By: William C. Head, Criminal Defense Attorney Atlanta GA and ABA Board-Certified DUI Attorney
Driver license suspension is one of the greatest concerns for all persons arrested for a DUI in Georgia. An arrested DUI driver is routinely asked to submit to post-arrest breath testing, blood testing, or urine testing. It is imperative that you know the qualifications for license reinstatement in Georgia.
Giving any answer other than YES typically causes a DUI refusal to be written up by the arresting officer. This includes the detained DUI driver merely remaining silent, after being read the Georgia implied consent notice.
A suspended license in Georgia when resulting from an ALS suspension (administrative license suspension) could cause total loss of the right to drive in GA, under both OLD and NEW Georgia DUI law. However, beginning July 1, 2017, a DUI first offense (within five years) is given a new option mentioned above: installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for 1 year.
Under prior Georgia DUI laws pertaining to implied consent GA administrative license suspension “refusals,” no matter if a 2nd DUI in GA or a first DUI offense, the GA DDS license status for a DUI refusal triggered more punitive DUI penalties. This meant a “hard” suspension (no limited permit for ANY type of driving or license reinstatement).
Now, a new option for interlock-restricted driving opens new doors for those facing a DUI refusal hard suspension. This option allows the accused drunk driver to FIGHT his or her criminal case, having to put an ignition interlock device on one vehicle, and driving only THAT vehicle.
The GA driver license status with an IID attached for the full one-year suspension is a special “permit” that can be lost for several causes or events. Thus, any person planning to opt for the IID must talk to a lawyer in Atlanta, to be certain to not allow any default to occur that would take away the IID permit and your right to drive. It is not a full license reinstatement.
Your DDS GA license status, if the interlock device is selected by you, will show up on any driver license status check at Georgia DDS that would be run by a police officer after rolling up to a DUI checkpoint, a routine traffic stop, or if involved in an accident. So, an employer, a rental car company, or even a new car auto dealer who might otherwise allow you to test drive a car possibly will “flag” you from getting behind the wheel. These are a few of DOZENS of consequences of opting for the IID permit.
Thus, it is apparent that your Georgia driver license status is altered by choosing the ignition interlock ALS option. Because DDS Georgia MAKES YOU ELECT one option (and stick with it), you need to FIRST consult a DUI lawyer Atlanta about what your personal situation dictates is the best course of action.
A license reinstatement after a DUI in GA is the most common occurrence for citizens seeking to reinstate their license. Under the new implied consent laws, O.C.G.A. 40-5-64.1, different procedures apply. This can depend on whether you opt for IID or seek a traditional ALS appeal of the Georgia implied consent law driver license suspension. A DUI defense lawyer can review these Georgia license reinstatement options, guide you how to do this, and explain the qualifications for reinstating your driver license.
Initially, no out-of-state driver can take the 3rd option for an interlock-restricted license. Out-of-state drivers from some states (e.g., Wisconsin, New Jersey, Texas, and Illinois, to name a few) can suffer a total loss of the right to drive due to the suspended license in GA. Don’t make a hasty decision, or trust a cheap Atlanta DUI lawyer to properly advise you on license reinstatement.
After being arrested for DUI in Georgia, the first thing to do it identify an expert on Georgia DUI law through top attorney ratings. Look at who is BEHIND the law firm, review each of the trial lawyers’ credentials, and check out the criminal defense attorney who leads the law office. Every experienced DUI lawyer in the law firm must have full command of DUI laws and possess training in all aspects of successfully challenging the driving under the influence criminal case.
This successful defense record must include suppressing breath alcohol tests, and knowing every prior appellate decision on the Georgia implied consent law. An increasing number of drugged driving cases require that our criminal defense lawyers know how to challenge a GBI blood alcohol or drugs test. Being an INSTRUCTOR in the three NHTSA standardized field sobriety tests (SFST) is also necessary.
The best DUI attorneys in Atlanta, Georgia will offer you a FREE consultation, explain how their criminal attorneys search for a successful defense in your case, and aggressively represent clients to the maximum extent the law allows. Limit your search to DUI lawyers who have legitimate lawyer ratings and a history of proven results on knowing how to beat a DUI. If we are the criminal defense attorneys for you, ask us about our attorney payment plans.
Call our DUI defense lawyers NOW, 24-7, for an initial case review and FREE legal advice: 404-567-5515, or email our criminal justice attorneys.