A Citizen’s Guide to Administrative License Suspension Consequences Following a DUI Arrest in Georgia
By: William C. Head, of Head, Thomas, Webb & Willis, LLC, Attorneys at Law
© Copyright 2008 William C. Head, Atlanta, GA
This Update Includes the Latest Changes in Georgia DUI Laws Effective July 1, 2008
This update on Georgia Driver’s License Administrative License Suspension Law is written AFTER the latest change in Georgia DUI laws effective for all arrests made July 1, 2008 and after. Unless specially stated in these video clips, the SAME law (for administrative suspensions) also applies to all arrests made since July 1, 2001 (this was another major revision of Georgia’s DUI statutes). The new D.U.I. law in Georgia starting with arrests made July 1, 2008 and after changed the CRIMINAL PENALTY “lookback” term to 10 years, but did not change the Georgia Administrative License Suspension [ALS] Laws, which still utilize a 5 year “lookback” period in determining whether a driver is a “repeat” offender. See Mr. Head’s copyrighted “DUI Punishment” Grid available on full color for your review or easy download and printing off of a personal copy at www.DUI.tv/galaws.pdf.
An Administrative License Suspension [ALS] Form Should Be Issued in ALL DUI Arrests
If you are ultimately convicted of DUI, a license suspension or revocation WILL occur in 100% of DUI cases, if your arresting officer follows Georgia laws. Hence, before the criminal case ever gets started and before you have made a “first appearance”, other Georgia laws relating to breath testing, blood testing or urine testing (or, if the arresting officer requests, two or more types of tests) trigger one of TWO TYPES of pre-trial administrative suspension “action” against the licenses of virtually every person arrested for DUI in Georgia. This rule is applicable whether you possess a Georgia driver’s license or one issued by another state, the arresting officer is required to confiscate (pick up) your plastic operator’s license. This administrative suspension can be and often IS more devastating to an accused impaired driver in GA than the potential suspension that occurs in the criminal case for DUI first offender, if a DUI conviction does later happen. If arrested for D.U.I. in the State of Georgia, statutes mandate that you should be issued one of two types of notices of suspension of your license. You will either be issued a Form DS-1205 (issued in about 97% of DUI arrests) OR a Form DS-1127 (issued in about 2% of DUI arrests). The forms look and ARE completely different in their APPEARANCE and their PURPOSE.
The Most Commonly Issued ALS Form is the Yellow-Colored DS-1205 Form
When a DUI arrest is made in Georgia, the arresting officer is compelled by State laws to take away (confiscate) your plastic license and issue a pre-conviction, written notice of a proposed, IMMEDIATE driver’s license suspension action. Usually, it is the Form DS-1205. This form is commonly referred to by lawyers who are DUI specialists (and by police officers who handle DUI arrests) as “a 1205 form” or “a DS-1205 form.” Click on the hyperlink to see an sample of this State-issued pre-printed, 8½” by 11”, yellow-colored form (called a DS-1205) [CLICK on this link to see the PDF version of this blank form, plus a copy of the Arresting Officer’s Instructions to follow in completing and filing the Form Ds-1205 and the Arrested Driver’s Instructions]. This form can be compared to the papers you received (or should have received) after your arrest, so you can read the notice --- front and back --- to see what you are facing.
Almost 100% of DUI Arrests Involve a DS-1205 Being Issued
About 97% or more of all drivers arrested in Georgia for DUI are given this DS-1205 Form. In general, this official form states the officer’s action seeking administrative suspension of your Georgia license (or your privilege to drive in Georgia, if you are licensed in a different state). The Form offers the officer different boxes to check, as applicable to your case and circumstances. In simple terms, the officer is asserting (swearing under oath) that you either (1) refused to take the required test OR (2) that you took the test and that the test indicated the presence (in your body) of ALCOHOL at a level that was equal to or greater than the applicable legal limit [0.02 grams % for any driver under age 21, 0.04 grams % for any driver of a commercial motor vehicle, regardless of age, and 0.08 grams % for any driver age 21 or over who is NOT operating a commercial motor vehicle].
If No DS-1205 Form is Issued, You Should Receive a Form (a DS-1127 180 Day Permit)
For any driver arrested for DUI, and who either (1) took the State’s official breath test and produced a numerical result UNDER the legal limit [applicable to that driver, based on age (either under age 21 or 21 & over) and type vehicle (commercial or non-commercial) being operated] OR (2) the officer asked the driver to submit to a type of testing which would not produce an immediate numerical result [blood, urine or both], a different form should be issued. This Form DS-1127 is not a full sheet of paper, but is (instead) a small sticker with an adhesive backing that is affixed to the lower part of the DUI “citation” (traffic ticket). This DS-1127 serves as your driving permit for 180 days. It can be extended beyond the 180 day period, but that requires action by your attorney through a petition with the criminal court judge.
