Getting Prepared for Obtaining a Multiple Offender DUI Hardship License
DHSMV will require that the applicant meet several criteria and complete a number of required tasks before awarding a restricted license. Generally, the applicant must also:
1.) Have completed multiple offender DUI school.
2.) Not driven during the period following the driver’s license revocation.
3.) Stayed drug and alcohol free for this same period of time.
4.) Complete any other terms or conditions specified by the safety council (usually these conditions require the applicant to show proof that they have completed the original court-ordered alcohol evaluation and treatment, if recommended, possess a valid photo ID, and to have a recent “revocation/conviction” report from the clerk of court reflecting that no other driving related offenses have occurred during the revocation period).
5.) Obtain an Ignition Interlock Device for a period of one, two, or five years, as may be required.
The Florida Legislature has limited the ability of some individuals with multiple DUI convictions to qualify for a hardship license during their suspension period. For example, if you lost your license for DUI Manslaughter and have a prior DUI conviction, DHSMV, by law, cannot provide a hardship license to you.
How the DUI Special Supervision Services Program Works
If DHSMV decides to award a multiple offender applicant a hardship license, they must be supervised by “a DUI program licensed by the department.” Typically, these DUI programs are administered by the local safety council that administers DUI school and the alcohol evaluation process. The safety council will assume supervision through what is called “DUI Special Supervision Services.” Once a hardship license has been awarded, the supervision program requires the restricted driver to fulfill certain commitments. At a minimum, these obligations will include:
- Reporting to the program at least three times a year (although many programs require monthly reporting).
- A second and more thorough alcohol abuse evaluation, along with treatment or counseling, if so recommended (this evaluation and any further treatment will be in addition to the treatment or counseling requirement imposed by the court as a consequence of the original DUI conviction).
- Any additional requirements imposed by DHSMV (these may include random alcohol and drug tests and relapse prevention counseling).
How Do I Apply for the Special Supervision Services Program?
In order to apply for a hardship license as a second, third, or fourth-time DUI offender, you must first contact your local safety council and register for the Special Supervision Program before petitioning the DHSMV for a “business” or employment” purposes only license. You must be prepared to make a significant commitment in terms of both time and money. However, the investment in a special supervision program can be well worth it if you need to drive for reasons related to your maintaining livelihood. Many clients find that the value of a hardship license outweighs the burdens imposed by the Special Supervision Services program.
Who to Contact if You Are a Pinellas County Resident
If you reside in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Dunedin, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor, Largo, St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island, Gulfport, Pasadena, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, Redington Shores, Madeira Beach or Belleair and are interested in obtaining a hardship license after a multiple conviction DUI suspension, you should contact the Suncoast Safety Council at 727/442-0233. The Suncoast Safety Council’s website contains up-to-date information on the fees and costs associated with Special Supervision Services.