Georgia’s New Implied Consent Laws

In Georgia, if you are caught driving under the influence, your license will almost always be taken by the arresting officer. In its stead, you will receive a limited driving permit. Under an old law passed in 1993, this permit was only good for 30 days. In addition, an appeal against a license suspension must have been filed within 10 business days if that suspension was for refusing a field sobriety test or breathalyzer test under Georgia’s implied consent laws.

A new law passed on July 1st, 2017 changes these rules. The limited driving permit is now valid for 45 days. In addition, any appeal must be filed within 30 calendar days. Perhaps the biggest change is the new option for some DUI offenders to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle while their license is suspended, allowing them limited driving privileges.

Under the new law, you have three options after a DUI charge:

  1. Do nothing
  2. File an appeal
  3. Request an ignition interlock device limited permit (IIDLP)

You may only choose ONE of these options. For example, you cannot request an appeal and obtain the ignition interlock device limited permit. Furthermore, some options may not be available to you, depending on your age, license status and driving record.

However, if you fail to choose an option within 30 calendar days of your serve date (located on the front of the DS-1205 form), your license will go into suspension on the 46th day after your serve date.

Before making any decision, it is advisable to consult with an experienced DUI attorney to determine which option is best for you. Call Hawkins Spizman Kilgo today at (770) 685-6400 for a free consultation.

Factors that Determine Your Options

The three factors that determine which options are available to you are:

Your Age

If you are age 21 or older, or will be 21 within 30 days of the serve date on your notice (DS-1205), then all three of the above options are potentially available to you. However, if you are under the age of 21, and will not be 21 within 30 days of the serve date on your notice, you only have two options: appeal or do nothing.

Your License Status

In the following situations, you only have the options of appealing or doing nothing:

  • Your license is from another state
  • You don’t have a valid license from any state
  • You have a Georgia that is currently suspended, revoked or cancelled
  • You have a Georgia license that has expired, you are currently a Georgia resident and you are not able to renew your Georgia license

In the following situations, you may have all three options available to you:

  • You have a valid Georgia license
  • You have a Georgia license that has expired and you are currently a Georgia resident

Your Driving/Arrest Record

You may have all three options available to you if:

  • You have never been arrested for, or charged with, DUI
  • You have not been convicted of DUI within the past five years, measured from the date(s) of previous arrests for which you were convicted to the date of this current arrest

If you have been convicted of DUI within the past five years, and the arrest date for that offense was within five years of the date of this current arrest, your only options are to appeal or do nothing.

What These Three Options Entail

As mentioned before, you potentially have three options after a DUI arrest when it comes to your license:

Do Nothing

If you choose to do nothing, your driver’s license or privilege to drive will go into suspension on the 46th day after your serve date.

If your DS-1205 form indicates that you refused to submit to the designated state administered chemical testing (most often, a breathalyzer test), then your license will be suspended for a period of one year and no permit will be available to you. That period of suspension may be impacted by the outcome of your criminal case for the DUI charge.

If your DS-1205 form indicates that you did submit to the designated state administered chemical testing (see test results on the front of the DS-1205 form), then your license will be suspended for a period of at least 30 days but no more than five years, based upon your driving record. An administrative license suspension (ALS) limited permit may be available to you during your period of suspension if you have not been in suspension for this same reason within the past five years.

However, an ALS permit cannot be issued if you are not a current Georgia licensee, or have any active suspensions or withdrawals on your driving record. If you are a CDL holder, you will not have any commercial driving privileges during this period of suspension, even if you are eligible for the ALS limited permit. The period of suspension may also be impacted by the outcome of your criminal case for the DUI charge.

Appeal

The appeal option is available to any driver arrested for DUI and issued the DS-1205 form by the arresting officer. An appeal (or hearing) request places the suspension of your driver’s license or driving privilege into pending status until the DDS receives the outcome of the hearing from the administrative law judge. If you have a valid driver’s license issued by any state, then you will receive a 90 day permit extension in the mail from the DDS after you request your hearing. The permit extension allows you to drive until your hearing has been held, and the final decision has been issued by the judge.

If you file an appeal (hearing request), you are not eligible to request an ignition interlock device limited permit.

If you appeal the pending suspension of your driver’s license or privilege to drive, then your appeal request must be submitted in writing to the Dept of Driver Services (DDS) either by mail or in person at any DDS Customer Service Center within 30 days of your serve date. Failure to request a timely appeal may result in the waiver of your right to an appeal.

A filing fee of $150 must be included with your hearing request, or your hearing will not be scheduled. If you submit your hearing request by mail, it must be postmarked within 30 days of your serve date and must include the filing fee of $150 (payable by check or money order made out to the Dept of Driver Services or DDS). It should be sent to the following address:

Dept of Driver Services

Attn: Records Mgmt

P.O. Box 80447

Conyers, GA 30013

If you submit your hearing request in person at any DDS Customer Service Center, it must be submitted within 30 days of your serve date, and the filing fee can be paid by cash, check, money order, or credit or debit card.