Officer Will Check the Applicable Block on DS-1205 Stating the Basis of the Suspension
The DS-1205 Form outlines the officer’s options for issuing the intent to seek an immediate administrative suspension of your GA license or (if licensed elsewhere, your driving privileges in Georgia) PRIOR TO the criminal case ever being resolved. The Form DS-1205 offers boxes for the officer to “check off” his or her reason [for either “refusing” the State tests OR “blowing over the legal limit”] for seeking the suspension. The issuance of this form MANDATES that you file a written appeal to the proposed suspension WITHIN TEN  BUSINESS DAYS.
You Will Be Asked to Sign the Form 1205, and You Should Sign It
The officer usually asks you to acknowledge the pending action against your license by having you sign the document near the bottom of the Form DS-1205. Once you sign it, the Arresting Officer will sign it and (in doing so) AUTHORIZE you to take advantage of temporary driving privileges sanctioned by GA laws. You should be given the yellow copy of this multi-part form to take with you, since your plastic license is being confiscated and sent to Georgia DDS. Typically, this issuance of the Form DS-1205 happens while you are being processed at the detention center (jail) where you were taken for booking, and (possibly) the administering of the Intoxilyzer 5000 breath testing being offered (if applicable). Shortly after this, you will be turned over to the jailers at the detention facility. In some very rare instances, the arresting officer will issue the Form DS-1205 at the roadway for a person who has already said “I refuse” or otherwise indicated that he or she will not submit to the requested testing at the station.
The DS-1205 Form is Your Temporary License, so KEEP IT WITH YOU
Some arrested drivers refuse to sign the DS-1205 Form. They insist on speaking to an attorney first, or are just mad at their general predicament. Georgia’s highest court has ruled that you do not have the right to ask an attorney for advice before either submitting to official implied consent testing or refusing to be tested. This failure to sign the Form DS-1205 accomplishes nothing, and possibly could mean that you have no temporary right to drive is you refuse to sign the Form DS-1205. We can help cure that problem by filing an immediate appeal of the pending suspension. Call our 24-Hour Hotline at 404-250-1113 or Toll Free at 877-384-4367.
The TEN DAY RULE - Why Filing an Appeal is Crucial and What Happens if You Don’t File
If you miss the 10-business day deadline to appeal, you may have totally squandered one of your best leverage points for contesting your entire DUI prosecution. The appeal sets up an ALS Hearing date, which is typically scheduled about 60 days after your date of arrest. If you miss the filing deadline (10 business days after arrest), then no hearing will be scheduled and your right to drive ENDS on the 31st day after your arrest for DUI. More is explained about this below.
How a “Business” Day is Defined and Calculated by Georgia Law
In a nutshell, this is how you count “business” days. First, you START counting days on the next calendar day AFTER the actual date you are arrested, so long as that day is NOT a Saturday, Sunday, or State holiday. Weekend days and STATE holidays (not federal holidays) are NOT counted as “business days”. The appeal must either be RECEIVED at DDS [Department of Driver Services] Headquarters in Conyers, Georgia, or must bear an OFFICIAL U.S. Postmark date on or before that last day. Use of a confirmed FAX of the appeal [678-413-8450] to DDS is possible, but a second method of delivery, with signed proof of delivery, to DDS Headquarters in Conyers is our DUI law firm’s preferred way of dealing with these EXTREMELY important matters. Dual methods of delivery are utilized by our firm in all cases.
The ALS Hearing Creates TWO LEGAL FRONTS for Your Attorney to Battle
In Georgia, your DUI lawyer must first defend you against this immediate administrative loss of your license (or privilege to drive in Georgia), AND also investigate and prepare to fight the criminal DUI case later. These two RELATED BUT SEPARATE proceedings SHOULD be coordinated and handled by ONE attorney who is fully versed in DUI law and procedure. That person needs to be a D.U.I. specialist, who understands the interrelationship of both proceedings and attacks both legal proceedings in a “comprehensive and cohesive fashion.” If no other advice is followed in these video clips, DO NOT try to handle the administrative hearing or merely walk in alone, expecting to “ask for” a continuance. You will likely LOSE that hearing, because you did not follow the Rules of the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH). Your actions at this early stage of the case could take away ALL of your rights to drive for twelve (12) full months, or possibly longer.
