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How Georgia Implied Consent Law Impacts a Driver’s License

By: Bubba Head, Board-Certified Atlanta DUI Attorney and Criminal Defense Lawyer

Best DUI lawyer in Georgia Motorists across Georgia drive their cars every day, unaware that (under the Georgia implied consent law) the driver already implicitly agreed to submit to blood testing, breath testing, or urine testing if reasonably suspected of driving under the influence, simply by operating a car or truck on our highways when it was “less safe” to drive, due to impairment. Implied consent law in Georgia means that you either comply with forensic testing (after a lawful arrest for DUI in GA) to allow for the quantification of your BAC level or drug content, for use by the Prosecutor at trial.

implied consent law Georgia implied consent

Implied Consent Definition – Purpose and Impact on Driving Privileges

All Georgia law enforcement officer learn about reading the post-arrest “warning” under GA implied consent law at the police academy. The training is given to police in order for cops to know that implied consent laws relate to the officer’s ability to legally compel (or coerce) the motorist arrested for DUI in Georgia, to either submit to post-arrest testing of breath blood or urine, or suffer an implied consent Georgia license suspension (or for out-of-state licensees) the ability to drive in Georgia for 12 full months. Watch Mr. Head’s YouTube video on GA implied consent law.

The Consequences of a Georgia Implied Consent Law Suspension

Once their Georgia driver’s license is taken, and a DDS 1205 Form is given to the DUI arrestee in replacement of the plastic license, the Georgia implied consent law becomes the #1 topic of discussion by prospective clients. The quicker you call our DUI law firm, the MORE OPTIONS we can review with you, for saving your right to drive. Call for a FREE lawyer consultation now, 24 hours a day, at 404-567-5515. The implied consent laws require drivers to act within 30 days or LOSE ALL APPEAL OR INTERLOCK OPTIONS.

Implied Consent license suspension

WARNING: You only have 30 days to ACT to either obtain an ignition interlock device limited permit, OR file a traditional GA DDS appeal. The SOONER you call a drunk driving attorney at our office, the MORE options for protecting your right to drive will be available.

This administrative driver license suspension “law” is part of the Georgia implied consent law which goes further to address additional issues, if the driver refuses post-arrest testing. The 3 different Georgia implied consent warnings are set forth in a statute – the Georgia Implied Consent law, O.C.G.A. 40-5-67.1(b). Under this provision of Georgia DUI law, any person driving on Georgia highways who is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs has “implied” (given) his or her consent to be tested by police, but only AFTER ARREST!

Field Sobriety Tests are NOT Part of Georgia Implied Consent Law

Any pre-arrest roadside tests offered by police are NOT part of the implied consent law Georgia. Every “exercise,” eye test, hand-held breath tester, and verbal responses of ANY type (e.g., counting backward, or reciting any part of the alphabet) SHOULD NOT BE ATTEMPTED. Only your NAME and your ADDRESS are required. SHUT UP! This “right to remain silent” aspect of drunk driving law in Georgia needs to be known and followed by anyone traveling through or residing in Georgia.

Driving While Impaired and Implied Consent are “connected” in GA

The GA implied consent law relates ONLY to drunk driving cases. Any person arrested for driving under the influence must be READ a WARNING that basically states that IF the post-arrest, official implied consent test or tests are not agreed to and submitted to (by the detained, accused drunken driver), he or she can lose all right to drive for a full year. So, if arrested for any other driving offense, like hit and run, following too close, or reckless driving GA, implied consent laws DO NOT APPLY, since it pertains only to a DUI in Georgia.

No DUI work permit, no temporary license, and no provision license will be allowed, if a DUI refusal is put on your Georgia DDS record. This harsh law relating to the DUI license suspension consequence is why you must file an ALS appeal within 30 business days, or (if eligible) OPT FOR the ignition interlock device being installed on your car for a FULL YEAR, at your expense.

Driver’s License Taken – How to Get My Driver License Back?

After being written up by the arresting officer for violating the implied consent law in Georgia, you have only 30 days after the date of the incident to file an appeal of this pending administrative license suspension. It must be FILED with the Georgia Department of Driver Services (GA DDS).

