In Georgia, DUI arrests involve two separate legal proceedings, an administrative license suspension hearing (ALS) and the DUI-criminal case. These are two separate proceedings in separate courts with two different judges. The administrative license suspension appeal focuses on the single issue of whether you will suffer a pretrial loss of your license for either refusing to take the test or for submitting to the test at the police station or hospital and having a breath or blood test result “over the legal limit”.
In order to protect yourself from a pretrial loss of your license an appeal must be filed within 10 days of your arrest. The appeal must be in writing and be accompanied by a $150 fee. Crawford & Boyle, LLC represents all DUI clients at the ALS hearing for no additional fee.
We will file your appeal and represent you at the hearing.
New Permit Ignition Interlock Permit
Georgia law changed beginning July 1, 2017, so that persons who have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Georgia and whose Georgia driver’s license is subject to an administrative license suspension (ALS) may have the option to obtain a new type of limited driving permit from the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS).
The new permit, technically referred to as an “Ignition Interlock Device Limited Permit,” will be conditioned upon the person whose driver’s license is subject to an ALS voluntarily waiving his or her right to an administrative hearing and having an ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle they intend to drive. The current ALS process, including the right to an administrative hearing, will remain in place as an option for persons whose driver’s license is subject to an ALS and either do not qualify for or do not wish to obtain the new permit.
A major change is that instead of 10 business days to appeal, you now have 30 calendar days to either file a standard ALS appeal or to apply for an Ignition Interlock Device Limited Permit.
The standard ALS appeal option remains in place. Within 30 days, you can file the standard ALS appeal letter at the end of this form. Your driver’s license will remain valid until you have a hearing on the appeal. At the hearing, your license will either be reinstated in full (either due to the officer not showing up in court, the officer agreeing to a plea agreement to DUI or a reduced charge, or by winning the hearing in front of the judge), or your license will be suspended for a full 12-month period. This is a hard suspension, meaning that you cannot get a limited driving permit or work permit: no driving at all for 12 months.
With the enactment of this new procedure, persons who meet the conditions below have an option to apply for the ignition interlock device limited permit, which has additional costs and restrictions associated with it. The permit must be obtained at any Department of Driver Services location within 30 days, and unlike the standard ALS appeal option, it guarantees that you will be able to keep driving without risking a license suspension or having to negotiate a plea in order to keep driving.
Conditions for Obtaining the Permit
- Application must be made within 30 days of being served with the 1205 form, which is usually done at the time of arrest.
- The ALS cannot involve a motor vehicle crash with serious injuries or fatalities.
- The applicant must have a valid Georgia driver’s license.
- A CDL licensee must downgrade to a non-commercial license to get the permit.
- The applicant must be at least 21 years old.
- The applicant cannot have a prior DUI conviction within the last 5 years.
- The applicant must surrender their current license, either to the officer or DDS.
Driving Restrictions on the IID Limited Permit
If you obtain an ignition interlock device limited driving permit, you are only allowed to drive for the following listed purposes. Driving for any other purpose may be a new traffic/ criminal offense. The allowed purposes are:
- Going to the holder’s place of employment or performing the normal duties of his or her occupation;
- Receiving scheduled medical care or obtaining prescription drugs;
- Attending a college or school at which he or she is regularly enrolled as a student;
- Attending regularly scheduled sessions/meetings of treatment support organizations for person who have addiction or abuse problems related to alcohol or other drugs, which organizations are recognized by the commissioner of DDS;
- Attending, under court order, any driver education or improvement school or alcohol or drug program or course approved by the sentencing court or the commissioner of DDS;
- Transporting unlicensed immediate family members for work, to obtain medical care or prescriptions, or to school;
- Attending any program, event, treatment, or activity ordered by a judge presiding in an accountability court; or
- Going for monthly monitoring visits with the permit holder’s ignition interlock device service provider.
Many people with a limited permit have the question “can I go get groceries, can I go to a restaurant?” You can run errands, but only along the route to and from one of the allowed purposes listed above. If you’re pulled over for a traffic violation, such as speeding, once the officer sees the restricted license he will probably ask where you’re going to or coming from; the answer should always be one of the approved purposes listed above.
How Long Until Full License Reinstatement?
A person who consents to the state-administered chemical test at the time of the DUI arrest and opts for the new permit will be required to successfully maintain the ignition interlock device on their vehicle for a period of 4 months. If he or she is subsequently acquitted of the underlying DUI charge, or the underlying DUI charge is dismissed or reduced, the ignition interlock device may be removed at no cost and the driver’s license may be replaced.
A person who refuses the state-administered chemical test at the time of the DUI arrest and opts for the new permit will be required to successfully maintain the ignition interlock device on their vehicle for a period of 12 months, regardless of the outcome of the DUI charge.
Other Changes to the ALS Process
In addition to the new permit process, the period of time a person may legally drive on a DS-1205 form after being charged with DUI and served notice of an ALS will increase from 30 days to 45 days. And, the period of time a person has to request an administrative hearing after being charged with DUI and served notice of an ALS will increase from 10 days to 30 days.
Ignition Interlock Devices aren’t cheap to install and maintain, and there are a number of maximum fees set by statute, such as:
- a $25 permit fee
- a $75 installation fee
- a $75 monthly monitoring fee
- $300 total for 4 months (blew over 0.08)
- $900 total for 12 months (refused the State’s test)
- a $75 removal fee
- a $100 license reinstatement fee
There may be other fees contracted with the provider, such as mouthpieces, insurance for the device, a reset fee, etc. A provider may charge less than these maximum fees. However, all in, you’re looking at a total cost of about $575 for a four-month permit or $1,175 for a twelve-month permit. The cost for filing a standard ALS appeal still remains at $150.
What To Do Next
Within 30 calendar days of receiving the 1205 form (usually provided to you at the time of your arrest), you must consider the information above and decide whether you want to (1) apply for an ignition interlock limited driving permit or (2) appeal the license suspension. If you want to apply for an ignition interlock limited driving permit, go to any Department of Driver Services location when they’re open and you can apply for the permit there; be sure to bring the $25 permit fee with you.
If you want to appeal the license suspension, continue to the instructions on the next page and follow them to successfully file an appeal. The attached form is what our law firm files on behalf of clients who are appealing a proposed ALS suspension. We understand that due to the strict time constraints, some people are unable to hire an attorney within the 30-day window when the appeal must be filed. While we offer this form as a courtesy, we strongly recommend that you hire an attorney to represent you at the ALS appeal hearing.
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