IMPORTANT STEPS TO TAKE IMMEDIATELY AFTER A DUI:
- In most cases the arresting officer can submit a form to the Georgia Department of Driver Services that will cause your license to be suspended you must act promptly to prevent that from happening. Learn what you need to do to protect your license.
- Next you will want to look at the potential penalties you are facing under the Statutory Minimum and Maximum Sentences. It is there you will find commentary on the range of sentences courts typically hand out under various fact scenarios.
- You are innocent until proven guilty. The burden is on the State to prove you were driving under the influence. Police officers sometimes make mistakes and can certainly be overly zealous in charging someone with DUI. Fortunately, you have the right to seek representation by a Marietta DUI attorneywho has decades more experience than most patrol officers. As your attorney, I can help you evaluate whether or not the charges will stick. Below you can find some of the grounds that can be used to prevent a DUI conviction.
- I am often asked by friends and clients whether or not they should take a breathalyzer, blood, or urine test. Find more information here.
- Links are provided for driving schools, alcohol evaluators, treatment centers and community service organizations. These are useful should you enter a guilty plea to DUI or are otherwise convicted.
ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSION
In most cases the arresting officer will take your license and send it to the Department of Drivers Services with a DDS FORM 1205. The Form 1205 will cause your license to be suspended unless you request a hearing within 10 business days of your arrest. If the hearing request is made in a timely manner, in proper form, and the required $150 filing fee is paid, an ALS (Administrative License Suspension) hearing will be scheduled to determine if the officer was correct in requesting that your license be suspended. ALS hearings are usually at 8:30 a.m. and YOU AND/OR YOUR ATTORNEY MUST APPEAR. If you don't appear your license is suspended. Sometimes the officer does not appear and you can get a free pass but you or your attorney must be present to win. If the officer appears there are several possible outcomes, however, you will need an attorney to help you negotiate a deal or to conduct the hearing and save you license. Approximately 7 days after your hearing you can obtain a copy of the decision from the Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings by clicking here. You will need to enter your docket number that appears on your hearing notice and your zip code.
A conviction in which there has not been a previous DUI conviction within 10 years will result in a 12 month suspension of your license. However, you are entitled to obtain from the court a certificate of first conviction that you can take to a DDS office and get a limited permit to drive to and from work or school. Then you can get your license back in full after 120 days if you have attended the State risk reduction DUI school. So the reality is you can continue to drive on a first offense.
TWO CONVICTIONS WITHIN 10 YEARS
Things get drastically worse if you are convicted of DUI twice within 10 years. First, your license is suspended indefinitely. After 12 months you can get a limited driving permit upon proof that you have installed an ignition interlock device on your car which requires you to blow into the device to test for the presence of alcohol before your car will start. Then after using the ignition interlock device for 6 months you can apply for the restoration of your license. So effectively you can get your license back after 18 months if you successfully comply with interlock device prerequisite.
THREE CONVICTIONS WITHIN 10 YEARS
If you are convicted 3 times within five years of DUI you will be declared an habitual violator and your license will be revoked for 5 years. You may apply for a probationary license after your license has been surrendered for 2 years and you must attach an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
If you refuse to take the offered State administered chemical test of your blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance at the time of arrest your license will be suspended for 12 months. This is a hard suspension as there are no limited permits available during the 12 month period. See To Blow or Not to Blow for more information.
Persons charge with DUI who are under 21 years of age face stiffer suspensions. A first conviction will result in either a 6 month or a 12 month suspension of your license with no limited permit as is available to persons over 21. Whether it ends up as a 6 or 12 month suspension depends on whether the conviction is a “per se” or a “less safe” violation. Per se means that you are convicted of having over .02 gms percent of alcohol in your blood when you were driving. Less safe means that you are convicted of being a less safe driver because of your alcohol consumption without any reference to the blood alcohol level.
Have a question? Get in touch with our Marietta DUI lawyer Robert F. Webb right away. Set up a free consultation at 770-952-7000.