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Driver Improvement School

Rule 6.330 of the Florida Rules of Traffic Court, last updated on January 1, 2016, created a uniform time period throughout the State of Florida by which a clerk must allow a defendant to elect to attend a driver improvement school.

Any defendant electing to attend driver improvement school under section 318.14(9), Florida Statutes, will receive a withheld adjudication and will not be assessed points any points on his or her driving record.

Keep in mind that the driving school election is not available to:

  • a driver holding a commercial license and violations of FS 322.61 and FS 322.62;
  • a violation of FS 316.183(2), FS 316.187, or FS 316.189 when the driver exceeds the posted limit by 30 miles per hour or more;
  • a motor vehicle tag/registration violation of FS 320.0605 or FS 320.07(3)(a) or (b); or
  • driver’s license violation of FS 322.065 or FS 322.15(1).

Attorney on the Procedures for Electing Driving School

If you were given a traffic ticket in Florida for a moving violation, call us to find out the benefits of hiring a traffic ticket attorney to represent you in court.

Your goal should be to avoid a "conviction" that automatically occurs if you pay the fine. An attorney can ask the court to dismiss the infraction or at least "withhold adjudication" so no points are imposed on your driving record.

From our office in West Palm Beach, FL, we represent clients throughout Palm Beach County at the Main Courthouse in West Palm Beach, the West County Courthouse in Belle Glade, the North County Courthouse in Palm Beach Gardens, and the South County Courthouse in Delray Beach.

From our office in Fort Lauderdale, we represent clients throughout Broward County at the Central Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, FL, the County Civil North Regional Courthouse in Deerfield Beach, County Civil South Regional Courthouse in Hollywood, and County Civil West Regional Courthouse in Plantation, FL.

Our attorneys also represent clients in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie in St. Lucie County, Hobe Sound and the Village of Indiantown in Martin County, and in Coral Gables, Hialeah, Miami Beach and Miami in Miami-Dade County, FL.

Call (561) 500-5000 today.

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The Procedure for Electing Driving School in Florida

Rule 6.330(a) provides that unless a mandatory hearing is required, or the defendant appears at a hearing before an official, a defendant may elect to attend a driver improvement school pursuant to section 318.14(9), Florida Statutes, within 30 days of receiving a citation or, if a hearing was requested, at any time before trial.

Attendance at a driver improvement school shall not operate to waive the law enforcement education assessments under section 943.25, Florida Statutes.

In fact, under Rule 6.470, of Florida's Rules of Traffic Court, if a defendant elects to attend a driver improvement school as provided in rule 6.330, the law enforcement education assessments shall be collected at the time the defendant appears before the traffic violations bureau to make the election.

Under Rule 6.330(b) of the Florida Rules of Traffic Court, a defendant who is sentenced to or elects to attend a driver improvement school shall have the right to attend an approved school in the location of the defendant’s choice.

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Failure to Comply with the Driving Course Requirement

In any case in which a defendant elects to attend driver school but fails to appear for or complete the course, a notice of failure to complete the course shall be sent to the department within five days of the defendant's failure to comply, in order to comply with the requirements of section 318.15(1), Florida Statutes.

If the defendant appears after notice has been sent, but before the department has suspended the driver's license, the department shall be notified on a form to be supplied by the department immediately after the civil penalty as provided in section 318.18, Florida Statutes, has been fulfilled.

If the defendant appears after the driver license has been suspended, the defendant must fulfill the civil penalty as provided in Florida Statute § 318.18 and may be required to agree again to attend a driver school.

The defendant shall be given a form supplied by the department, certified by the official, to be taken to the nearest driver license examining station to have the driving privilege reinstated.

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Establishing the Conditions for Completion of the Driver Course

Under Rule 6.580, all driver schools selected by the chief judge of the circuit shall establish the conditions for the successful completion of the driver course.

The conditions shall be submitted in writing for approval of the chief judge. Any failure to meet the requirements for successful completion of the course shall be reported to the official having jurisdiction of the case or the clerk or traffic violations bureau if designated by the official of the school.

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When is the BDI Course Mandatory?

In addition to electing to attend Basic Driver Improvement (BDI) school instead of having points assessed from a citation, the BDI course is mandatory when the driver is cited for one of the following reasons:

  • a crash in which they were found at fault and resulted in anyone being transported to the hospital;
  • two accidents within a two-year period that resulted in property damage greater than $500; or
  •  a conviction for one or more of the following (in Florida or another state while they held a Florida driver license):

Additional Resources

Driver Improvement Schools in Florida - Visit the website of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to learn more about driver improvement schools in Florida. Find information on the Basic Driver Improvement (BDI). Find a list of approved BDI course providers in South Florida. For some types of convictions in traffic court, the Basic Driver Improvement (BDI) Course is mandatory.

This article was last updated on Wednesday, March 28, 2018.

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Meltzer & Bell, P.A.

Lawrence Meltzer & Steven Bell

Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Super Lawyers Martindale-Hubble
Meltzer & Bell, P.A.
Palm Beach
515 N Flagler Dr #240
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 557-8686
110 SE 6th St Suite 1749
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 745-7457