Why You Face Both a Criminal Prosecution and an Administrative Legal Proceeding
The reason for initiation of this separate administrative action against your license is that the federal government made such actions against an accused DUI driver’s license mandatory about 30 years ago. All states now have an “implied consent” law that controls these separate civil-type actions against driving privileges and most states have a verbally-administered or a written “implied consent” advisement or BOTH. Under federal highway funding statutes, States that did not comply with passing such laws would lose federal highway money for not enacting statutes to suspend or revoke drivers’ licenses when a breath or blood test “over the limit” is given as part of a DUI arrest, OR if a person REFUSES to provide a “chemical test” after being reasonably suspected of being a DUI driver. All states have complied and passed these laws.
A “Hard” Suspension TOTALLY Takes Away Your Right to Drive -- No Permit Available
Some administrative suspensions, those for REFUSALS, are HARD suspensions in Georgia, meaning that no “work permit” is available IF you lose the administrative hearing on the issue of “refusal.” This rule on refusals is applicable for ANY offender --- first DUI arrestees or anyone else. This “HARD” suspension may also be applicable for “per se” (cases where you were previously arrested for DUI and submitted to testing but had a result “over the legal limit”), but only if you have had a prior per se administrative suspension entered against you for an arrest made within five (5) years of the last DUI arrest that resulted in an administrative suspension for “blowing” over the legal limit.
The Legal Basis for You Being Coerced Into Submitting to Testing
For either refusing to submit to the requested “chemical test” (blood, breath or urine or any combination of these the arresting officer requests) or blowing a breath test result over the legal limit after you were properly given the legal admonishment (i.e., the officer read you the correct implied consent warning about what would happen to your Georgia license or privilege to drive in Georgia, for licensees from other states). “Proper advisement” requires a TIMELY and COMPLETE reading of the ORANGE-COLORED card that carries one of three “implied consent” advisements”. This is a legal notice set forth in the Georgia code that operates on the “legal fiction” that (by using the State highways) you thereby authorized any police officer who reasonably suspects you of driving while being intoxicated, to demand your submission to a proper, legal evidential sobriety test [the officer gets to elect which TYPE or TYPES of OFFICIAL testing] of your bodily “substances.” Your refusal to be tested or if you submit to the state-administered OFFICIAL test or tests, and you have an alcohol content AT OR ABOVE the applicable legal limit triggers the ALS action against your license. If this “feels” like legal coercion, it is. However, the practice has been approved by the United States Supreme Court in the Sandstrom case in 1983. Since 1983, Georgia’s courts have allowed evidence of your “refusal” to submit to testing to be put into evidence in front of a jury or judge hearing your criminal trial.
What is involved in Filing an Administrative License Suspension [ALS] Appeal?
An administrative license suspension [ALS] appeal is a written challenge to the officer’s legal action to administratively suspend your license for either your (1) REFUSAL to submit to an official, approved form of sobriety testing or (2) IF you submitted to the officer’s official testing, that your BAC [blood or breath alcohol level] from such tests was at or above the per se legal limit. The legality of the DUI criminal arrest and proper and timely reading of implied consent advisements has been the source of several dozen successful appeals to Georgia’s appellate courts over the past 35 years, when trial judges first denied the licensee’s request that the DUI “refusal” or the DUI per se breath results be excluded (thrown out of court). Your DUI attorney should be familiar with these key cases, if he or she specializes in DUI practice.
ONLY Take the OFFICIAL Test or Tests AFTER Arrest - Take No Roadside Tests
Before being informed that you are being (or have been) arrested for DUI, TAKE NO FIELD SOBRIETY EVALUATIONS, including the hand-held alcohol screening test, because all these roadside tests are VOLUNTARY and carry NO PENALTY and NO LOSS OF LICENSE under Georgia law for politely saying, “No, thanks.” An “OFFICIAL” test is one that has a PRINTED “evidentiary” result, and can be submitted to a judge or jury. The Intoxilyzer 5000 breath alcohol testing instrument (machine) is the only OFFICIAL evidentiary breath device approved in GA. No roadside tests of balance, ABC recital, follow-the-finger (or pen) eye examination or counting are REQUIRED to protect your right to drive or to keep your license in Georgia. These are NOT “evidentiary” tests, but the roadside “evaluations” CAN and often DO create a greater likelihood of conviction. Plus, scientific studies have revealed that these roadside evaluations are “designed to fail” and are NOT scientific, due to the number of variables that can cause false-positive readings and false-negative readings. Starting off with “negative” video footage of you failing these evaluations (the officer’s words) not a good starting point for a DUI arrest that is being captured on video approximately 90% of the time in GA.
