Potential Changes Coming to Georgia’s DUI Laws

Posted by Richard Lawson | Sep 17, 2016 | 0 Comments

Presently, if arrested for DUI in Georgia, you have ten business days to appeal the automatic suspension of your license or privilege to drive in Georgia (for non-residents).  The new law changes the deadline to 30 days.  I suspect, however, this will be changed before the law is supposed to go into effect on July 1st, 2017.   

The other main change will now give a person the option to bypass the administrative process in exchange for getting an ignition interlock on the vehicle, for up to a year.   An ignition interlock is a device that prevents a vehicle from starting until the driver provides a breath sample.

At first glance, the interlock rule would seem unfair because it forces a person to be "punished" before a court has adjudicated the case.  Secondly, it is unfair to the poor because and ignition interlock system is expensive to install and maintain.      

However, there is one benefit that cannot be ignored.  By allowing a person to avoid an administrative license suspension, they will be allowed the ability to earn a living or attend school while fighting their DUI cases.  In the event of a refusal, using an interlock system is far more preferable than waiting 12 months (without a permit of any kind) before being allowed to drive.  

As with most new legislation, the final version will likely be worked out in January 2017, when the Georgia General Assembly again meets. Stay tuned for further updates in January.

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Richard Lawson

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