By: William C. Head, Criminal Defense Attorney in Georgia Since 1976 and Board-Certified in DUI Defense and Attorney for DDS GA Legal Questions
The state of Georgia has some of the nation’s strictest DUI laws and has made them even tougher in the past decade. One of those new, painful laws relates to implied consent, and a possible suspended license GA. If you are charged with a DUI in Georgia, you MUST act with 30 days after arrest, to protect your right to drive.
If you refused to take a blood, breath or urine test or you took one of these tests and your result is 0.08 or greater (over the legal limit), you have only 30 days to request a special GA DDS hearing OR to apply for and install an ignition interlock device. The new interlock statute, OCGA 40-5-64.1 was enacted July 1, 2017, authorizing SOME Georgia drivers to use this interlock option, when a DUI refusal threatens to take away all driving privileges for a full year.
If you do not take action against this, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year. Don’t get confused in reading the back of your license suspension DDS 1205 form and seeing 45 days. Thirty DAY time limit is the deadline. Remember that DDS service offices are NOT OPEN every day. Don’t wait until the last minute.
Driving On Suspended License GA
After a DUI arrest, the accused driver has a limited time frame (30 days) during which he or she can request an administrative license hearing (ALS) from the Georgia Department of Drivers. A driver may be subject to this license suspension whether he or she refused to take the test, or the driver took the test and had a blood-alcohol content (BAC level) over the legal limit. If a driver does not request an ALS hearing within 30 days OR opt for the interlock device (when eligible), his or her driving privileges will automatically be suspended.
When This Thirty-Day Rule Applies
The 30-Day rule applies to you if:
- You refused to take any of the 3 post-arrest types of forensic tests (breath alcohol test, urine test or blood test) APPLIES TO ALL CLASSIFICATIONS of license holders
- You took one of the three tests and your blood alcohol content was over the legal limit of 0.08
- After you tried to take the tests the police officer stated “you refused”
- You were under age 21 on the day of the arrest and your test result was .02 or higher
- You had a CDL license and were operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), heavy truck, school bus, or other FMCSA-qualified commercial vehicle, when arrested and your blood alcohol level was .04 or higher
- You do not know what your blood alcohol level was
Form DDS 1205 After A DUI In Georgia
When an accused driver faces an administrative license hearing, he or she will receive Form DDS 1205 from the arresting officer. This form becomes your Temporary driver license and notifies the arrested citizen of the administrative driver’s license suspension and informs him or her of what must be included in a hearing request.
At this time, the current forms do not address the new $150 fee an accused driver must include to request a hearing; however, failure to include this fee can keep your hearing from being scheduled. Many attorneys who are not a DUI specialist and most other citizens are unaware of this new law. Sadly, this lack of information from an expert DDS GA attorney can hurt you when trying to save your driving privileges.
In addition to the $150 fee, the accused drunk driver must include his or her name, address, license number, date of birth, and phone number on the ALS hearing request. Names and contact information for potential witnesses, the attorneys name and number (if applicable), a statement regarding the facts of the case the driver wishes to contest, and the type of relief sought must also be included.
ALS: Administrative License Suspension In GA
After successfully requesting a hearing, GA DDS will mail you a response with your hearing date. An administrative hearing for this matter will likely occur about sixty days after your request is processed by DDS GA. The temporary permit given to you by the officer on the night of your arrest will be extended until the time of the hearing.
At the hearing an Administrative Law Judge from the Georgia OSAH (Office of State Administrative Hearings) will decide the issues that are written on the back side of the yellow form provided to you by the officer at the time of your arrest. If the Officer fails to appear at this hearing, then this separate civil request to administratively suspend your license will be dismissed. Also, at the hearing the Officer may be willing to negotiate a plea in the criminal matter in exchange for a withdrawal of this separate civil request to suspend your license.
The hearing could be very important and in 90 percent of the cases there’s no attorney opposing this if the officer does show up. That gives us a distinct advantage and allows us to get a transcript that can be used later to win your criminal case.
The Georgia DDS 30-Day Appeal Letter OR Interlock Installation
Once arrested for DUI in GA, you will have one of these five “situations” that your DUI lawyer will need to immediately address. A DUI refusal poses the greatest threat to you being NOT able to drive in the future. Such situations call for immediate legal advice about how to protect your right to drive, from a top legal professional. Those who have refused are the ONLY drivers who may have to opt for the State of Georgia IID (ignition interlock device) for a FULL 12 month period.
- Submitted to the state Intoxilyzer 9000 test and had a BAC at or above .08;
- Refused the breathalyzer test or blood test after arrest for DUI and no judicial warrant for forcible blood draw;
- Refused the breathalyzer test or blood test after DUI arrest and arresting police officer obtains a judicial warrant for forcible blood draw;
- Under 21 years of age and tested at .02 or higher; and
- CDL holders who had a .04 or higher while driving a commercial vehicle
Regardless of the circumstances of your case, all 30-day DDS Georgia letters must include:
- Your legal name
- Date of birth
- The date of your arrest
- Your driver’s license number
- Name of the officer who arrested you
- Your mailing address and telephone number
- $150 filing fee, payable to Georgia DDS.
Your defense attorney should be able to guide you through the creation and submission of the letter that applies to your case. It is recommended that you send this letter via certified mail and request a return receipt to ensure that it is received by DDS GA.
If You Miss The Deadline: Georgia DUI Laws
Georgia DUI laws don’t mandate that you to send a 30-day letter after a DUI arrest. However, if you choose not to do so, you LOSE the RIGHT TO DRIVE. Upon missing the deadline, your driver’s license will be suspended on the 46th day after the date of your arrest, unless you have followed the complex rules for getting Georgia DDS permission to attach an ignition interlock on ONE vehicle, for a full 12 months.
The suspension will be longer if you refused the chemical test and/or if you have any prior DUI arrests or convictions on your record. If you don’t ACT IN TIME, the refusal to take the post-arrest chemical test can result in a hard 12-month suspension during which you will not be eligible to drive at all.
Hire a 24-Hour DUI Lawyer in Atlanta
TWELVE months is a long time to be without a driver’s license. If you have been arrested for DUI in Georgia, it is imperative that you request an administrative hearing to save your driving privileges. The first step is to get advice from an lawyer for DDS GA issues about the timely submission of the 30-day letter OR obtaining the DDS Georgia ignition interlock.
Contact our law group for experienced DUI defense attorneys near me at Kohn & Yager LLC today at 404-567-5515. Our law firm provides aggressive legal assistance in defending your license.
Remember, our law office has three award-winning DUI lawyers near me that are offering FREE legal advice at the initial appointment. Why not obtain a FREE DDS GA lawyer consultation?