DDS license suspension

A filing fee of $150 must accompany the written appeal. However, failure to file the appeal on or before the thirty (30) day deadline will result in an automatic license suspension, which takes effect on the 46th day after your initial arrest day.

This means that you could lose your driver’s license (or privilege to drive in Georgia if licensed by another state) for at least one year for any DUI administrative license suspension for “refusal” to acquiesce to the Georgia implied consent law. “Filed” means that you can obtain a hearing if you can prove a postmark or a certified mail letter stamped within the ten business days, or by physically delivering your payment to GA DDS headquarters. Talk to an experienced DUI defense lawyer, to know your BEST option, to keep driving.

The address of the Georgia Department of Driver Services is 2206 East View Parkway, Conyers, Georgia 30013. The phone number is 678-413-8400. The DDS Customer Contact Center is open Monday – Friday from 7:00 AM – 12:30 PM and from 1:00 PM – 5:15 PM. Tuesday is their busiest day. The regional license issuance offices of Georgia DDS are only open Tuesday through Friday, and half a day on Saturday (closing at NOON.

NEW IGNITION INTERLOCK OPTION AVAILABLE JULY 1, 2017:

DUI refusal interlock device

A new option (for most Georgia licensees facing DUI in Georgia) is to elect to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle and NOT file an appeal. Within 30 calendar days of your arrest, you must go to the Georgia DDS to apply for an ignition interlock permit. Then, within 10 days of getting the permit, you must have it installed.  The interlock must be on your car for at least 120 days IF you took a breath, blood, or urine test.  If you REFUSED chemical testing, the interlock must be on your vehicle for 12 months and cannot be removed for any reason, even if you win your case or it is reduced to another charge such as reckless driving.

The IID option is NOT available to drivers under 21 years of age, CDL license holders, anyone with at least one DUI conviction in the past 5 years from ANY state. Only Georgia residents are eligible, and NOT out-of-state license holders. This fact is why ANYONE arrested for DUI in GA, and who has a non-resident driver’s license MUST CALL OUR LAW FIRM immediately, to protect some special options for protecting your ability to drive in Georgia.

If you do nothing (don’t file an appeal or request an IID) within 30 calendar days, your Georgia license will be suspended for 120 days if you agreed to take a chemical test. You will also be eligible for a temporary restricted permit. If you REFUSED the chemical test, your driving privileges will be suspended for 12 months, and you won’t be eligible for a temporary restricted permit.

Georgia DUI Lawyers Who Specialize in DUI Defense Keep You Driving

Atlanta DUI lawyers

The legal rules applicable to Georgia implied consent law are both complex and highly technical. Therefore, seeking expert legal advice from an experienced and knowledgeable DUI law firm in Georgia, that is staffed by DUI lawyers, is your first step. You ONLY HAVE 30 DAYS, after arrest.

DON’T SCREW THIS UP, and possibly lose the right to drive by not following the rules for timely filing of the ALS license suspension appeal, or opting for the interlock (for eligible Georgia licensees). Our Georgia DUI attorneys know ALL of the legal errors in the police procedures for complying with the implied consent laws in Georgia. Contact a DUI defense attorney IMMEDIATELY, for help in protecting your driver’s license from an administrative suspension in GA.

Three Different Implied Consent Warnings in Georgia

Because different “categories” of drivers are held to different standards for the permissible BAC level in the driver’s blood, breath or urine, three different legal admonishments are part of the GA law for implied consent. The three warnings are targeted to these types of drivers:

  1. Any person operating a commercial motor vehicle (CDL) cannot have in excess of 0.040 grams percent of alcohol.
  2. Any underage driver (under 21) can only have 0.020 grams percent or less of alcohol.
  3. All other drivers, age 21 and older, are held to a standard of 0.080 grams percent.

Several other factors and “timing” issues (for when the test is taken) are part of the implied consent laws in Georgia, but those issues are for other discussions within this website.

