This article is the first of many in the discussion of changes in our criminal, traffic, and DUI Laws.
In the present system, a person arrested for DUI has ten business days to file an appeal of their license suspension. After filing the appeal, the only way to resolve the suspension is to have an ALS Hearing or to settle the matter with the arresting officer.
The new process gives an accused person a choice. The old system is still in place. We can request a hearing, and we have 30 days to do so. There is still $150 filing fee, and the process has not changed.
The second option is completely new. Within 30 days of the arrest, a person can choose to have an ignition interlock device placed on their car for 12 months.
When someone elects to have an ignition interlock device placed on his or her vehicle, there will be no other limitations on his or her driving.
The advantage of taking the interlock option is that people who allegedly refuse testing will still be able to fight their cases while driving on the interlock.
Up until now, when a person is accused of refusing to take a breath or blood test, he or she would ordinarily be forced to enter into an agreement with the arresting officer. The agreement would usually require that someone accused of driving under the influence plead guilty or agree that they would plead guilty in exchange for being allowed to drive.
Now, the interlock option allows a person to still fight their Georgia DUI case without entering into an agreement to plead guilty.
The new change in the law only applies to first DUI offenses. Also, it is not retroactive to cases that were made before July 1st, 2017.
It will take a few months to see how these new changes in the Georgia DUI Laws affect my clients. I will be updating my readers as the new reality becomes apparent. However, do not forget that Georgia's DUI Laws Are Changing July 1st, 2017.