Definition of “Business Purposes Only” Drivers License
Many of our clients ask us about the definition of the “Business Purposes Only” restriction placed on a Florida Driver License.
The restriction can occur after a DUI arrest while the attorney is fighting the administrative suspension (when the client is driving on a 42-day permit) and during the rest of the administrative suspension when the client obtains restricted driving privileges after enrolling in DUI school.
The business purpose only restriction might also occur after a court-ordered suspension following a DUI conviction.
We tell our clients to follow the rules closely and to minimize driving as much as possible (when it is expressly allowed). Officers tend to look more carefully at a person who is driving on a business purpose only restriction and it is best to avoid any opportunity for an allegation to be made during the time the criminal case is pending or while the person is on probation.
Section 322.271, Florida Statute, provides that a driving privilege restricted to business purposes only shall mean any driving necessary to maintain a livelihood, including driving to and from work, necessary on the job driving, driving for educational purposes and driving for church or for medical purposes.
There is case law suggesting that driving for the purpose of paying a utility bill would also be allowed on a restrict license for business purposes only.
Common sense would suggest that activities that are required by law should also be included as necessary to maintaining a livelihood such as:
- driving your minor children to school (since you are legally obligated to provide child care and an education to your children and it is also for their educational purposes);
- driving to your attorney’s office for a consultation to discuss a pending case;
- driving to court;
- driving to DUI school; and
- driving to community service (if court ordered).
However, none of those things are expressly authorized under the statute and an officer in the field might be of the opinion that such an activity is not included under the catch-all provision of maintaining livelihood.
Common sense would also suggest that some activities would not be allowed such as driving when another licensed driver is in the vehicle, driving to a sporting event or movie theater, or driving to visit friends or family.
What about driving to the grocery store?
According to a memo (attached) that was circulated by James H. Cox, the former director of the Division of Drivers Licenses at the Florida DHSMV, his general counsel was of the opinion that under Section 322.271 driving for the purpose of shopping for groceries should be considered necessary to maintain livelihood.
The Division of Drivers Licenses agreed and instructed its hearing officers to advise drivers as authorized to drive for business purposes only that grocery shopping is allowed under that restriction.
The opinion was distributed in a memo with the request that the Division’s policy be considered by law enforcement officers and the Courts when dealing with Florida drivers who have business purposes only restrictions on their driver’s license.
Restriction Code: C = BUSINESS PURPOSES ONLY means the person can only drive to work and on-the-job, for education purposes, to church, and for medical purposes.
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