By: William C. Head, Board-Certified DUI Attorney Atlanta, GA
For many citizens arrested for DUI in Georgia, the first question is “How do I get my driver’s license back?” The answer to that question, under Georgia DUI laws, is complicated. The case must be evaluated and acted upon by a DUI specialist on a client’s behalf. Whether you took the State’s breath alcohol test and “blew” over the alcohol legal limit or refused to submit to the State’s test after your arrest for DUI in GA, your criminal case (and the related civil administrative license suspension action at the Georgia DDS) need to be handled by the best criminal defense attorneys. Your driver’s license status is in jeopardy if you do not act fast.
A person’s Georgia driver’s license status following a Georgia DUI arrest is usually “suspended,” by virtue of the Georgia implied consent law. Implied consent laws are special statutes used in every state that legally-coerce a driver into agreeing to a post-arrest breath blood or urine test, or risk losing the right to drive for a DWI-DUI refusal. The loss of ALL ability to drive (meaning, no work permit is available) is for a full year in Georgia. In taking your plastic driver license and giving you a “paper” driving permit, the officer is starting the administrative license suspension process at the Georgia DDS.
The taking of your license to drive is caused EITHER by a DUI refusal (to submit to the post-arrest request by law enforcement to take a breath, blood or urine test), OR by submitting to a breath alcohol test and having a numeric result in excess of the legal alcohol DUI limit in GA (for your AGE group, or type of VEHICLE, such as driving a school bus or other commercial motor vehicle).
You have a Georgia suspended driver’s license because the Georgia Legislature enacted a Georgia implied consent law long before you were born. These implied consent laws are targeted to ADMINISTRATIVELY suspend your Georgia driver’s license (or, for out-of-state licensees) and your ability to drive in the State of Georgia. This is due to you either having a DUI refusal or taking the test and being over the applicable legal alcohol limit. The lack of a Georgia driver’s license limits your options for being able to continue driving.
A person can check his or her Georgia driver’s license status, so long as you know your Georgia driver’s license number. Call 404-657-9300 and follow the prompts to see what the automated computer for the State of Georgia says about the status of a Georgia driver’s license holders’ driving privileges. Our DUI attorneys in Atlanta can help you do all of this, once we are representing you. Read more about our aggressive and comprehensive handling of your DUI in GA, below.
An online check of the status of Georgia driver’s license holders’ records can be accessed at the Georgia Department of Driver Services by doing an online search at the 24-hour website: https://online.dds.ga.gov/dlstatus/default.aspx. CAUTION: There is usually a time lag of as much as several weeks, to see any suspension.
Getting your Georgia driver’s license status is a first step to possibly recovering your Georgia driving privileges, but remember that the arresting officer has time to file that license suspension paperwork after your arrest. Don’t assume that you do not need to take action within 30 days, to either install an interlock device OR appeal to the Georgia Department of Driver Services (the GA DMV). YOU NEED TO DO THIS! This is true for all DUI arrests in Georgia, but only a skilled, experienced DUI attorney will know your options and which to choose (Georgia DDS appeal, or applying for and installing the interlock within 30 days).
Understanding that a Georgia DUI starts TWO different legal actions will help you see the time-sensitive NEED TO ACT. Just by being arrested and having your driver’s license taken begins the administrative license suspension process. Later, you will also have court in a SEPARATE court for the criminal case on driving under the influence. DUI lawyers with a decade or more of proven trial experience must be selected, for you to beat a DUI in Georgia. If convicted of drunk driving or DUI drugs, you will also suffer a loss of your driver’s license as a result of that conviction.
You have a 30-day deadline to file either a Department of Driver Services appeal or seek an interlock permit if licensed in Georgia, aged 21 or over, and have had no prior DUI convictions within the last 5 years (measured by dates of arrest).
Staying on top of all drivers’ license issues is a critical job for a DUI attorney and his or her staff to perform. Our Atlanta DUI lawyers know all the ways to protect your right to drive and will review your options when we sit down to go over your DUI case.
A suspended driver’s license Georgia “problem” does not go away on its own. The new thirty (30) day time limit to protect the right to drive cannot be extended or waived. This is why you need to contact an Atlanta DUI lawyer who is a DUI specialist, to protect your right to drive pending the CRIMINAL case resolution for a DUI in Georgia. All three of our partners are authors of chapters in national drunk driving law books and are regular seminar speakers in Georgia and other states. Without question, William C. “Bubba” Head is widely considered to be one of the nation’s best lawyers in the field of criminal law and impaired driving.
When you call our DUI law firm, you will be talking with a PARTNER, not a low-level associate. Bubba Head, Larry Kohn, and Cory Yager are all Georgia Super Lawyers, and top-rated by multiple sources for lawyer ratings on legal directories.
Even if you need local DUI specialists in other parts of Georgia, call our DUI law firm for a referral to a top-rated criminal defense attorney in Georgia for your criminal DUI court location. Call 404-567-5515 for a FREE lawyer consultation and case assessment.