If you’ve been arrested for DUI and you blew .08 or above or if you refused to take a breath test, the police officer likely suspended your license and issued you a DUI citation.
If your license was valid at the time of your arrest, your DUI Ticket will act as a hardship license for the 10 calendar days following your arrest.
If your license was not valid at the time of your arrest, you are not authorized to drive.
If you don’t know whether your license was valid at the time of your arrest, you can find out. At the bottom of the DUI citation, there is a portion that reads “Eligible for Permit?” with two checkboxes yes or no. If the box is checked yes, the DUI citation is your permit. If the box is checked no, the police officer has indicated that your license was previously suspended and you are not authorized to drive.
Don’t just take the cop’s word for it, however. Not all police officers know what that box is for. Some of them will check the no box, when in fact they should have checked yes.
You can double check the officer on the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle’s (“DHSMV”) website by checking your license status. It doesn’t cost anything to check, and it takes less than a minute. (I’ve included the web address, but keep in mind it changes from time to time. https://services.flhsmv.gov/dlcheck/). Remember, it can take a few days for your DUI suspension to show up on your license, so just because it says your license is valid on the first day after your arrest doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.
If the DHSMV website shows that your license is valid, or the only suspension is for the DUI, you should be able to use your DUI ticket as a hardship license.