9 Things to Know About DUI License Suspension (How to Get Your License Back)
By: William C. Head, Atlanta DUI Lawyer
After a DUI arrest in Georgia, the driver’s license of virtually every person taken to jail is confiscated. This seizure of your plastic driver license is part of the Georgia implied consent law. In place of your suspended license is a temporary driving permit that states that it is good for 30 days, but this is HIGHLY DECEPTIVE.
If you fail to appeal this DUI license suspension within 30 DAYS of your arrest, you are at risk of having a suspended license for 12 full months. We can help you with your ALS appeal letter, help you reinstate your full driver’s license, and help you get your driver’s license back. Can a DUI lawyer explain how to get my license back after a DUI? Read more below.
On July 1. 20017, Georgia DUI law was amended to include a new option to elect to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle and NOT file a license suspension 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, and any out-of-state license holders.
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.
- To get an extension of your temporary driving privileges after a DUI arrest where your driver’s license is taken, you MUST file an appeal to Georgia DDS of the pending administrative license suspension (ALS) within THIRTY days after your arrest. No late filings will be considered. Delivery to DDS GA must be accomplished BY the 30th DAY. Certified mail to the Department of Driver Safety is “delivery” on the day of the postmark. Otherwise, your driving privileges are suspended on the 46th day after arrest.
- The day of arrest is NOT Day 1 (for counting purposes on the 30 days). The first weekday (Monday through Friday) that is not a State holiday after the arrest date is Day 1 of your ten days. Remember, you have a SUSPENDED LICENSE, subject to your right to a hearing, which is only possible by filing an Appeal to DDS GA within 30 days.
- A filing fee of $150 must accompany any DDS appeal for a DUI arrest, and it is critical that the filing be done by hand delivery, with receipt given at the Conyers DDS headquarters, or by a provable delivery method (U.S. Postal Service with return receipt requested and a date-stamped receipt for when sent out, or UPS, FedEX, or similar commercial delivery service with detailed tracking). This payment is to “Georgia DDS” and can be a personal check, money order or cashier’s check. No credit card payments or alternative payment methods like PayPal are currently accepted by DDS. Cash, in person at Conyers, or check, by certified mail.
- Retain written proof of timely USPS mailing or sending out by other confirmed delivery method, within the 30 days (the DDS appeal can arrive on Conyers by the delivery service later than the 30 days, so long as “sent” (delivered) on or before the 30th day. See No. 1 above, as to what “delivered” means.)
- Keep a copy of this “appeal” paperwork IN YOUR VEHICLE, along with your Form 1205 “permit,” in case you get pulled over. This is what you show an officer asking to see your license. Any mail from DDS or from the OSAH (administrative law court) should be kept here, too.
- Most ALS hearings are set within 60 days of the date of arrest, and is held in a separate COURT and on a separate DATE and is heard by a separate JUDGE than for the criminal case. The ALS first court date may be before or after your first criminal court date (usually, the arraignment), depending on the particular court in which your DUI case is pending.
- The legal issues at an ALS hearing by an OSAH administrative law judge (not your criminal court judge) are far more limited than what occurs at criminal court, where full constitutional rights are in play. Plus, the “standard of proof” at an administrative license hearing is much lower than the proof required from the prosecutor at trial, where proof beyond a reasonable doubt is mandated.
- The ALS judges’ OSAH court is trying to conserve paper, so you may only get hearing reset notices and final decisions by going to their Web site: http://www.osah.ga.gov
- If a hearing is held, your DUI lawyer likely will want to obtain a transcript of the hearing, to use later in the criminal case. ALS hearings are only tape recorded by the judge, and these rudimentary recordings are often not fully audible. So, our Atlanta DUI attorneys prefer to bring a court reporter (whose services you retain) to these license suspension hearings, to create a full and accurate record, for possible impeachment purposes at the criminal case, or in the event an administrative law judge’s decision is appealed to Superior Court.
The Georgia Department of Driver Safety has its physical office location at 2206 East View Parkway, Conyers, GA 30013. The Georgia Department of Driver Services MAILING ADDRESS is different: P.O. Box 80447, Conyers, GA 30013. Their phone number is 678-413-8400 or 678-413-8500. Their website can be searched for other issues related to license reinstatement, suspended license, DUI schools, and proper identification needed to prove who you are, for ANY type of George DDS driver’s license or Georgia ID card. www.dds.ga.gov
Will I have to pay a DUI attorney to tell me how does a DUI affect employment? No. Bubba Head will give you a FREE case evaluation. During your conversation Mr. Head will explain how damaging a DUI can be on your current and future employment.
Copyright 2017 by William C. Head, Atlanta, GA. DUI lawyer and author of books on DUI law for a quarter of a century. Call him around the clock at his DUI law firm: (404) 567-5515