A DUI in Georgia can result in almost immediate suspension of your right to drive in the state, and, if you're a Georgia licensee, your right to drive anywhere.
Every person charged with DUI must pay close attention to the paperwork that they are given during the arrest. Officers will often give the arrestee a DPS 1205 form telling them that it will allow the person to drive for thirty days or until court.
An officer is authorized to give a DDS 1205 if you refuse to submit to the state administered chemical tests or if your alcohol concentration meets a certain level or greater (0.08 grams percent for persons 21 and over, 0.02 grams percent for persons under the age of 21).
In some cases, a DDS 1205S may be issued after the date of arrest. This can occur in cases where the officer requests a blood or urine test. If the test results come back and are supportive of the charge of DUI, the officer can request an administrative license suspension.
The form does a poor job of communicating that there is a license suspension being requested. Many officers hand it to arrestees with an explanation that it is the temporary driving permit. Near the bottom of the form in a nondescript typeface, it gives you notice of the intent to suspend your license and refers you to the back of the form for hearing and appeal procedures which are printed in a faint type.
You have only TEN (10) BUSINESS DAYS to appeal the suspension of your license and keep your license active. If you do not appeal within the ten (10) days or do not receive permission to file a late appeal, your license will be SUSPENDED for 12 months beginning thirty days after your arrest. An appeal of the administrative license suspension now requires the payment of a $150 filing fee. More information is available about administrative suspensions here.
A good DUI lawyer will know how to preserve your rights under the state's administrative license suspension system, but only if he has the opportunity to make the appeal. You should seek legal counsel as soon as possible after being arrested for a DUI offense.