Georgia Administrative License Hearings (Georgia ALS Hearings) Explained:
PLEASE SEE BOTTOM OF ARTICLE FOR UPDATE AS OF JULY 1ST, 2017
In any case where the driver is suspected of and arrested for DUI in Georgia, there will be the possibility of an administrative suspension of your Georgia driver's license or privilege to drive in this state. This is a separate proceeding but can have a significant impact on the proceedings in your criminal case. If you fail to handle your Georgia Administrative License Hearing, your license will be suspended for up to a year, sometime without any permit to drive.
For any driver that refuses to take a state-administered test or if the results of a state-administered test show that your blood alcohol concentration was 0.08 grams percent or more your license can be suspended for a 12 month period beginning 30 days after your arrest. You only have 10 business days after arrest to file an appeal to prevent the automatic suspension of your Georgia driver's license or privileges to drive in this state. The appeal is commonly referred to as the “10 day letter” and must include certain basic information as well state the grounds for the appeal. If the Georgia ALS Hearing is not requested, your license will be suspended.
If you refused to take the state-administered test, you are facing a hard 12 month license suspension and you will not be entitled to a limited driving permit. If you did submit to the state test and you are 21 or older, you will be able to get a limited permit which will allow you to drive to work, school, and to seek medical care and treatment, and your license will be eligible for early reinstatement after 30 days if you attend a Risk Reduction course (DUI school). This administrative suspension will be credited toward any suspension period imposed in the criminal action.
The penalties can be different if you are a first, second, or third offender, under 21 years old, or even an out-of state licensee and the strategy in handling an ALS hearing and potential suspension will depend on your circumstances. Making sure that Georgia ALS Hearings are handled correctly is extremely important in your case.
After requesting the hearing, you will receive notice as to when and where your Administrative License Suspension Hearing will be held. It is important to note that this hearing in most cases will be in a different court and heard by a different judge (an Administrative Law Judge or “ALJ”) than your criminal DUI case. Make sure to to tell your Georgia DUI Attorney the date and time, since the notice will come directly to the accused DUI driver in Georgia.
UPDATE, JULY 1ST 2017:
The 10 day letter as described previously has now been extended to a 30 day letter. If you have been arrested for a DUI, you now have 30 days to either appeal your automatic license suspension or install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. If you do not file an appeal or install the interlock device before the 30 days are up, it will result in your license being suspended for up to one year. For more information, please visit Georgia ALS Hearings. Please also visit our updated page on Georgia DUI Penalties.