Administrative License Suspension Hearing

When an individual is arrested for DUI in Florida, he or she will receive a citation known as a “Notice of Suspension.” This citation places you on notice that the Division of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is suspended your driver’s license on an administrative basis.

After an individual receives notice that his or her licenses will be suspended, the individual has 10 days to request an administrative license suspension hearing. Failure to act within 10 days of your arrest will prevent you from fighting the driver’s license suspension, and you will forfeit your driving privileges.

In order to put yourself in in the best position to maintain your driving privileges, contact an experienced Palm Beach County DUI attorney immediately after your arrest.

Attorney for License Suspension Hearing in Palm Beach County

A license suspension causes you to lose your ability to do simple of tasks such as going to work, picking up your kids from school, or other simple errands. Upon hiring the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A., we will immediately challenge the driver’s license suspension imposed by the Division of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell are DUI defense attorneys with over 20 years of combined experience representing individuals who are facing driver’s license suspensions in Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Wellington, West Palm Beach, and the surrounding areas in Palm Beach County. We are available 24/7.

Call us today, at any time, at (561) 283-3259.


Overview on Administrative License Suspension Hearing in Florida


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License Suspensions in Palm Beach County

If you are charged with DUI for having a breath or blood alcohol level of .08 or greater at the time of your arrest, your license will be suspended for six months. If you refused to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test upon your arrest for DUI as required by Florida law, you driver's license will be suspended for one year.

However, if this is your second refusal, your license will be suspended for 18 months.  If you don’t challenge that notice of suspension, you will not be eligible for a hardship license at all during that 18 month period.

These types of suspensions are imposed and administered by the DHSMV; they are not criminal in nature; and are unrelated to criminal charges for DUI and the court system, except that they originate from the same arrest.

The Bureau of Administrative Review (BAR) Office is a division of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (DHSMV). The Bar Office for administrative reviews after a DUI arrest in Palm Beach County are located at 1299 West Lantana Road, Lantana, FL 33462. The phone number for the BAR office is (561) 540-1191. Unless otherwise posted, the office hours are from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Bureau of Administrative Review BAR Office - Palm Beach County
1299 W. Lantana Road
Lantana, FL 33462
Phone: 561-540-1191

Reasons the Administration Suspension is Invalidated

Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to find out more about the most common reasons why the administrative suspension might be invalidated. Through a public record request, we recently obtained the Invalidation Legend that shows you the most common reasons why the Bureau of Administrative Review (BAR) field hearing officer will invalidate the suspension: 

  • Failure to Appear of the Arresting Officer
    • The arresting officer failed to appear at the formal review hearing.
  • Failure to Appear of the Breath Test Officer
    • The Breath Technician failed to appear at the formal review hearing.
  • No DUI Packet Received by the BAR Office
    • The DUI evidentiary packet was not received at the BAR DHSMV before the start of the hearing.
  • Probable Cause Affidavit NOT ATTESTED
    • Probable Cause affidavit not attested as required by Section 322.2615(2)(a).
    • If the probable cause affidavit is not sworn or if it is not submitted to the DHSMV before the hearing begins. then the hearing officer has no jurisdiction to proceed and cannot sustain the suspension.
  • REFUSAL AFFIDAVIT NOT ATTESTED
    • Refusal Affidavit WAS not attested.
  • DID NOT REFUSE
    • Unable to provide sample.
    • Refused but then recanted the refusal in a timely manner.
  • INVALID STOP
    • No probable cause.
    • No reasonable suspicion.
  • NO PHYSICAL CONTROL
    • Could not place driver behind the wheel.
    • Not enough evidence.
  • NO LAWFUL ARREST
    • Lack of indicia of impairment.
    • Case law.
    • Jurisdiction.
    • Not enough information.
  • CONFLICTING EVIDENCE
    • Paperwork discrepancies.
    • Testimony.
  • NOT TIMELY HELD
    • Review was not scheduled within 30 days as required by Rule 15A-6.013.
  • NO/IMPROPER I/C WARNING
    • No Implied Consent Warnings read.
    • Incorrect Implied Consent Warnings read.
  • MISSING/ILLEGIBLE DOCS
    • Evidence Missing from DUI Packet.
    • Evidentiary Documents cannot be read clearly to understand.
    • Documents are not legible.
  • NO VALID BREATH TEST
    • Instrument not in compliance.
    • No 20 minute observation period as required by FDLE Rules.
    • No .08 or above.
    • No two valid samples.
  • Zero Tolerance Invalidations – (Under 21)
    • No PC (Under 21).
    • Not Under 21.
    • No. 02 (Under 21).

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Probable Cause for DUI Traffic Stop

Florida law requires that in order to conduct a traffic stop, police officers must have probable cause to believe you have committed a traffic infraction, reasonable suspicion that you were committing a crime, or evidence that your safety or the safety of others was at risk.

If the officer acted unlawfully by conducting a traffic stop without adequate probable cause, the courts, which also applies to and is applicable to a DHSM hearing officer, may require that all evidence gathered by the officer such as physical observations, field sobriety tests, and breath test results be thrown out. This, in turn, can result in the suspension of your license being invalidated.


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Palm Beach County Administrative License Suspension Hearing

During the license suspension hearing, a hearing officer will hear arguments from both sides before making a decision on whether or not to uphold the license suspension. The hearing officer is required to adhere to the law, and must come to a final decision based on factual and substantial evidence.

Some of the factors the hearing officer must use when making a determination on the legitimacy of the license suspension include:

  • Did the law enforcement officer have probable cause to conduct a stop?
  • Did the law enforcement officer have reasonable suspicion to detain the driver for suspicion of DUI?
  • Did law enforcement have probable cause to conduct an arrest?
  • Did the driver have a BAC above the legal limit?
  • Was the driver in actual physical control of the vehicle?
  • Did the driver refuse to submit to a DUI chemical test after being notified of the Implied Consent Warnings?

If the prosecution (i.e. testimony from the officers and/or the paperwork itself) is unable to provide evidence that supports their claims, the hearing officer can rule that the suspension be deemed unlawful, and the individual’s driving privileges will be preserved.


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Lawyers for Driver License Suspension Hearings in West Palm Beach, FL

If you have been notified that your driver’s license will be suspended, a devoted West Palm Beach license suspension lawyer from Meltzer & Bell, P.A. can help you. The attorneys at our firm serve clients in Palm Beach County, including the cities of Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, Wellington or anywhere else in the county.

We are committed to protecting the rights of our clients. Contact Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (561) 283-3259, and let us fight to maintain your ability to drive.


This article was last updated on Friday, May 19, 2017.

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