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Georgia 30 day DUI rule

As if the criminal charge for DUI were not enough, the state of Georgia overlays that with the administrative license suspension (ALS) process. An administrative license suspension is the state's attempt to take you off the roads as soon as possible after arrest, long before you go to court. This process can result in the suspension of your driver's license for a period of time

Triggers an for an Administrative Suspension Notice

A law enforcement officer, in Georgia, can take a driver's license on several occasions. 

  • Refusal of the state requested test after being read the proper Implied Consent Warning (ICW)
  • An official breath test result of
    • 0.08 grams-percent or more by a person 21 years of age or older operating a non-commercial vehicle
    • 0.02 grams-percent or more by a person under 21 years of age
    • 0.04 grams-percent or more by a person operating a commercial motor vehicle
  •   If a subsequent blood/urine test result shows a blood alcohol (BAC) level above the legal limit for the case or the presence of an illegal drug

At the time the officer takes the license, he should issue and serve upon the person a DDS 1205 notice.  This gives the person notice of the impending suspension of the driver's license and their rights to contest the suspension.  It also will serve as a temporary driving permit.

What If The Officer Did Not Serve a DDS 1205?

If the facts of your case matches with one of the scenarios listed above, you still should consult immediately with a well-qualified DUI lawyer to evaluate how to handle the ALS issue.  With a DUI arrest, the officer hands over paperwork to the jail to be given to you upon release.  The fact that the jail did not give the form to you will not be enough to protect you from a suspension.  Do not wait and do nothing.  It could mean a loss of license for 12 months with no permit during that time.  Occasionally, there is a situation where the officer did not do the proper paperwork even though the law directed him to issue the notice of suspension.  Even if you think that is the case, it is still better to be sure by making the ALS appeal.

Quick Action is Needed

As soon as you are charged with a DUI, affirmative action needs to be taken You only have a 30-Day window before you could face a 1-year suspension of your license. For a refusal case, that suspension would be a hard suspension where you would not be eligible for any driving permit during that year.  A non-refusal case is still a one-year suspension, but for a first offense may allow an immediate limited permit.

You must decide very soon how to respond to the ALS.  There are two basic approaches:  appeal or ignition interlock limited permit.

Appeal the ALS Within 30 Days

A written appeal to DDS of the 1205 can stop the suspension for a period of time.  It is important that it be sent within the 30 days.  Upon receipt, DDS will extend your driving privileges for an additional period of time while the case is assigned for an administrative hearing.  This hearing is an opportunity to contest the suspension and gather evidence about the criminal case.  We have handled hundreds of ALS appeals.

Ignition Interlock Limited Permit (IILP)

 A relatively new option for a first offense within five years is the ignition interlock limited permit.  This requires you to do a number of things ahead of the 30-day deadline.  You must contract with a state-approved provider to install and maintain an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.  This device will prompt you to blow into the device to start the car and at random intervals during driving.  This choice allows you to keep driving for certain purposes:  work, school, probation, courts, medical purposes, etc.

The Interlock Device

An ignition interlock device is a piece of equipment that goes in your car. There are plenty of private installers who install and service them. While you have the ignition interlock device, you have to blow into the device and if the device doesn't detect any alcohol, then it will let you start the car. However, if the device detects alcohol, then it will give you an error message and will prevent you from starting, and it will report the positive alcohol reading to the servicing provider. 

Nearly all ignition interlock devices are expensive. By the end, you are looking at spending at least $750 to $1000 just for the device. 

Another option is, you consented to a breath test and you blew over the limit, then your license is suspended for 30 days. However, you are eligible for a limited work permit and can be reinstated after the 30-day suspension upon completion of DUI school and payment of reinstatement fee or $200. 

Doing Nothing Is a Bad Choice

If you do nothing, then after 45 days, your driver's license will be suspended for at least a year depending on your prior history.  Before you let that happen, you should consult with an attorney to figure out if that is how you should handle the case.

Sean A. Black has been rated as a Top Attorney for DUI and ALS representation in Georgia for some time.  We can help you with the decision about how to approach your ALS case and defending it.  Get the information and legal answers that you need by calling 706-282-4696 today. 

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