Which Testing Devices Are the “OFFICIAL” Tests Required by Georgia Law?
After you were arrested for DUI, after you must be informed that submitting to testing is a legal obligation for which your driver’s license or (for drivers who are licensed in another state) your privilege to drive upon the highways of this state (for arrestees who are license by another state) WILL be suspended, important legal rights are at stake. MOST (but not all) Georgia-licensed drivers would be well-advised to both submit to the officer’s test or tests, and then request both a blood test AND a breath test -- in that order) from locations of his or her own selection. Most implied consent tests are made on the Intoxilyzer 5000 breath testing device, manufactured by CMI of Kentucky, Inc., of Owensboro, KY. Blood tests and urine tests are usually taken for accident cases or when the officer suspects that some impairing substance [drugs, paint fumes, chemicals (meth), plant material (marijuana or hallucinogenic mushrooms) ]are causing or contributing to driving impairment.
Should a Non-Resident License Holder Submit to the Requested Implied Consent Tests?
Issues relating to persons not licensed in Georgia at the time of their DUI arrest in Georgia are complex and virtually unique to each case. These issues center around whether future driving in Georgia is important to that person, whether the person needs his or her license to be free of a DUI conviction (to save a job, for example), whether ANY prior DUIs have ever been part of his or her driving history, and many other considerations. A refusal to be tested can (and often does) render all driving privileges within Georgia totally suspended for the out-of-state license holder, and MAY also take away his or her privileges in the home state. Georgia laws relating to DUI arrests and license issues provide that the Director of the Georgia Department of Driver Services MUST send notification of a final decision (by the Administrative Law Judge handling your ALS case) of a decision holding that you REFUSED to submit to state-administered tests OR a civil (administrative) per se DUI violation for testing “above the legal limit” following an arrest for D.U.I. If a non-resident licensee loses the all-important administrative hearing, he or she WILL have a high probability that any notice of the “refusal” to be tested (or a per se alcohol reading over the state BAC limit) will ultimately be sent to their home state, which can trigger a suspension or revocation in that jurisdiction. For any person arrested in Georgia for DUI, it would be wise to read Mr. Head’s copyrighted “Driver’s Rights Card” which is available for viewing or printing off in full color at: www.DUI.tv/gadriversrights.pdf
Georgia Law is VERY Protective of Your Independent Testing Rights AFTER Submitting
Submitting to the OFFICIAL chemical test of your blood, breath or urine entitles you to request to be taken to any and all TYPES of additional tests that you want, and from qualified personnel of your own choosing. Your refusal to take the State’s OFFICIAL tests BLOCKS you from being assisted by police personnel in demanding any type of independent test or tests. The police or jailers MUST “reasonably” accommodate your requests. YOU get to choose where (within reason -- even in an adjacent county) you want to be taken for purposes of gathering your own independent evidence of your alcohol readings or (if given blood or urine tests by the officer) your own evidence of your prescribed or illegal drug levels from an analysis of your blood, breath or urine (or all three, if your request it and designate WHERE you wish to be taken and PAY FOR all types of testing). You need to be prepared to pay for any and all tests you request, and can ask permission to be taken to an ATM for cash, or to call a friend or family member who resides close by, who can bring money or a means of payment for any or all tests you desire.
Almost All Arresting Officers will Request Breath Testing - but Which Breath Test is it?
The OFFICIAL tests on an Intoxilyzer 5000 Breath Test Machine (or, when blood or urine are collected, at a hospital) are ONLY given in one of three places, [with extremely rare exceptions]: (a) at the police station or jail (the breath testing machine is a silver and black, tabletop, typewriter-sized device with a black, cylindrical breath test collection tube mounted on the left side as you face the machine. Official testing in Georgia is done ONLY on the Intoxilyzer 5000 breath testing machines (GA uses both the 768-00 devices and the 768-01 or 768EN devices) that are plugged into a 115-volt wall socket, or (b) at a hospital (blood or urine) --- often after an accident or where the officer suspects that possibly drugs are involved or he/she cannot locate a breath test operator to administer your breath test or (c) a breath test can be administered in a specially-wired mobile van [referred to as a “BATmobile”, which stands for Breath Alcohol Testing Mobile Unit] that has an Intoxilyzer 5000 breath testing device securely fastened to a shelf inside.
