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Georgia Implied Consent Law: What Does Implied Consent Mean?

Bubba Head DUI Lawyer

By: William C. Head, Criminal Defense Attorney Atlanta GA and ABA Board-Certified DUI Attorney

Georgia Implied Consent Law, Bubba Head

The Georgia implied consent law notice in GA is part of a state statute, OCGA 40-5-67.1. All states in the USA have some sort of similar law that controls driver’s’ licenses, in situations where a suspected drunk driver is arrested for DUI-DWI, and is then informed of his or her legal duty to submit to the officer’s requested breath alcohol test, blood test or urine test (or, in GA, possibly all three). This “warning” is the GA implied consent law notice.

Law enforcement officers are authorized and trained in the Police Academy to read this implied consent “warning” to the arrested drunken driver. Significantly, notice notifies the arrested motorist that a refusal to participate in the post-arrest testing in GA will suspend his or her driver’s license for a full year. This harsh loss of driving privileges, under the Georgia implied consent law, is among the toughest and most inflexible implied consent laws in America.

Can a Judge in GA Issue a Hardship License for a DUI Work Permit?

The short answer is NO. Judges have no legal authority to circumvent the Georgia implied consent law, which is controlled by State DUI laws. Your criminal lawyer has to beat a DUI, or negotiate a means of keeping you driving, through the administrative license suspension law in Georgia.

The term “hardship license” is part of Georgia law, but not in applicable in this implied consent scenario. In other states, like South Carolina, a DUI lawyer can assist you in getting a “route restricted” driving permit, even with a DUI refusal to be tested, after an initial short period of license suspension.

Georgia law requires a full one year “hard suspension.” For example, Florida also allows a person who refused the implied consent test in that state to obtain a limited driving permit (or hardship license) after 90 days of no driving.

DUI Refusal in Georgia Is Inflexible, But the Law is Being Modified

No hardship license or DUI driving permit is available to a person arrested for a GA DUI who refuses to take the implied consent test, if the driver loses the administrative driver’s license suspension hearing. This issue, of “if suspended administratively” is where the critical importance of hiring a DUI attorney with VAST experience at dealing with these administrative license suspension hearings becomes important.

If your criminal defense attorney is not up to the task of explaining the multiple different ways of navigating around this harsh driver license suspension punishment, no Judge in Georgia can save or restore your driving privileges.

It is well-established (by Georgia appellate case law) that no Georgia judge can (through injunctive relief) grant a “work license” or a DUI work permit after an administrative judge affirms the officer’s license suspension for “refusal.” Hardison v. Sellers, 171 Ga.App. 327 (1984); Ga. DUI Practice Manual § 4:53, Georgia DUI Trial Practice Manual, by William C. Head & Frank Gomez. So, no restricted license of any type can be obtained, regardless of the person’s need or hardship.

New Ignition Interlock Alternative to Total Driver License Suspension

A new GA DUI law that was passed by the 2015 Georgia General Assembly takes effect on July 1, 2017 and after. This new statute (OCGA 40-5-64.1) notifies a driver facing a 1-year, inflexible, total loss of driving privileges, that he or she can opt for an ignition interlock-restricted license, with a one-year ignition interlock device being installed — at the DUI arrestee’s sole expense.

Other paperwork must be filed with DDS GA by your DUI lawyer within 30 days of arrest, including the driver’s affidavit seeking to withdraw the DUI refusal in Georgia in exchange for being allowed to install the interlock for 1 year. Only a Georgia licensee can utilize this new statute.

Then, subject to many other rules and restrictions, the person who makes this “election” can drive on that interlock restricted permit. This cost can be up to $4,000 over the full year.


Don’t Delay: The Clock is Ticking!

So, until July 1, 2017, and arrests made in Georgia that date and after, any driver legally arrested for driving under the influence is given a Hobson’s choice of either submitting to testing, and possibly giving the Government more evidence of DUI GA, or refusing to be tested, which DUI refusal triggers this lengthy GA driver license suspension.

Do I Need a DUI Lawyer? Searching for The Best DUI Attorney in GA

Some people foolishly try to self-assess their chances of winning the DUI in GA. The operable word here is “FOOLISHLY.” Just reading TRUE DUI case histories with: (1) BAC levels triple the alcohol legal limit, or (2) with a DUI refusal and failing all three NHTSA field sobriety tests, or (3) another drunk driving case report of a DUI checkpoint with a Intoxilyzer breath test double the legal alcohol limit, from two of our previous criminal trials will dissuade you from thinking that you have no chance to beat a DUI in court.

After being arrested for DUI in GA, some people are so depressed that they dwell on their mistake the night before, and not on beating the criminal charges. Fear of the unknown can be a powerful enemy. Our DUI lawyer partners WELCOME comparing criminal attorney comparisons. For example, our law firm has three different law book authors, which is unique in Georgia and possibly in all of America.

Georgia Implied Consent

A successful defense record for all Atlanta DUI attorneys in the law firm must include possessing the ability to neutralize field sobriety test evidence and finding ways to eliminate breath alcohol test results, especially where the “number” is in excess of the legal alcohol limit. Plus, know the LAW is critical, and this entails our DUI attorneys being familiar with every prior appellate decision on Georgia DUI laws and especially the Georgia implied consent law.

Drugged driving cases have grown by 100% in the last 15 years. Sleep driving DUI cases, after taking prescribed medications for insomnia or pain management are up by 400%. Plus, a conviction for DUI-drugs has more devastating DUI penalties in Georgia that a DUI-alcohol case, due to more severe loss of driving privileges and other loss of entitlements (e.g., loss of the GA Hope Scholarship due to a “drugs” conviction).

Each DUI attorney in our law office possesses special training on debunking “drug recognition” officers’ training and roadside tests like the “modified Romberg test” and the less-extensive ARIDE protocols require that our criminal defense lawyers know how to challenge a GBI blood alcohol or drugs test. Each of our Atlanta lawyers are an INSTRUCTOR in the three NHTSA standardized field sobriety tests (SFST), which exceeds the training of most police officers making arrests for DUI in Georgia.

Georgia Implied Consent Law

The best DUI lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia will offer you a FREE attorney consultation, explain how their criminal defense attorneys review your DUI case facts and implement a game plan for winning. Our three Georgia Super Lawyers aggressively represent clients accused of committing crimes through filing and arguing suppression motions. Limit your search to a lawyer for DUI who has achieved legitimate legal industry excellence attorney ratings, and who possesses a track record of proven drunk driving defense results on knowing how to beat a DUI. If our law firm has the RIGHT criminal defense attorney for you, ask our law office about our DUI attorney payment plans.

Call our DUI attorneys NOW, 24-7, for an initial criminal case review and to obtain FREE legal advice: 404-567-5515, or email our criminal justice lawyers.

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