Your appeal must contain the following information:

  • Your name as reflected on your driver’s license or identification card
  • Current address
  • Driver’s license number
  • Date of birth
  • Telephone number
  • If you are represented by an attorney, please provide your attorney’s name, address, and telephone number.

The DDS has made a Hearing Request form available that you can use. The Hearing Request form is available at any DDS Customer Service Center or on the DDS website here:

https://dds.georgia.gov/sites/dds.georgia.gov/files/related_files/document/HearingRequestForm.pdf

If you fail to request your hearing within 30 calendar days of your serve date, your driver’s license or driving privilege will go into suspension on the46th day after your serve date.

All appeals are held in accordance with the “Georgia Administrative Procedures Act” and Ga. Admin. Comp. Ch. 375-3-3-.04 and heard by the Administrative Law Judges of the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH). The following issues will be addressed at the hearing:

  1. Whether the arresting officer had reasonable grounds to believe that you were driving or in actual physical control of a moving motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and were lawfully placed under arrest for violating Code Section 40-6-391;
  2. Whether at the time of the request for the test or tests the officer informed you of your implied consent rights and the consequence of submitting or refusing to submit to such test;
  3. Whether you refused the test, or if a test or tests were administered and the results indicated an alcohol concentration met or exceeded the applicable “per se” limits of 0.08 grams or more for drivers age 21 and older, 0.02 for drivers under age 21, or 0.04 for operators of commercial motor vehicles; and
  4. Whether the test or tests were properly administered by an individual possessing a valid permit issued by the Division of Forensic Sciences of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on an instrument approved by the Division of Forensic Sciences or a test conducted by the Division of Forensic Sciences.

Request an Ignition Interlock Device Limited Permit (IIDLP)

The option to request an ignition interlock device limited permit (IIDLP) may be available to you during the period of suspension of your driver’s license or privilege. The IIDLP would allow you to drive for limited purposes only in Georgia, and you may only drive the vehicle that has the ignition interlock device installed and operational.

The IIDLP requires monthly monitoring visits to the interlock provider with the vehicle. There are costs associated with the ignition interlock device (installation, monthly monitoring, and removal) as well as an interlock restriction removal fee of $100 payable to the DDS after the period of interlock monitoring has been completed.

You must have both the ignition interlock device installed in the vehicle you will be driving and the ignition interlock device limited driving permit (IIDLP) issued by the Georgia DDS to drive legally in the state of Georgia. If you obtain an ignition interlock device limited permit (IIDLP), then your right to appeal the proposed suspension of your driver’s license or driving privilege will be waived

You may be eligible for issuance of an IIDLP if:

  • You have not been previously convicted of a DUI within the past five years; AND
  • You are 21 years of age or over; AND
  • You are a Georgia licensee, AND
  • You have no active suspensions, cancellations, denials or revocations on your Georgia Driver’s License.

If you hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), the issuance of an IIDLP will automatically downgrade your CDL temporarily and you will have no commercial driving privileges throughout the duration of the suspension.

If you wish to obtain an ignition interlock device limited driving permit (IIDLP), you must request the IIDLP within thirty (30) calendar days of the serve date. You must have the ignition interlock device either installed prior to the application for the IIDLP, or within 10 days of issuance of the IIDLP.

To request an IIDLP, visit any DDS Customer Service Center to complete and submit a Limited Driving Permit Application (DDS Form 665A). If you do not make your request within 30 calendar days of the serve date, you will not be eligible for the IIDLP at any time during your period of suspension.

If your DS-1205 form indicates that you refused to submit to the designated state administered chemical testing, you must maintain the ignition interlock device and the IIDLP for a period of one year. That period of suspension and interlock requirement will not be impacted by the outcome of your criminal case for the DUI charge.

If your DS-1205 form indicates that you did submit to the designated state administered chemical testing, you must maintain the ignition interlock device and the IIDLP for a period of four months. That period of suspension and interlock requirement may be impacted by the outcome of your criminal case for the DUI charge.

What Option Is Right for You?

Each of these options now available under Georgia law has benefits and drawbacks. It is important to remember that you can only choose one option. For example, if you choose to appeal your suspension, you cannot request an IIDLP. As such, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced attorney before making any such decisions.

At Hawkins Spizman Kilgo, our attorneys have decades of combined experience representing clients charged with DUI in Atlanta and beyond. Contact us online or call us today at (770) 685-6400 for a free consultation. Don’t wait; you only have 30 days to make your decision.