The Implied Consent Warning – GA

In Georgia, police officers who arrest a motorist for DUI must immediately read the proper language of the implied consent law to the detained driver.  If the officer fails to read the full implied consent warning, or there are any substantive errors in the officer’s recitation, a criminal defense attorney who is a DUI lawyer may be able to have your pending license suspension successfully rescinded (removed) from the GA Department of Driver Services records.

But the only way to determine if this is an option in your DUI case is to speak with a criminal defense attorney who specializes in driving while intoxicated cases, and who deals with Georgia implied consent law issues on a daily basis.

If your DUI lawyer makes any errors, Georgia appellate court decisions have basically ruled that it is YOUR PROBLEM, and will not UNDO the license suspension. What better reason to seek out the help of a veteran DUI attorney in Atlanta?

Below is the precise wording of the 3 official Georgia implied consent warnings:

(1) Implied consent notice for suspects under age 21: Georgia law requires you to submit to state-administered chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for the purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse this testing, your Georgia driver’s license or privilege to drive on the highways of this State may be suspended for a minimum period of one year. Your refusal to submit to the required testing may be offered into evidence against you at trial. If you submit to testing and the results indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.02 grams or more, your Georgia driver’s license or privilege to drive on the highways of this State may be suspended for a minimum period of one year. After first submitting to the required state tests, you are entitled to additional chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances at your own expense and from qualified personnel of your own choosing. Will you submit to the state-administered chemical tests of your (designate which tests) under implied consent law?”

(2) Implied consent notice for suspects age 21 or over: Georgia law requires you to submit to state-administered chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for the purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse this testing, your Georgia driver’s license or privilege to drive on the highways of this State may be suspended for a minimum period of one year. Your refusal to submit to the required testing may be offered into evidence against you at trial. If you submit to testing and the results indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or more, your Georgia driver’s license or privilege to drive on the highways of this State may be suspended for a minimum period of one year. After first submitting to the required state tests, you are entitled to additional chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances at your own expense and from qualified personnel of your own choosing. Will you submit to the state-administered chemical tests of your (designate which tests) under implied consent law?”

(3) Implied consent notice for commercial vehicle driver suspects: Georgia law requires you to submit to state-administered chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for the purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse this testing, you will be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a minimum period of one year. Your refusal to submit to the required testing may be offered into evidence against you at trial. If you submit to testing and the results indicate the presence of any alcohol, you will be issued an out-of-service order and will be prohibited from operating a motor vehicle for 24 hours. If the results indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.04 grams or more, you will be disqualified from operating a commercial vehicle for a minimum period of one year. After first submitting to the required state tests, you are entitled to additional chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances at your own expense and from qualified personnel of your own choosing. Will you submit to the state-administered chemical tests of your (designate which tests) under the implied consent law?”

Commercial Vehicles Are Not All “Big Rig” Trucks

Under this last subsection, Georgia’s driving laws identify which vehicles are classified as “commercial motor vehicles”. One of these types of vehicles is a school bus. Also, a transport van that has 16 or more passengers is categorized as a commercial vehicle. These two types of motor transport are included due to the potential catastrophic loss of life, if children or passengers of any age (on a paid conveyance) are injured or killed.

The CDL license is an overlay of a regular Georgia drivers license (or an “endorsement”) that calls for  a more strenuous written and practical driving test. The implied consent law of Georgia does the same thing by allowing less alcohol to be consumed.

How to Beat a DUI in Georgia Using Implied Consent Laws

Although the Georgia legislature significantly “watered down” Georgia’s laws on implied consent in March of 1998, the general rule of law to interrogate whether a motorist can lose his or her right to drive in Georgia is “strictly construed” against the government. Plus, new developments in GA implied consent case law, like Ovevik v. State, and State v. Council, can prevent the use of a refusal to consent to a breath alcohol test, at the criminal DUI trial. Read more at Mr. Head’s Google+ page in implied consent, describing the importance of a DUI lawyer making GA implied consent law challenges.

