30 DAY WARNING FOR ANYONE ARRESTED FOR DUI IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA!!
If you are arrested for DUI in Georgia, you only have 30 days from the date of your arrest to file an appeal of your driver's license suspension or elect to install an ignition interlock device on your automobile. Your failure to act will result in a license suspension, and in the case of a refusal to submit to the State-administered test of your breath, blood, or urine, the suspension is for 12 months.
The decision to file an appeal or install an ignition interlock device should not be made until you have hired a Georgia DUI Attorney to review your case. There is no cookie cutter answer insofar as to whether you should install an ignition interlock device or file for an Administrative License Hearing. When hired early, we can review your case and your individual circumstances to come up with the best solution and the best outcome in your case.
The immediate suspension of your Georgia drivers license can be stopped. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to help you make the right decision. Act Now!
Administrative License Suspension Hearings / 30 Day Letter or Ignition Interlock Permit.
"The decision is yours, but you should let us help you make the best one.” Richard Lawson, July 1, 2017
“Now clients who have allegedly refused testing can now fight their case!” Kimberly Berry, July 1, 2017
“The decision to install an ignition interlock device or to request a hearing cannot be changed at a later date”. Richard Lawson, July 1, 2017
The Traditional Approach - Filing the 30 Day Letter / The Appeal:
Within 30 days of a person's arrest for a DUI in Georgia, your Georgia DUI Lawyer must file an appeal of your license suspension. In the event the appeal is not filed, your license or privilege to drive on the roadways of Georgia will be suspended. The State of Georgia charges a $150 filing fee to submit the appeal.
In the case of a refusal to submit to testing, your license will be suspended for 12-months. The 12-month suspension is considered a “hard suspension.” That means you will not even have a restricted license to drive.
In the case of a person who has submitted to a breath, blood, or urine test, the length of the suspension is 120 days. During the suspension, a person with a Georgia Driver's license can get a restricted license and reinstate their driver's license after 30 days, as long as they attend DUI School and pay a $210 reinstatement fee.
Once the 30-day letter is sent, your driver's license will not go into suspension until such time you are afforded an ALS Hearing before the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH). At the hearing, your Georgia DUI Attorney can fight the underlying charge or settle it with an agreement between the driver and the arresting officer. The purpose of the hearing is so you can continue to drive one way or another.
Furthermore, the traditional approach to handling Georgia ALS Hearings still applies exclusively to the following people:
- Drivers who have had more than one DUI in the past five years.
- CDL Drivers who need to continue to drive a vehicle that requires a commercial driver's license.
- Drivers under the age of 21
- Drivers who carry a license from another state.
How a Georgia ALS Hearing Proceeds:
At the hearing, your Georgia DUI Attorney can argue the lack of probable cause to arrest for the DUI or that the arresting officers violated Georgia's Implied Consent Law. The arresting officer must not only read the correct Georgia implied consent warning at the time of the arrest, additionally, he or she must also correctly answer your questions at the time of the arrest. If his or her verbal advice contradicts the implied consent warning, the State may lose its ability to use the chemical test (blood, breath, or urine) against you. Also, when the officer makes a mistake insofar as reading the implied consent warning is concerned, the State may also lose the ability to use your alleged refusal to take their test.
Winning the hearing will save your Georgia Driver's license or your privilege to drive in Georgia. Keep in mind that even for people who live in another state and receive a Georgia DUI, Georgia cannot suspend your license, but we can suspend your privilege to drive here. Also, there is nothing to stop another state from honoring our suspension. The decision to suspend or not is left to the State that issued the license.
There are defenses in Georgia at Your ALS Hearing:
Many "attorneys" just assume you are guilty or more likely it is hopeless from day one. Nothing is further from the truth. There are always potential defenses. Every case should be investigated. Those potential defenses include but are not limited to:
- Was the implied consent warning read correctly (substantially correct is the standard)
- Was the implied consent warning read timely (as close to the time of arrest as possible)
- Did the arresting officer or other officers present provide information to the arrested driver contrary to the advice and meaning of the implied consent warning.
- Did the officer read the correct warning for the person suspected of DUI ( such as the commercial warning for CDL drivers or the the under 21 warning for those who are under the age of 21 )
- Did the arresting officer fail to choose an actual test ( i.e designate a test such as breath )
- Did you rescind your refusal and agree to a test and the officer said it was too late to take the test.
- Did you request an independent test and were not accommodated.
- If there was a DUI Checkpoint, was the roadblock handled in a constitutional manner.
- Was the arrested driver in custody for purposes of Miranda warnings.
- Were any other rights violated during the arrest.
The Ignition Interlock Approach:
Within 30 days of your arrest, you must install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle and then go to the Georgia Department of Driver Services to apply for an ignition interlock permit. The interlock must be on your car for at least 120 days in the event you took a breath, blood, or urine test. For those who are accused of refusing, 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.
This is a big change from the past when winning the underlying case, or getting it reduced to another charge, eliminated the administrative license suspension. That is why installing the device is a big commitment, and it is not for everyone.
However, the interlock option does open up the opportunity to fight more cases. Many of our clients, in the past, have had to make the difficult decision to enter a plea of guilty, just to save their license. No more! Now, we have the opportunity to fight a person's cases without facing a hard suspension of their driver's license.
That being said, there are risks. Even a minor traffic offense can result in the interlock permit being suspended for six months. We ask our clients to let us know if they have received a ticket, so we can help them avoid a suspension.
What Happens If You Do Not Request a Georgia ALS Hearing or Install an Ignition Interlock Device?
If the hearing request is not made, your license goes into suspension on day forty-six (46). In the case of a refusal to submit to testing, your license will be suspended for a year, and you will not qualify for a limited or restricted license. There are no exceptions in the case of a refusal; so you must be very careful to hire counsel as soon as possible. This is called a “hard license suspension."
For cases where a person took a test, the suspension can be lifted as soon as thirty (30) days after the arrest. Understanding how to lift a suspension is why people contact us!
How Will the Georgia DUI Attorneys At Our Office Help?
Our team of Georgia DUI lawyers can assist you in preparing for this hearing and keeping your license. You should note however that the clock for the appeal of the suspension begins winding down on the date of your DUI arrest, so you need to act quickly. It takes time to get the reports, the video, and other evidence in your case. It also takes time to prepare the 30-day letter or make the decision for our clients to get an ignition interlock permit. Failure to act can create a waiver of your important rights, including the right and privilege to drive.
Remember, you cannot delay. Inaction means the waiver of important rights. Those rights can only be exercised from day one. Otherwise, you will waive your rights forever. That is why our Georgia DUI Attorneys are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. We don't take off holidays or weekends because your rights need to be protected every day.
Call Our Office Today For Immediate Help - We Are Here 24 Hours a Day to Help You, When You Need it Most:
In Georgia, you only have 30 days to make your decision. As your can see, there are several potential defenses in your case. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will receive immediate attention because your Best Defense Begins Here!