Procedural Errors: Point out any deviations from standard protocols that could weaken the prosecution’s case.

For more insights on how to effectively challenge the evidence against you, visit our page on how to beat your DUI case.

Understanding Your Rights

One of the most critical roles of a DUI attorney is to ensure that you fully understand your rights and options. The legal landscape surrounding DUI cases is complex, and having a knowledgeable attorney can help you make informed decisions. Your attorney can explain the potential consequences of your case, the likelihood of various outcomes, and the best strategies to pursue.

Why is it important to understand your rights in a DUI case? Understanding your rights in a DUI case is crucial because it allows you to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions to protect your interests.

Key aspects your attorney will cover include:

  1. Your Right to Contest the Suspension: The 10-day rule allows you to request a formal review hearing to contest the suspension of your license.
  2. Your Right to Legal Representation: You have the right to be represented by an attorney throughout the legal process.
  3. Your Right to a Fair Hearing: Your attorney will ensure that you receive a fair hearing and that your rights are upheld.
  4. Your Right to Appeal: If the outcome of the formal review hearing is not in your favor, your attorney can help you appeal the decision.

For more detailed information on your rights during a DUI case, check out our Orlando DUI Defense Lawyer page.

Gathering and Presenting Evidence

Another essential service provided by a DUI attorney is gathering and presenting evidence to support your case. This can include obtaining police reports, breathalyzer calibration records, and any other relevant documentation. Your attorney can also work with expert witnesses, such as toxicologists, to challenge the accuracy of the evidence against you.

How can evidence impact a DUI case? Evidence plays a crucial role in a DUI case as it can either support or challenge the prosecution’s claims, ultimately influencing the outcome of the case.

Here are some types of evidence your attorney might gather:

  • Police Reports: Detailed accounts of the arrest and any observations made by the officers.
  • Breathalyzer Records: Calibration and maintenance records to challenge the accuracy of the breathalyzer.
  • Witness Statements: Testimonies from individuals who can provide relevant information about the incident.
  • Video Footage: Bodycam or dashcam footage that can provide a clear picture of the events leading up to your arrest.

For more information on the types of evidence that can be crucial in a DUI case, visit our page on DUI investigations and traffic stops.

Negotiating with the Prosecution

A skilled DUI attorney can also negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf. This can involve seeking a reduction in charges, negotiating for a lesser sentence, or even getting the charges dismissed altogether. Your attorney’s ability to effectively negotiate can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.

Can a DUI attorney negotiate a plea deal? Yes, a DUI attorney can negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution, potentially resulting in reduced charges or a lesser sentence.

Negotiation strategies may include:

  • Plea Bargains: Agreeing to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduced sentence.
  • Deferred Prosecution: Entering into an agreement where charges are dropped after completing certain conditions, such as attending DUI school.
  • Charge Reductions: Negotiating to have the DUI charge reduced to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving.

For more details on how to effectively negotiate a DUI case, visit our page on winning DUI strategies.

Post-Hearing Actions

Even after the formal review hearing, your DUI attorney’s work is not done. They can assist with post-hearing actions, such as filing appeals if the hearing’s outcome was not favorable. Additionally, they can guide you through the process of obtaining a BPO hardship license if your license is suspended, allowing you to continue driving for essential purposes.

What is a BPO hardship license? A BPO hardship license allows individuals with a suspended license to drive for essential purposes, such as work or medical appointments.

Post-hearing actions may include:

  • Filing Appeals: If the outcome of the formal review hearing is not in your favor, your attorney can help you file an appeal.
  • Obtaining a Hardship License: Assisting you in applying for a BPO hardship license to continue driving for essential purposes.
  • Compliance with Court Orders: Ensuring that you comply with any court-ordered programs or requirements.

For more information on your options after a DUI arrest, visit our page on license options after a DUI.


Infographic depicting the words What is the 10 day rule for DUI in Florida?


What is the 10-day rule for DUI in Florida? The 10-day rule for DUI in Florida is a critical timeframe that requires you to take specific actions within 10 days of your DUI arrest to protect your driving privileges. Failure to act within this period results in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license.

What is the 10-day rule for DUI in Florida?

The 10-day rule for DUI in Florida is a critical timeframe that requires you to take specific actions within 10 days of your DUI arrest to protect your driving privileges. Failure to act within this period results in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license.

How do I request a formal review hearing for a DUI in Florida?

To request a formal review hearing for a DUI in Florida, you must contact the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) within 10 days of your arrest. This hearing allows you to contest the administrative suspension of your driver’s license.

