DUI Drivers License Suspension: Under Georgia DUI Laws Your Drivers License Can be Suspended Before You Even Go to Court.

Chris E. Ambrose
Silvis, Ambrose & Lindquist & Coch, P.C.
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If you are looking for information on a suspended Georgia driver's license rather than DUI administrative suspensions, go to the Suspended License section on GeorgiaDefenders.com.

What is an Administrative
Drivers License Suspension?
 

Did You Know Your Driver's License Can be Suspended Before You Even Go To Court For DUI?

An administrative driver's license suspension is an entirely different suspension than the suspension you will receive if you are convicted of DUI in Georgia. An administrative suspension can occur before you even go to court.

THE IMPLIED CONSENT NOTICE
AND TESTING METHODS

If you are arrested for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol (DUI), the arresting officer should read the Georgia Implied Consent Notice at the time of the arrest and request that you take one or more State administered chemical tests.

Breath tests are performed on the Intoxilyzer 9000 ģ usually at the jail or police station.

In a blood test, a sample of your blood is drawn by a qualified person (usually at a hospital) and sent to the state crime lab to test the alcohol level in your blood.

If a urine sample is taken, it is also sent to the crime lab. Usually urine samples are used only for drug testing, not alcohol testing.

THE IMPLIED CONSENT LAW CHANGED ON JULY 1 2017

If you refuse to take the requested State administered chemical test, or if you take the test and your blood alcohol level amounts to a "per se" violation,* the officer is required by law to submit a sworn report to initiate an administrative license suspension hearing. This hearing is separate and apart from any criminal hearing (plea or trial) and is conducted by the Office of State Administrative Hearings.

* 0.08 grams if you are age 21 or over, 0.02 if you are under 21, and 0.04 if you were operating a commercial vehicle

As of July 1, 2017, the Implied Consent Law has changed significantly. For years there has been a  10 business day rule to appeal an administrative suspension. You can forget about that!

NOW, if you either refuse to take the test or test for a "per se" alcohol level, you have Thirty days either to request an administrative hearing, or (if you qualify) request an Ignition Interlock Device Limited Permit. Failure to do either will result in a suspension of your Georgia Driver's License OR privilege to drive on the highways of Georgia on the 46th day after being served with your DDS 1205 form (form number found in the lower left corner of the document you received when arrested). Consider the following penalties and options:

 NEW OPTIONS
DUIGUY SIMPLIFIED VERSION

OPTION 1

You receive a 45 day temporary driving permit instead of the 30 day permit under old law.

Your appeal, which MUST include a $150.00 filing fee, must be postmarked no later than 30 days from the date of your arrest.

Failure to exercise this option, or exercising the option and losing at your administrative suspension hearing will result in a license suspension as follows:

For refusal, the suspension will be for one year with no regular, limited, or any other driving permit allowed. This is the same as before.

For having an unlawful blood alcohol level, you will lose your license but be eligible for a limited 30 day permit and eligible to reinstate after 30 days.

 

OPTION 2

Option 2 involves an ignition interlock limited driving permit. As with Option 1 above, you should receive a 45 day temporary driving permit. This is where it gets tricky.

For refusal, exercising this option means that you are applying for an ignition interlock limited driving permit. You must do so within 30 days of your arrest.  This permit is good for one year. There is a $25.00 permit fee, and you must submit an affidavit attesting that you are waiving (giving up) your right to an administrative license suspension hearing.

For a "per se" violation (you took a test), exercising this option would mean you would have to have an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for 4 months.

This option might not sound like a bad idea. However, you must keep in mind that if you get a traffic citation during the one year for a refusal or four months for a per se violation, your ignition interlock permit will be revoked and you will suffer a 6 month hard suspension.

BELOW IS MORE DETAILED INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF DRIVER SERVICES.

Factors which determine the options available to you:

1.     Your age:

-        If you are age 21 or older, or will be 21 within 30 days of the serve date on your notice (DS-1205), then you may have three (3) options:   appeal, ignition interlock device limited permit, or do nothing. 

-        If you are under the age of 21, and will not be 21 within 30 days of the serve date on your notice (DS-1205), then you have only two (2) options:  appeal, or do nothing. 

 

2.     Your license status:

-        If you are currently licensed in another state, then you have only two (2) options:  appeal, or do nothing. 

-        If you do not have a valid license issued by any state, then you have only two (2) options:  appeal, or do nothing. 

-        If you have a valid Georgia license, then you may have three (3) options:   appeal, ignition interlock device limited permit, or do nothing. 

-        If you have been issued a Georgia license that is currently suspended, revoked, or cancelled, then you have only two (2) options:  appeal, or do nothing. 

-        If you have a Georgia license that has expired and you are currently a Georgia resident, then you may have three (3) options if you are able to renew your license:   appeal, ignition interlock device limited permit, or do nothing. 

-        If you have a Georgia license that has expired and you are currently a Georgia resident and you are not able to renew your Georgia license, then you have only two (2) options:  appeal, or do nothing. 