How the BATmobile Operates Remotely from the Police Station or Jail
The Intoxilyzer 5000 machine is plugged in and becomes operational via its 115-volt plug. The outlet that generates power for the machine is powered by a special electrical converter inside these mobile vans. The converter takes the energy from the automobile engine and “conditions” the electrical energy into a grounded AC outlet supplying 115 volts of electricity. These BATmobile vehicles are expensive, and are usually only found in major metropolitan areas such as City of Atlanta, Gwinnett County and a few other high population areas. Furthermore, the presence of RFI (radio frequency interference) from police radios, nearby remote microphone devices, power generators and compressors of buildings nearby, communication towers or antennas, cell phones, Blue Tooth devices and similar devices can create false high readings or cause temporary shut-down of devices inside these mobile testing vans.
The 10-Day Time Limit for Filing Appeal to a Pending Administrative Suspension Action
An appeal is triggered by sending or delivering a request for hearing, which has to be done within ten (10) business days after your arrest date. At this hearing, which is RECORDED, you may attend with your counsel or you may even represent yourself (usually, representing yourself in such an important legal proceeding a VERY foolhardy decision). The law does permit your attorney to proceed without you being present at most types of ALS hearings, but (in order to secure continued driving privileges for you, if a continuance of the hearing date is needed) your attorney may ask you to be present. Occasionally, you may need to testify at this hearing, and that will require that you be subject to cross-examination (being questioned) by the opposing side. In most cases, our attorneys do not have our clients testify, unless it is unavoidable.
Your Presence is Not Mandatory at ALS Hearings, Unless Your Attorney Needs You
If your attorney attends for purposes of trying to either win the case or to negotiate a non-DUI settlement with your police officer, you may avoid being suspended prior to the conclusion of the criminal case. This hearing (if it takes place) usually gets scheduled about 60 days after your arrest date, assuming that you “appeal” the suspension in a timely manner. This ALS hearing may be the only time we are able to get your officer under oath and get answers to questions that could benefit your criminal case. Don’t pass up the opportunity to put the officer under oath and question him or her because it is usually the only sworn statement we will be able to obtain in order to use in impeaching him or her at the later criminal proceeding.
A Georgia DUI Charge Usually Triggers Two Separate Legal Proceedings
This means your attorney will have to challenge different types of legal issues in two different court cases, with two different judges. The ALS proceeding is heard by a Georgia Administrative Judge from OSAH (Office of State Administrative Hearings). This proceeding has a lower standard for the State’s “burden of proof” than the State will have in a criminal prosecution. At a criminal DUI trial, the applicable standard is “proof beyond a reasonable doubt”, the highest standard of proof for any legal proceeding in the world. Aside from the traditional criminal prosecution, which most people understand and expect, the administrative license suspension will determine whether you will suffer a pre-trial loss of license for either refusing to take the test, or for submitting to the test at the station and having a result “over the legal limit.”
Understanding the Relationship between the ALS Appeal and the Criminal Proceedings
This is how the two proceedings relate to each other. Driving on the roads in Georgia is a privilege, not a right. By possessing a Georgia driver’s license [or a license issued by another state] you agree to submit to chemical testing if a police officer reasonably believes that you are intoxicated. The “chemical test” (this is how Georgia laws phrase it) may be an analysis of blood, breath or urine. Failure to submit to the requested OFFICIAL tests(s) [which always happen AFTER your ARREST] will virtually ALWAYS result in an administrative (civil proceeding) license suspension action being sought against your license. In such cases, the arresting officer issues the Form DS-1205 and checks off the box stating that you “refused” to be tested.
The Law Compelling a Separate ALS Proceeding Seeking Immediate Suspension
The purpose of the issuance of the DS-1205 is the IMMEDIATE taking away of your right to drive [i.e., before the criminal case actually gets resolved at trial]. Your criminal case will come up in the criminal court assigned to oversee your prosecution at a later date and time. This ALS action is civil in nature, not criminal. The origin of these laws was spawned by MADD in the early 1980s as the organization pushed Congress and former President Reagan to take national action to deter impaired driving. Congress eventually obtained full national compliance by threatening states that did not enact ALS laws with loss of millions of dollars in annual federal highway improvement funds.
