Georgia DUI Administrative License Suspension
A Georgia DUI Arrest Triggers Two Different Court Proceedings and the Possibility of Two Separate License Suspensions:
After a Georgia DUI arrest, if your breath or blood alcohol registers over .08 within 3 hours of driving, or you refuse a state administered chemical test of your blood, breath or urine, Georgia DUI law requires that you be issued a Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) Form 1205 in addition to the Criminal Court summons or a Uniform Traffic Citation. The DDS Form 1205 is a 45 -day temporary driver’s license, but also acts as a notice of intention to suspend your driver’s license in 45 days because the arresting officer has sworn that he had reasonable grounds to arrest you for DUI. On the back of the DDS Form 1205 is a notice that you have 30 calendar days to request a hearing to appeal the Administrative Suspension of your driver’s license.
If you send a hearing request letter to the DDS, a hearing will be scheduled with the Georgia Office of Administrative Hearings to determine if your administrative license suspension should be affirmed or rescinded. This means that you will have to fight your DUI in an administrative court to prevent a pre-DUI conviction license suspension as well as in criminal court where a DUI conviction can result in another, different DUI license suspension. These two proceedings are handled in different courts by different judges. The Administrative DUI license hearing is governed by special rules, deadlines and legal issues. Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt has nothing to do with a DUI administrative license suspension hearing. You also have the option of getting an ignition interlock device installed on you car and obtaining an ignition interlock device driving permit within the 30 calendar day deadline. If you choose the ignition interlock device route, you will have to drive on a valid in georgia only limited permit for one year whether you are convicted of DUI or not. Click here for license hearing, implied consent rights and letter procedures O.C.G.A. § 40-5-67.1 (2016 Version)
The Thirty-Day Letter Deadline
After receiving a DDS Form 1205 or yellow 45-day temporary driving permit, you have 30 calendar days to request a hearing by sending an appeal letter to the Georgia Department of Driver Services with a $150 filing fee made payable to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. This letter will halt the administrative license suspension until a hearing can be held by the Office of State Administrative Hearings.
We Will Send the Thirty (30) Day License Letter for Free Even if You Don’t Hire Us
We will send the Thirty (30) Day License Letter for free. If you hire us, we will send the letter certified with a return receipt requested for proof of delivery. Preparing and sending the letter is free, but we do not include the $150 filing fee for the Georgia Department of Driver Services that must sent with the letter. Even if you do not hire us, we will prepare the letter for you in your name, mail it to the DDS and give you a copy to mail by certified mail return receipt requested. If you do not hire us, this letter will be in your name only and we will not receive any notice of your driver’s license hearing. It is your responsibility if you do not hire us to make sure you appear at your license hearing or your license will most likely be administratively suspended.
We Only Charge for the Administrative License Hearing if We Have to Appear
While other firms charge a “flat fee,” which includes an administrative license suspension hearing and all criminal court appearances, we believe that you should not have to pay for the administrative license suspension hearing unless we actually have to go. We break up our fees into one flat fee for the criminal proceedings and one flat fee for the administrative license hearing. The administrative license hearing never occurs in many Georgia DUI cases either because the license was not taken, the proper DDS Form 1205 was not issued, it does not make economic or legal sense to appeal the administrative license suspension, a blue 180 day driving permit sticker was affixed to the ticket, or the criminal case is resolved prior to the administrative license suspension hearing occurring. It just isn’t fair to charge for something that you may not have to do.
When Will the Administrative License Hearing triggered by the Thrity (30) Day Letter Occur?
The administrative license suspension hearing usually occurs between 45 and 90 days after the arrest. In some cases, the license hearing can be delayed up to six months. It is necessary in some instances to obtain an extension of your driving permit from the Georgia Department of Driver Services while you await an administrative license suspension hearing.
The Goal is to Have the Administrative Suspension Dismissed or “Rescinded” Before it Goes into Effect:
The administrative license suspension hearing determines whether a DUI defendant’s driving privileges will be suspended prior to a DUI conviction in criminal court. A conviction for DUI in criminal court carries other license suspension provisions in addition to the administrative license suspension. One of three things can happen at the administrative license suspension hearing: (1) the administrative license suspension can be “rescinded” or dismissed if the arresting officers fail to appear; (2) your attorney and the arresting officer can enter into an agreement to “rescind” or dismiss the administrative license suspension; or (3) a hearing can be held to determine if the arresting officer can present sufficient evidence that there is a need to administratively suspend your driver’s license for a DUI arrest.
The Administrative License Suspension Hearing is Civil in Nature: A DUI Defendant does not Necessarily Have to Appear:
A DUI defendant is not required to show up at an administrative license suspension hearing because it is a civil proceeding and the defendant’s presence is not required unless he or she is subpoenaed. We generally advise clients that they do not have to appear; however, we must be given the authority to negotiate a dismissal of the administrative license suspension hearing, or the client must immediately be available by cell phone to consult with about the negotiations.
How An Administrative License Hearing Can Be Used for Your Benefit:
An administrative license suspension hearing is an excellent opportunity to depose or question the arresting officer prior to trial without the presence of a prosecutor. This effectively creates a record or transcript of the arresting officer’s testimony. This can be used to impeach the officer if he changes his testimony at trial and it allows us to read between the lines of the police report and video.
What Happens if You Lose the Administrative License Suspension Hearing?
If you lose, you generally suffer the license suspensions attached to a DUI conviction. On a first offense, If you blew or gave blood, your license would be suspended for a minimum of 30 days with the ability to obtain a limited permit to drive to work, at work, from work, to the doctor, from the doctor, and to school and from school. After 30 days on a first administrative license suspension, if you blew or gave blood or urine, you may reinstate your license after attending 20 hours of DUI School and paying a $210.00 license reinstatement fee to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. For a first DUI conviction in 5 years, if you refused a breath, blood or urine test, you will lose your license for 1 year with no work permit until either 1 year elapses, you are acquitted or found not guilty of DUI, or your DUI gets reduced to reckless driving. On a second administrative DUI conviction in 5 years, you lose your license administratively for 3 years with no work permit until either 18 months has passed (at which point you have to have a breath test device installed in your car for six months) you are acquitted or found not guilty of DUI, or your DUI is reduced to a lesser charge. On a third or greater DUI conviction in 5 years, you lose your license administratively for 5 years with no work permit until either 2 years has passed at which point you have to have a breath test device installed on your car for six months), you are acquitted or found not guilty, or your DUI is reduced to a lesser charge.
Click to read the statute O.C.G.A. § 40-5-67.2 (2016 Version)