DUIs and Driver’s License Suspensions
DUI charges should be taken seriously in Georgia, as conviction comes with severe penalties, including jail time, fines, and the creation of a criminal record. These are not, however, the only penalties that defendants face. For instance, even a first time DUI offender will likely have his or her driver’s license suspended for at least a year. This can have significant repercussions on a person’s life, making it difficult, if not impossible to get to work, care for children, or engage in other necessary day-to-day activities. Read on to learn more about the different DUI-related driver’s license suspensions in Georgia.
There are two main types of DUI-related license suspensions in Georgia, the first of which is known as an administrative suspension. These suspensions occur whenever a driver is arrested for driving under the influence if he or she:
- Has a BAC of .08 or more;
- Has a BAC of .02 or more and is under the age of 21 years old;
- Has a BAC of .04 or more and is operating a commercial vehicle;
- Tests positive for a controlled substance; or
- Refuses to take a chemical test after being read the implied consent warning.
With an administrative suspension, a law enforcement officer will take the driver’s license before serving a DDS 1205 notice. These notices give drivers notice of an impending suspension and explain their rights to contest that suspension, which can be done at an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearing. If the license suspension is upheld, the driver’s license will be administratively suspended. This is true even when a DUI criminal case is still pending. The length of the suspension, however, will depend on the specific facts of the case. Any drivers who refuse chemical testing, for instance, can expect their licenses to be suspended for a year. First time offenders will also face a one year license suspension, although they can apply for reinstatement after 30 days. For second offenses within five years, the suspension period extends to three years, while a third or subsequent offense in five years will result in a five year suspension.
DUI Conviction-Related Suspensions
The other type of DUI-related driver’s license suspension in Georgia occurs when someone has actually been convicted of the offense. There are important distinctions between administrative and conviction-based driver’s license suspensions in Georgia. The burden of proof, for instance, is a lot lower in civil administrative license suspension cases. A person can also have his or her license administratively suspended regardless of the outcome of a DUI criminal case. For a first time conviction, the period of driver’s license suspension in Georgia is a year, although a person can apply for early reinstatement after four months. Second convictions within five years come with a three year suspension (with reinstatement possible after 18 months). For a third time offense (within five years), a person’s license will be revoked for at least five years.
Reach Out to an Experienced Roswell DUI Defense Lawyer
Having your driver’s license suspended can have important repercussions on your day-to-day life. For help defending yourself against an administrative suspension, for assistance reinstating your license, or for help building a strong defense to criminal DUI charges, please call experienced Roswell DUI defense lawyer Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C. at 678-853-2500 today.