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2017 Law Update - New DUI ALS Provisions

HB 205 represents a major re-write of a number of statues dealing with DUI offenses.

Administrative License Suspensions

A new system of dealing with administrative suspensions is put in place beside the current system.  The new system will place a great deal of emphasis on drivers making early decisions about how to approach their case.

Option 1 - The "Old" Way

The system currently in place is carried forward as an option.  

It starts with a DUI arrest. If the driver refuses the official state test or takes the official breath test and has a result of 0.08 grams percent or more, then the officer can seize the driver's license and initiate an administrative license suspension by serving the driver with a DDS-1205 form. The DDS-1205 is a temporary (45 days beginning July 1, 2017) driving permit and a notice of intent to suspend. If the driver submits to a blood or urine test, it is possible for the officer to initiate the ALS procedure once the lab results come back, but that is fairly unusual.

Because the taking of someone's driver's license requires due process, the driver is given an opportunity to appeal the threatened suspension.  Currently, the time for making that appeal is 10 business days.  On July 1, 2017, the time period will be 30 days.  The appeal is made in writing and must be accompanied by a $150 filing fee.

If an appeal is not filed, then a suspension is entered.  If the suspension is for refusal of the implied consent request, then there is a 12 month hard suspension with no permit during that time.  If the suspension is for an unlawful alcohol level, then the driver is eligible to immediately apply for a temporary driving permit.  

If an appeal is filed, then the case goes to a hearing.  If the suspension is upheld, then it is as set out in the previous paragraph.  If the suspension is not upheld or is rescinded, then there is no suspension.

Option 2 - The New Way

It starts with a DUI arrest. If the driver refuses the official state test or takes the official breath test and has a result of 0.08 grams percent or more, then the officer can seize the driver's license and initiate an administrative license suspension by serving the driver with a DDS-1205 form. The DDS-1205 is a temporary (45 days beginning July 1, 2017) driving permit and a notice of intent to suspend. If the driver submits to a blood or urine test, it is possible for the officer to initiate the ALS procedure once the lab results come back, but that is fairly unusual.

Instead of appealing the ALS, the driver can instead apply for an Ignition Interlock Limited Permit (IILP).  To get the permit, the driver must:

  • pay a $25 permit fee
  • apply within 30 days of the arrest
  • surrender his or her license
  • execute an affidavit waiving the ALS hearing.

The permit is good for one year (but can be extended for an additional two months). The driver must have installed and maintain an ignition interlock device and may not operate a vehicle so equipped.

The permit can be revoked if:

  • the driver is convicted of moving violation
  • convicted of driving in violation of the IIDLP conditions
  • tampers with the ignition interlock device.

The permit conditions are:

  • drive to/from work or in the performance of job duties
  • drive to receive medical care/prescriptions
  • drive to attend college/school
  • attend treatment
  • attend court ordered driver education
  • attend court
  • attend community service
  • transport a family member to work, school, or medical treatment
  • court ordered activity
  • monthly monitoring visits to the ignition interlock device provider

Some people are not eligible for an IIDLP.  Under 21 drivers, CDL holders and out-of-state licensees are not eligible for the new way.  Also, drivers whose licenses are administratively suspended for a traffic accident resulting in injuries or fatalities and drivers whose license is suspended, revoked or cancelled for some other reason cannot make use of the IIDLP.

If a driver is eligible for and is granted an IIDLP, they must have the device installed within 10 days of the permit being issued, must keep the device installed for at least 120 days in a per se case or 12 months for a refusal case.  

For refusal cases, if the driver beats his DUI case within the 12 months, the driver still has to maintain the IIDLP.  In a per se case, if the DUI case is beaten within 120 days, then the IIDLP will be revoked and the license will be reinstated without a fee.

Upon successful completion of the IIDLP, the driver can reinstate the license for a $100 reinstatement fee ($90 if done by mail).

Difficult Decisions

For under 21 drivers, commercial drivers, and out-of-state drivers, there is no choice; they must use the "old" way.  

For drivers whose licenses are suspended for reasons other than the DUI charge, there will likely be little choice; they will have to go with the "old" way.

For other drivers, there will have to be some pretty early reckonings about how strong the DUI case is and the consequences to the driver's license for that particular driver

Other Uses for the IIDLP

Having established a more extensive framework for IIDLP's, they will be used for a number of other purposes.

Judges of accountability courts may order the issuance of an IIDLP to a program participant where the person's license is suspended pursuant to OCGA § 40-5-75.

Persons convicted of a second in five years DUI offense (measured by dates of offense) will have to obtain an IIDLP.

New Misdemeanor Offense

Driving in violation of the IIDLP conditions will be a misdemeanor offense carrying up to twelve months in jail and up to $1,000 fine.

It is worth noting that there are a number of destinations which are not covered in the IIDLP conditions.  Some that I think of readily are:

  • grocery stores
  • gas stations
  • banks
  • tax offices
  • movie theaters
  • restaurants
  • bowling alleys
  • parks and other recreation areas
  • vacations
  • job interviews
  • children's recreational practices or events
  • visitation centers
  • other family members' homes
  • friends' homes
  • election polling stations
  • mechanics' shops
  • Walmart
  • and many more.
Sean A. Black

Sean A. Black is a 1992 graduate of the Emory University School of Law. He has been in private practice in Toccoa, Georgia since June 1, 1992.

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