 

3.     Your driving record:

-        If you have never been arrested for, or charged with, DUI, then you may have three (3) options:   appeal, ignition interlock device limited permit, or do nothing. 

-        If you have not been convicted of DUI within the past five (5) years as measured from the date(s) of previous arrests for which you were convicted to the date of this current arrest, then you may have three (3) options:   appeal, ignition interlock device limited permit, or do nothing. 

-        If you have been convicted of DUI within the past five (5) years and the arrest date for that offense was within five (5) years of the date of this current arrest, then you have only two (2) options:  appeal, or do nothing. 

 

The three (3) options that may be available to you:

Do Nothing option.

If you choose to do nothing, your driverís license or privilege to drive will go into suspension on the forty-sixth (46th) day after your serve date (located on the front of the DS-1205 form).

If your DS-1205 form indicates that you refused to submit to the designated state administered chemical testing, then your license will be suspended for a period of one year and no permit will be available to you.  That period of suspension may be impacted by the outcome of your criminal case for the DUI charge. 

If your DS-1205 form indicates that you did submit to the designated state administered chemical testing (see test results on the front of the DS-1205 form), then your license will be suspended for a period of at least thirty (30) days but no more than five (5) years, based upon your driving record.  An ALS limited permit may be available to you during your period of suspension if you have not been in suspension for this same reason within the past five (5) years.  However, an ALS permit cannot be issued if you are not a current Georgia licensee, or have any active suspensions or withdrawals on your driving record.   If you are a CDL holder, you will not have any commercial driving privileges during this period of suspension, even if you are eligible for the ALS limited permit.  The period of suspension may also be impacted by the outcome of your criminal case for the DUI charge.

Appeal option.

The appeal option is available to any driver arrested for DUI and issued the DS-1205 form by the arresting officer.  An appeal (or hearing) request places the suspension of your driverís license or driving privilege into pending status until the DDS receives the outcome of the hearing from the administrative law judge.  If you have a valid driverís license issued by any state, then you will receive a 90 day permit extension in the mail from the DDS after you request your hearing.  The permit extension allows you to drive until your hearing has been held, and the final decision has been issued by the judge.  If you file an appeal (hearing request), you are not eligible to request an ignition interlock device limited permit.

 Your appeal request must be submitted in writing to the Dept of Driver Services (DDS), postmarked no later than 30 days after you received notice. Your appeal must include a filing fee of $150.00 (check, money order, or credit card).  Failure to request a timely appeal will result in a suspension of your driving privileges.

 If you fail to request your hearing within 30 calendar days of your serve date (located on the front of the DS-1205 form), your driverís license or driving privilege will go into suspension on the forty-sixth (46th) day after your serve date (located on the front of the DS-1205 form). 

 Request an ignition interlock device limited permit (IIDLP) option.

 If you qualify for an Ignition Interlock Driving Permit (IIDLP) this permit would allow you to drive for limited purposes only in Georgia, and you may only drive the vehicle that has the ignition interlock device installed and operational.  The ignition interlock device would require an installation fee, a monthly monitoring fee (both payable to the provider), and a restriction removal fee payable to the Department of Driver Services once the permit terminates.

 If you obtain an ignition interlock device limited permit (IIDLP), then your right to appeal the proposed suspension of your driverís license or driving privilege will be waived (you give up the right to a hearing).

 Eligibility for an ignition interlock driving permit: 

  1. You have not been previously convicted of a DUI within the past five years; AND
  2. You are 21 years of age or over; AND
  3. You are a Georgia licensee, AND
  4. You have no active suspensions, cancellations, denials or revocations on your Georgia Driverís License.
  5. If you hold a Commercial Driverís License (CDL), the issuance of an IIDLP will automatically downgrade your CDL temporarily and you will have no commercial driving privileges throughout the duration of the suspension. 

 

You must request the ignition interlock device limited driving permit (IIDLP) within thirty (30) calendar days of the serve date (located on the front of the DS-1205 form).

 

You must have the ignition interlock device either installed prior to the application for the IIDLP, or within ten (10) days of issuance of the IIDLP. 

 Ignition Interlock Limited Permit If You Were Charged As A Refusal:

 If your DS-1205 form indicates that you refused to submit to the designated state administered chemical testing, you must maintain the ignition interlock device and the IIDLP for a period of one (1) year.  That period of suspension and interlock requirement will not be impacted by the outcome of your criminal case for the DUI charge.

 Ignition Interlock Limited Permit If You Took The State Test

 If your DS-1205 form indicates that you did submit to the designated state administered chemical testing (see test results on the front of the DS-1205 form), you must maintain the ignition interlock device and the IIDLP for a period of four (4) months.  That period of suspension and interlock requirement may be impacted by the outcome of your criminal case for the DUI

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     PLEASE NOTE: The above section deals only with administrative driver's license suspensions. Click Here  to read about a license suspension upon conviction of DUI in Georgia.

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