License Suspensions for Drug Crimes and Drug DUI convictions
Violations of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act and Drug DUI drivers license suspension are governed by O.C.G.A. §40-5-75. Article 2 of Chapter 13 of Title 16 is known as The Georgia Controlled Substance Act (VGCSA). Drug DUIs including both illegal drugs and prescription drugs under O.G.C.A. 40-6-391(a)2, (a)4 and (a)6 are subject to Drug License suspensions. The Drug crime code sections that trigger license suspensions are found in O.C.G.A. §16-13-20 through §16-13-56. Any convictions under these codes sections will result in a license suspension ranging from 6 months to 5 years. There is no requirement that the Drug Crime be in anyway related to a motor vehicle traffic offense or even a moving vehicle.
A. There are exceptions. There are two ways to avoid a license suspension with Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession less than an Ounce.
I. First, Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana Pleas of nolo contendere under O.C.G.A. 16-13-2(b) will not suspend your drivers license. The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) will accept a plea of nolo contendere to a misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge once every 5 years pursuant to O.C.G.A. §40-5-75(c). The defendant must be charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana less than one ounce in violation of O.C.G.A. §16-13-30(j)(1) and sentenced under O.C.G.A. §16-13-2(b). The defendant must be over the age of 16. The defendant must not have any convictions or pleas of nolo contendere to any violations governed by O.C.G.A. §40-5-75 within the previous five years, as measured from dates of arrest which would basically include drug charges and DUI drugs.
The Judge must agree to accept the nolo plea to possession of marijuana less than an ounce. To prevent the license suspension the Judge must:
- Order the defendant to attend and complete a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program. The order shall stipulate that the defendant shall complete such program and submit evidence of such completion to DDS within 120 days.
- The record of the disposition of the case shall be forwarded to DDS within 10 days of the disposition.
- The judge shall notify the defendant that if he/she fails to complete such program and fails to submit evidence of such completion to DDS within 120 days, his/her driver’s license shall be suspended by operation of law.
ii. Suspension – Yes; 180 day period beginning on effective date.
iii. Limited Driving Permit – No
iv. Reinstatement Requirements:
2. Remit a $210.00 reinstatement fee (or $200.00 if processed by mail).
ii. Suspension – Yes; 1 year period beginning on effective date.
iii. Limited Driving Permit – No.
iv. Reinstatement Requirements:
2. Remit a $310.00 reinstatement fee (or $300.00 if processed by mail).
ii. Suspension – Yes; 5 year period beginning on effective date
iii. Limited Driving Permit – Yes, but only after 2 years of a hard suspension if defendant:
Has not been convicted or pleaded nolo contendere to any drug related offense,
including driving under the influence, for a period of two years immediately
preceding the application for a permit,
iv. Completes a licensed drug treatment program approved by DDS,
v. Pays the permit fee of $25,
vi. Submits proof of financial responsibility, and
Meets all other departmental requirements.
vii. Reinstatement Requirements:
2. Remit a $410.00 reinstatement fee (or $400.00 if processed by mail)