The Advantages of Georgia’s New Administrative License Law

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jul 03, 2017 | 0 Comments

On July 1st, 2017, the first major revision of Georgia’s DUI Laws went into effect.  This article will address the advantage of Georgia's new administrative license law.

Before the changes, clients only had one option.  They had to file a hearing request within ten days of their arrest.  Failure to appeal resulted in a suspension of their driver's license or privilege to drive in Georgia.

With the New Georgia DUI License Hearing Law, License Holders Have Two Options:

The first option is to still apply for a Georgia ALS Hearing within 30 days of their arrest.  

In the alternative, a Georgia License holder can have an ignition interlock device placed on their vehicle.  

There are five advantages to getting an interlock installed:

  • The first advantage is that a person who is wrongfully accused of a DUI can fight their case, all the way through a jury trial, and not lose their ability to drive throughout their case.  Under the old system, a person was forced to request a hearing and potentially lose their driver's license at that hearing.  Since it takes months or even years to get a trial date, some people suffered a Georgia administrative license suspension during the pendency of their case. 

  • The second advantage of the new law is that we can review the evidence in a person's case without having to make the decision to settle it before such evidence is reviewed.  In many jurisdictions, it takes several months before we can request the report and the video.  As a result, some clients were forced to make a decision about their case before it was fully reviewed.  With the new law, we will not have to make that decision for people who are truly interested in fighting their case.

  • The third advantage is that we now have 30 days to decide whether to send a Georgia 30 Day Letter or install the interlock.  This will give Georgia DUI Attorneys time to help our clients make an informed decision as to what is in their best interest. 

  • The fourth advantage is when our clients who want to get a license suspension started and completed right away.  For some people, it is better to complete their license suspension immediately.  With the new law, any amount of time a person serves on the restricted ignition interlock permit is credited towards the suspension they may receive in court.  For most people, this means there will be no additional license suspension.  Many people prefer the certainty of what may happen to them versus the unknown. 

  • The fifth advantage is not having to rush a person's case or file a demand for a speedy trial.  Many times, we were forced to demand a quick trial for our clients to restore their driving privileges. Now, we can let a case proceed in a more orderly manner so that we can be properly prepared for trial.  

Practice Notes:

I have carefully said “Georgia Drivers” because the new law does not apply to drivers from another state. 

The new law only applies to people who have not been convicted of another DUI in the past five years, as measured by the date of the arrest.

The new law does not apply to drivers under the age of 21.

If you are within 30 days of turning 21, from the date of the service of the DDS-1205, you can apply for the interlock. 

The new law does not allow a driver, who holds a CDL license, to drive a commercial vehicle. 

The most important thing is for people who are accused of a DUI to call us before they lose their right to make a decision.  If charged with a Georgia DUI, you only have 30 days to act.  

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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