Why Getting an Interlock Waiver in Georgia is Generally a Bad Idea

Posted by Richard Lawson | Aug 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

Should a person with a second or more DUI conviction in Georgia install an interlock or seek an interlock waiver?

Generally, our advice is that people should install the interlock.  The ignition interlock waiver is often misunderstood. 

Problem #1: (It May Not Be Granted)

To begin with, when you hire a Georgia DUI Attorney to seek an interlock waiver, he or she will file a motion in the court in which you were sentenced asking the judge to waive the requirement.  There is no guarantee that the judges will agree to it.  Judges are politicians who answer to the electorate, and as a result, they do not want to appear soft on multiple DUI offenders.  As a result, you may end up paying your Georgia DUI Lawyer almost as much as the cost of installing the interlock device, and the judge denies the motion for the interlock waiver.

Problem #2 (The Big Misunderstanding)

If the interlock waiver is granted, YOU DO NOT GET TO DRIVE IMMEDIATELY (read twice please).  People assume that waiving the interlock requirement for multiple Georgia DUI offenders means that you get your license or permit.  It does not.  If the interlock waiver is granted, that means you are agreeing not to drive for what would have been the duration of the interlock requirement. 

For example, for a second DUI in five years, you would be agreeing not to drive for 12-months instead of installing the interlock and driving with it.  For a third DUI in five years, you would be agreeing to not drive for three years versus installing the interlock and having the ability to drive.

Problem #3 (Time Flies and It Was Not Fun)

Many people also call us and say that it has been several years since they had a license.  They assume that since they have not legally driven, the time periods for having an ignition interlock have passed.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  In Georgia, the time period to have the interlock installed (or the waiver granted) does not start running until you have either installed the interlock or have received the interlock waiver.

For example, a person is convicted of a second DUI in five years in 2010.  They have not driven since.  They would still have to either install the interlock for 12-months or get the waiver and then agree not to drive for 12-months (even though they have not driven since the DUI). 

Exceptions to the General Rule:

If you live out of state and your home state does not have compatible requirements, then an interlock waiver is appropriate.  However, the suspension will likely remain on the National Driver's License Registry and prevent you from getting a license or permit in your home state.

Also, if you have no plans to drive (for now) and want to have the time period pass so that you can eventually drive in the future, then the interlock waiver will serve that purpose. 


For almost everyone who calls our office, installing the interlock as soon as it can be legally installed is the correct legal advice. 

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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