Call us to schedule a time to talk with the attorneys in the office or over the phone.
Office: 813.250.0500 Fax: 813.276.1600
The Tampa Office of the Bureau of Administrative Review (BAR) is opened on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., unless posted otherwise. The BAR is part of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (often called the DHSMV or the DMV).
Effective Wednesday, October 19, 2016, the Tampa office of the BAR relocated back to the following address:Tampa Office of the Bureau of Administrative Reviews DHSMV
After a DUI Arrest in Hillsborough County, you only have 10 days to file a demand for a FORMAL review hearing to contest the administrative suspension of your driver's license.
Requesting the administrative suspension will also allow you to immediately obtain the 42-day driving permit so that you can continue to drive for hardship purposes while the suspension is being contested.
Click here to read more about our Recent Case Results in DUI Cases.
Your goal is getting the administrative suspension invalidated so that it is immediately removed from your driving record. If the arresting officer or breath test officer "fail to appear" at the hearing then your suspension will be invalidated. Procedural mistakes or a lack of evidence might also cause the suspension to be invalidated.
If you don't contest the suspension during a formal review hearing, then you have NO chance of getting the suspension invalidated. It the suspension is not invalidated then it will remain on your driving record for the next 75 years even if you avoid a DUI conviction in court.
Other benefits of demanding the formal review hearing include being able to question all of the witnesses in your case under oath. That testimony becomes extremely important in fighting your criminal charges in court.
Never waive your right to a formal review hearing until after you have spoken to an experienced criminal defense attorney and understand the important rights that you are giving up.
Call 813-250-0500 to speak with an experienced DUI Defense Attorney in Tampa, FL, today.
Alternatively, if you have no prior DUI arrest then you can waive all your rights, stipulate that you were DUI for administrative purposes, and obtain a "hardship" license immediately.
If you do this, then the notation that you were DUI for administrative purposes and the notation of a 6 month, 12 month, or 18 month administrative suspension will stay on your record for the next 75 years.
The only benefit of waiving all your rights during the "waiver review hearing" is being able to get a hardship license to avoid the possible 30 or 90-day hard suspension period during which you cannot drive for any reason in Florida.
You must also appear at the Bureau of Administrative Review in Tampa, FL, to obtain a hardship license and waive your rights. When you go to the Bureau of Administrative Review Office for a hardship license after an administrative suspension, be sure to bring proof of enrollment in the DUI school and a 30 Day Traffic Search with you. For the court ordered suspension after a DUI conviction, you must bring proof of completion of the DUI School.
Do not drive yourself to the hardship hearing because the hearing officer will ask you how you got to the office. Also, if the hearing officer observes you driving when your privileges are suspended or revoked then you will be denied a hardship license.
The bottom line is that if you can survive a 30 or 90-day hard suspension (as a worse case scenario if you lose the formal review hearing) than you are better off demanding a formal review hearing.
Florida Statute 322.2615 allows for the administrative suspension of a driver license when the driver:
Different rules apply to a person under the age of 21 who is accused under Florida's zero tolerance laws or commercial driver subject to disqualification of their CDL.
This article explains how hearing officers prepare and conduct formal review hearings pursuant to Chapter 15A-6 of the Florida Administrative Code and section 322.2615, Florida Statutes.
To Prepare for the Formal Review Hearing, the hearing officer will locate the file and review the paperwork to determine whether the hearing will be held for a DUBAL (driving under a breath/blood alcohol level) or a REFUSAL suspension. The hearing officer will identify potential issues pertaining to the scope of the review.
The hearing officer will review the pre-hearing statement for witnesses and any written requests for continuances or pre-hearing motions submitted by the driver or the attorney of record. In a DUBAL case, the hearing officer will determine which instrument was used by looking at the Breath Test Affidavit and then verifying that there is a current copy of the Agency Inspection in the file.
The hearing officer will record the hearing and read the formal review script for the appropriate type of suspension (either a DUBAL or Refusal). If the subpoenaed witnesses are not present, the hearing officer will ask for proof of service from the attorney/driver and whether written notice was provided to the state attorney.
The written notice to the state attorney must include a copy of the issued subpoena and it must be served after the subpoena is issued but before it is served on the witness. If a continuance is granted, the driver/attorney will be notified of the new hearing date by mail. If the continuance is granted then the evidentiary portion of the hearing will not be closed.
After all of the evidence is presented at the formal review hearing, the hearing officer will consider all of the evidence, the weight of the evidence and the credibility of the testimony. If submitted, the hearing officer will also review case law. The hearing officer will determine whether a preponderance of the evidence supports the suspension.
If the review is sustained, the hearing officer will type up the order. The driver/attorney has thirty days from the date of the Final Order to file a petition for writ of certiorari to the Circuit Court.
After a DUI Formal Review Hearing, a Writ of Certiorari is issued when a court agrees to review the proceedings of a lower court or hearing officer to determine:
The driver/attorney must file the petition within thirty-days from the date the final order of suspension was rendered. Once the petition is received, the Office of General Counsel will review it. They will request a copy of the contents of the case file from the appropriate BAR office. The Office of General Counsel will then verify the timeliness, elements, and substance of the issues.
The Circuit Court then makes a decision to grant, deny, or remand the case. Copies are then supplied to the field office of the findings. If General Counsel believes the court erred in ruling, it may file a petition for writ of certiorari with the District Court of Appeals to review the Circuit Court's decision.