In the past 50 years, the following FLAWS in police officers’ compliance with GA implied consent rules have resulted in the “chemical test” results (blood, breath, or urine) being excluded from the evidence used by the prosecutor at trial:

  1. Not reading the card at all
  2. Delay in reading the card, instead of immediately after the DUI arrest
  3. Not allowing the alleged drunk driver to change his or her mind, and take the test after first refusing the implied consent test
  4. Not honoring the driver’s “refusal to be tested” and starting the breath test anyway, obtaining test results without consent
  5. Giving extraneous or incorrect additional information beyond the EXACT printed advertisement
  6. Failing to accommodate an independent test request by the driver, after the drunken driver has taken the state test
  7. Not taking the detained DUI suspect to his or her selected location for an independent test, even if out of the county
  8. Coercing the DUI detained driver into taking the test
  9. Obtaining consent from a driver who is too impaired to give consent
  10. Omitting or misstating key parts or portions of the statutory warning that are critical to the advertisement being “meaningful”
  11. Reading the implied consent card for a breath alcohol test, which requires the already-arrested person, who has no right to contact a DUI attorney, to undergo “custodial interrogation” as defined by paragraph 16 of the Georgia Constitution. [READ MORE BELOW].

In Georgia, a post-arrest, non-Mirandized BREATH Test is “Interrogation”

These 10 types of errors are just the tip of the iceberg. For example, a new implied consent law case in 2017 dramatically altered Georgia implied consent law, by ruling that breath alcohol testing is an “act” equal to being interrogated, that is protected by the Georgia Constitution, Article 1, Section 1, Paragraph 16. Olevik v. State, ___ Ga. ___ (Case no. S17A0738; Decided 10-16-2017), stands for the proposition that a DUI arrestee cannot be compelled to use his or her body (under implied consent testing) to give non-Mirandized, self-incriminatory breathalyzer evidence. This deep lung air can ONLY be delivered in a satisfactory way by the detained citizen following police orders, and forcibly exhaling a sufficient quantity of deep lung air. The Georgia Constitution considered post-arrest “acts” to all be “interrogation,”

best DUI attorney

Many other variations of law enforcement errors can be made, resulting in an implied consent law violation in Georgia.  This is why you need the best DUI attorney at your side, so that your drunk driving defense lawyer can find a way to win your DUI case.

Contact DUI Attorney Atlanta William C. “Bubba” Head who travels anywhere in Georgia

As you can see, knowing your implied consent rights can be important to winning. Because the opportunity to appeal your license being suspended is so short, you must act quickly on any GA DDS hearing request. A DUI “refusal” threatens to take away ALL driving privileges for a FULL YEAR, so prompt action is critical. Atlanta attorney William C. “Bubba” Head and partners Larry Kohn, DUI lawyer Atlanta and Cory Yager, Georgia DUI attorney, have handled thousands of administrative license hearings all over the State of Georgia, and have saved thousands of our clients’ driving privileges in cases involving driving under the influence accusations, after being read the Georgia implied consent law advisement.

Get FREE legal advice, from our Atlanta criminal defense attorneys, by calling 404-567-5515. Whether in-person, by phone call, or through a video-conferencing tool like Facetime, Go To Meeting, DUO or ZOOM, If you call us RIGHT AWAY, the drunk driving attorneys at our Atlanta DUI law firm can look into your DUI case, to uncover evidence that can help you keep your driver’s license. WE tell you about your THREE OPTIONS (if a GA licensee) for protecting your right to drive, when facing an implied consent violation for a DUI refusal. Whether your arrest is a DUI Atlanta arrest or in ANY OTHER Georgia location, our lawyers can help you. We are one of the handful of Georgia DUI lawyers who travel statewide, to defend accused citizens.

Georgia DUI lawyer

Call 41-year veteran Atlanta DUI attorney Bubba Head today and get honest answers to all your questions. Tell us everything that happened and everything you remember about your DUI arrest. The sooner you call us, the better chance we have to win your case.

license suspension after DUI arest

Remember, you only have 30 DAYS to file a license suspension appeal or (for eligible drivers) apply for an ignition interlock device, or your driver’s license will be suspended for up to one year! Talk to Bubba Head, Larry Kohn, or Cory Yager now. We are available 24 hours a day, weekends, and all major holidays. (404) 567-5515

GA DUI Implied Consent Lawyers

 

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