What happens if I miss the 10-day deadline for a DUI in Florida?

If you miss the 10-day deadline for a DUI in Florida, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended. The suspension duration varies based on whether it is your first offense or a subsequent one.

Can a DUI attorney help with the 10-day rule in Florida?

Yes, a DUI attorney can help you navigate the 10-day rule in Florida by assisting you in requesting a formal review hearing, gathering evidence, and representing you at the hearing. Their expertise can significantly improve your chances of retaining your driving privileges.


Explore additional practice areas we specialize in to better understand the full scope of our legal services:

Florida DUI Licensing Guide Getting BPO Hardship License
License Options After DUI Orlando BAR Guide
Fighting Administrative Suspension Florida BAR Office List
CDL Disqualifications After DUI Requesting BPO Eligibility Review
10-Day Rule for DUI Under 21 Zero Tolerance Suspensions
Reinstating License After DUI Manslaughter Immediate License Suspension After DUI
Driving After DUI Special Supervision Services Program
Formal Review Hearings Explained DHSMV Hearings Decoded

Top-Rated DUI Lawyers Serving Florida

Looking for the best DUI lawyers in Florida? Our distinguished team of attorneys is committed to offering you the best possible defense against your DUI charges.

  • John Vallillo: As a stalwart in the Florida legal scene, John Vallillo has earned his stripes through a consistent record of case dismissals and proactive defense. His background as both a prosecutor and defense attorney enriches his strategic defense planning with invaluable insights.
  • Joe Easton: Renowned for crafting winning defenses, Joe Easton’s approach to legal advocacy in Florida combines thorough preparation with aggressive representation. His notable recognitions and ratings stand testament to his exceptional service and client-focused approach.
  • Joel Leppard: Joel Leppard infuses every DUI case with a level of personal commitment and innovative thinking that sets him apart. His leadership has not only grown Leppard Law into a top-rated criminal defense law firm but also ensured that clients receive empathetic, effective legal care.

Discover What Our Clients Are Saying

At the forefront of our DUI practice is a deep-seated commitment to client satisfaction. Each case is handled with utmost care, as echoed in the appreciative feedback from those we represent. Stellar reviews are what make us one consistently one of Central Florida’s top-rated DUI law firms. You can read more 5 star reviews here: https://leppardlaw.com/reviews/








Contact Leppard Law Today for Expert DUI Defense

Facing a DUI charge can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to navigate this challenging time alone. At Leppard Law: DUI Attorneys, we understand the complexities of DUI cases and are here to provide you with the expert legal defense you deserve.

What does it look like to have a personal relationship with your attorney? Imagine having someone who has your back when things get tough, a lawyer who knows you as well as they know your case. At Leppard Law, we treat our clients like family, always putting their best interests first and fighting for the best possible outcome.

But don’t just take our word for it. Our dedication to our clients has earned us numerous accolades, including:

  • Highlighted among the “Top Personal Injury Attorneys near Sanford, FL” for 2023 by Thumbtack.
  • Listed among the “Best Car Accident Lawyers in Sanford” from 2016-2023 by Expertise.
  • Named as one of “Top Personal Injury Lawyers in Orlando, FL” 2023 (Expertise).
  • Ranked among the “Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Orlando” by Expertise 2016-24.
  • Best DUI Lawyers in Melbourne 2024 by Expertise.

Our firm has been recognized as the #1 on Yelp’s list of “Best Lawyers in Orlando” (out of approximately 8,692 total Orlando law firms listed on Yelp*). This achievement is a testament to our commitment to providing exceptional legal services and client satisfaction.

Being charged with a DUI can cause significant stress and anxiety. If you are not properly represented, the consequences can follow you for many years. Rest easy and pick up the phone. We’re here to help!

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation:

407-476-4111

At Leppard Law, we turn our insider knowledge into your strongest defense. Let us be your voice in the courtroom and your dedicated advocate throughout the legal process.

Trusted Content


Legally Reviewed by Joe Easton

Experienced Florida DUI Attorney

Legally reviewed by Joe Easton and the content team, this article reflects the firm’s 60 years of combined criminal defense expertise. Joe Easton, with his extensive experience and strategic prowess in DUI and criminal defense, offers more than just legal representation; he brings a commitment to turning legal challenges into triumphs. His approach, combining tenacity in the courtroom with personalized client care, ensures your DUI case is not just defended but championed with dedication and expertise.

Learn More About Joe Easton