By: William C. Head, Georgia DMV Attorney in Atlanta and Board-Certified DUI Specialist
NOTE: Calling a DUI defense attorney immediately after arrest in a Georgia DUI is smart to do. New options for restricted license options exist, and can prevent total suspension of your GA driving privileges.
A primary purpose for enactment of the new GA implied consent law pertaining to driver’s license administrative suspension options, O.C.G.A. §40-5-64.1, effective July 1, 2017, is to avoid risking a hard suspension after an appeal.
This is possible by signing a waiver of the right to a DUI refusal hearing for ALS suspension, paying for an interlock permit, and installing the IID for a full year. Agreeing to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for 12 months (restrictions and rules apply) will permit interlock-limited driving.
The workers at Georgia DDS have little to no DISCRETION about returning or issuing a Georgia driver’s license. The rules the DDS GA employees must follow are statutory mandates, and leave little room for “interpretation.”
Neither a judge in Georgia, nor even the Governor can order the GA DMV to return a GA drivers license, once suspended for a DUI refusal (of the police-requested test of your breath, blood or urine). Be polite to these people at the DMV in Georgia, since losing your temper will not improve your situation.
Georgia DDS and Georgia DMV Are the Same Thing
The official name of Georgia’s bureau for issuing and suspending a driver’s license is the Georgia Department of Driver Safety or Georgia DDS, for brevity purposes. Because DMV is the most common acronym — around the USA — for this license bureau, more people search on the Internet with DMV than DDS. Georgia is the only state to use DDS as its acronym. The acronyms will be used interchangeably in these articles.
New Deadlines for Expiration of Temporary License and Deadline for Appeal
Being arrested for DUI in GA, and your license taken and replaced by a paper temporary permit means that you have a suspended license. Prior to July 1, 2017, drivers had only 10 business days to file their appeal of that pending suspension, or lose or be suspended.
Those with a first DUI offense in 5 years, and arrested July 1, 2017 and after have 30 calendar days to file the appeal. For July 1, 2017 arrests for DUI in GA (and after), if you DO NOT file an appeal — this filing of an appeal delays your total license suspension until the 46th day following your DUI arrest.
The filing deadline is no longer counted as “business days.” The new rule (for arrests July 1, 2017 and after) is “calendar” days. If you miss filing an appeal of your suspension within 30 DAYS after the GA DUI arrest date, your driver’s license will show up as “suspended license” on the computer.
Driving on suspended license GA DUI penalties are harsh, including mandatory jail time. Don’t do it!
How to Get License After DUI by Appealing, Opting for IID, or Negotiating
By filing the DUI administrative license appeal with DDS in Georgia within the THIRTY calendar day deadline, you EXTEND your ability to drive in Georgia. This 30-day filing deadline is applicable to both Georgia licensees and out-of-state drivers who are licensed in other states.
Because the process to appeal the ALS suspension is very simple, NO ONE should allow this deadline to pass, unless it is done under the advice and counsel of a top-rated Georgia DUI lawyer.
For example, if your 30-day letter to DDS of Georgia seeking to appeal your pending suspension is postmarked (or delivered) a DAY LATE, and you were written up by your officer for DUI refusal (i.e., having refused the officer’s requested breath alcohol test), your Georgia driver’s license (or your driving privilege in GA, if licensed in another state) will be suspended from the 46th day after your DUI arrest until 365 days have passed.
Plus, if you are administratively suspended for an implied consent violation, you cannot get a work permit for a DUI refusal, but may decide (if done within the 30 “calendar days” DEADLINE) to opt for the ignition interlock device (IID) restricted driving permit, and not risk the administrative license suspension appeal being filed at Georgia DDS.
How Long Do You Lose Your License for DUI Refusal & “Hard” Suspension?
This is a senseless and inexcusable thing to do, so don’t put yourself through this, unless your DUI attorney uses it as a strategy for negotiating less jail time for a multiple DUI offender.
DOING NOTHING within 30 calendar days, and getting administratively suspended, creates what DDS GA workers call a “hard” suspension, meaning that you are not eligible for a limited driver’s permit (work permit), not eligible for early reinstatement, cannot opt for an ignition interlock permit for the 12 months, and are totally stranded from being able to drive.
If you have a Georgia license, this suspended license status will be shown on a national driver’s registry computers, and you would face the serious offense of driving with license suspended GA, if caught driving with a suspended license.
The same lack of eligibility applies if this ALS suspension is for a 2nd DUI in GA within 5 years, even if you took the state implied consent test. The new ignition interlock law, effective July 1, 2017 and after, only applies to drivers licensed to drive in Georgia, who are age 21 and over, with a first offense DUI Georgia case only (this means within five years, measured by dates of arrest).
Is the Interlock Device Restricted Driving Permit Your Best Option?
A Georgia licensee also can qualify for issuance of the IID permit, that then must be installed within 10 days. This assumes that your GA driver license is not suspended for any other reason, like FTA, super speeder GA, or missing child support payments.
Do not opt for this ignition interlock option until you have consulted with a top DUI lawyer on the pluses and minuses of this option.
Don’t Delay Action: Contact a Top DUI Attorney in Atlanta Today
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