If the review is invalidated then the suspension is deleted from the driving record. All correspondence will be deleted except for a notation of the filing fee being paid, the formal review hearing being held, and the temporary permit being issued.
The Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR) is authorized to conduct hearings and reviews for the purpose of determining eligibility to reinstate driver license suspensions and revocations under Section 322.2615, Florida Statutes (F.S.), Section 322.2616, F.S., Section 322.271, F.S., and Section 322.64, F.S.
The Bureau of Administrative Reviews is a part of the Office of General Counsel. At last count, the BAR was comprised of 116 supervisors, hearing officers, and administrative secretaries. These employees work in 16 offices separated into three regions around the State of Florida. From July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2015, BAR conducted a total of 87,515 hearings and reviews and received $1,570,033 in BAR related fees.
BAR conducts administrative reviews and hearings for a variety of issues. Most hearings are for issues related to driving with an unlawful blood alcohol level or refusal to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test. Hearings and reviews include but are not limited to:
The orders issued by the BAR are strictly administrative. The ruling holds no merit against criminal proceedings. If a BAR hearing officer invalidates the suspension of a driver license, it is possible that the criminal court could revoke the license when the criminal proceeding is finalized.
BAR hearing officers are required to conduct comprehensive training. The training consists of two phases. The first covers hardship hearings. Two months after completion of phase one, hearing officers conduct phase two which covers administrative reviews.
Each phase is approximately a week-long training session conducted by BAR supervisors. Additionally, in between phases, hearing officers assist in the hearing and review process to gain valuable knowledge and experience.
BAR receives arrest packets relating to the suspension and revocation of driver licenses from law enforcement agencies. Once received, BAR reviews the packets for accuracy and compliance. These packets are retained for a minimum of 120 days. The packets include all of the arrest documents (if received), as well as all BAR correspondence.
If a review or hearing is requested from the driver, BAR schedules the administrative case within the BAR database (GOBI). GOBI is an access database utilized by all BAR members. It serves as a tracking system for all hearings and reviews. BAR members can create, update, delete, and run reports for BAR cases within GOBI.
Section 322.2615, F.S., states once an administrative review is held, hearing officers must submit their final order within seven working days. Once the order is determined, hearing officers will update GOBI. The hearing officer will also update the Florida Driver License Information System (FDLIS), which serves as the official driving record.
All hearings and reviews with the driver or witnesses present are recorded and placed in network drives specific for each BAR office. BAR processes transactions for all administrative hearings and reviews and they have the ability to process the fees for reinstatement of the driver license. Drivers requesting an administrative review are required to pay $25, while those requesting a hardship hearing are required to pay $12.
Drivers are required to pay the BAR fees prior to their hearings and reviews.
In 1996, the Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR) was created from BDI. In 1997, Florida Statute 322.2616 was enacted allowing for the administrative suspension of the driver license of any person under the age of 21 found to be driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle with a breath alcohol level of 0.02 or higher.
In 1996, Florida Statute 322.2615 was amended to more clearly define the scope of the review for an administrative hearing and to further define the authority of a hearing officer to subpoena witnesses for an administrative review.
After a notice of suspension is received by the HSMV, the HSMV will update the records on BarNet in the GOBI Database located at http://gobi.hsmv.state.fl.us/Intranet/ddl/barhearing/BarEdit.cfm (often called "the GOBI/BAR database").
The Administrative Reviews website BarNet section allows the hearing officer to updated record date, update record DL number, update record name, run daily reports, schedule events, or add a new hearing date. The hearing officer imputes the following information:
* Unless otherwise noted, each office is open Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
|City||Address||Hours||Zip Code||Public Phone Number|
BAR in Clearwater
|4585 - 140th Avenue, North, Suite 1002
|Bar in Daytona Beach||995 Orange Avenue
|BAR in Ft. Myers||4048 Evans Avenue, #305
|BAR in Ft. Pierce||3220 South Federal Highway
|BAR in Gainesville||2815 NW 13th Street, Suite 302
|BAR in Jacksonville||7439 Wilson Blvd.
|BAR in Lantana||1299 W. Lantana Road
|3718-3 W. Oakland Park Blvd
|BAR in Melbourne||2325 S. Babcock Street
|BAR in Miami||7795 W. Flagler Street, Suite 82C
|BAR in Orlando||4101 Clarcona-Ocoee Road
|BAR in Panama City||237-A West 15th Street - Lincoln Center
|BAR in Pensacola||100 Stumpfield Road
BAR in Tallahassee
|2900 Apalachee Parkway
BAR in Tampa
|2814 East Hillsborough Avenue||*||33610||(813) 276-5795|
|BAR in Winter Springs||
154 Tuskawilla Road,
Through a public records request, we were able to obtain the training materials for hearing officers conducting formal review hearings and other types of hearings at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews Office in Tampa, FL, and the surrounding areas. Those training materials included:
This article was last updated by Leslie Sammis on Monday, August 20, 2018.
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Meet Our Attorneys
Jason D. SammisTampa native with 15 years experience. University of Florida College of Law Graduate...Read more
Leslie M. SammisFocused on DUI Defense for more than 15 years. Former Assistant Public Defender...Read more
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