How to Calculate the 10 Business Days within which to Appeal
You have 10 business days after your arrest date to file an appeal. In counting the days, Day 1 is the next calendar day. All days that are state holidays and weekend days are NOT counted as “business” days. This appeal must be in written form, raising the applicable legal challenges to your pending administrative suspension. It must be “filed” (delivered) to DDS in Conyers, GA according to Georgia law, which is explained further below.
The Best Way to Handle Filing the “10-Business Day” Appeal and Confirming Delivery
To assure “delivery”, the challenge must be filed by certified mail (U. S. postmark date) or by hand delivery to the Georgia DDS in Conyers. If hand delivered ALWAYS get a signed receipt for your delivery. Other methods of delivery (FedEX, UPS, confirmed facsimile) can be used, but you MUST have proof that the appeal was timely “filed”. Missing the 10 business day deadline usually is a matter that is not “appealable”. Plus, this failure to request a hearing can cost you the right to drive for 1 full year or longer, and possibly with no chance to obtain a “work permit” (conditional license). The present fax number our office uses for DDS is 678-413-8450. Remember, however, that we follow up with a U.S. mail certified delivery letter, to DOUBLE deliver this important appeal.
ALS penalties for a “per se” chemical testing reading or for “refusal”
Failing the blood, breath or urine test (resulting in a “per se’ (over the legal limit) reading) will result in a 1-year license suspension for first time offenders. The suspension period is for a 3 year term for second offenders in 5 years. A third offense in 5 years can result in a 5 year revocation (total loss) of license.
An Administrative Refusal Suspension Can Strand You with No Right to Drive
An administrative suspension triggered by the officer proving that you refused to submit to being tested after having been lawfully arrested and advised of your legal obligation to supply a breath, blood or urine sample can be particularly damaging to your right to drive in Georgia. Incidentally, attempts by DUI arrestees to demand a DUI attorney’s advice first, or to continue to say, “I don’t understand the implied consent warning” will NOT be effective. Appellate cases in Georgia say that you can be declared as having “refused” testing BY YOUR CONDUCT, including merely not speaking and never saying that you will submit to testing. If you do not successfully challenge the legitimacy of the proposed suspension, by filing a written, timely ALS appeal, and successfully pursue that challenge, NO LIMITED (WORK) PERMIT is available for you. At no point of the DUI prosecution is a skilled attorney’s help more valuable to you. Winning or successfully negotiating a “withdrawal” of the proposed administrative license suspension is critical to success at the criminal case, which arises later.
Even a Per Se Administrative Suspension will be Devastating if it is a Repeat ALS Action
If you have had a new DUI arrest and triggered another administrative suspension [a second (2nd) ALS action] within in the last 5 years, and that case also resulted in a DUI criminal conviction against you, this will count as a second (2nd) administrative license suspension against your driver’s license. Your license can be administratively suspended for 3 years on a second ALS “loss” that occurs within a 5-year period (date-of-arrest to date-of-arrest). No “work permit” [limited driving permit] is allowed in such instances. This “per se” situation applies where you took the requested implied consent test and had a breath test reading above the legal limit (0.08% is the applicable per se standard for drivers who are age 21 when arrested and who are not operating a commercial motor vehicle). The per se standard under Georgia law for drivers under age 21 is 0.02% and is 0.04% for drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle.
A Third ALS Action can lead to a 5-Year Loss of All Driving Privileges
Three or more ALS actions [per se readings obtained pursuant to implied consent advisements being given within a 5-year time frame (dates-of-arrest to dates-of-arrest) will prompt a 5-year administrative revocation with no limited permit available. This assumes that you had convictions or nolo contendere pleas entered against you in the two earlier D.U.I. arrests, and a third (3rd) arrest for DUI in GA has now been made. Losing the ALS here creates a REVOCATION of the license (total loss) and only by “winning” the DUI criminal case will you get your license restored. This puts a premium on choosing the best qualified DUI attorneys in Georgia.
A DUI Conviction is FOREVER, Because Georgia has no Expunction Law
It is vital to remember that any administrative license suspension action is a separate, civil component to the criminal prosecution you are facing. A DUI conviction can mean much more in terms of punishment and loss of future opportunities than any administrative license suspension. A DUI criminal conviction will create a multitude of additional penalties that overshadow any short-term loss of driving privileges from an ALS suspension. A DUI conviction can NEVER be EXPUNGED in Georgia, absent proof that the conviction was incorrectly entered on your record (e.g., another person used your license and was arrested and later convicted under your identity). Therefore, asking about expungement (sic) [expunction is the proper word, since “expungement” is not a word] is not an effective strategy AFTER you have pleaded guilty or been found guilty of DUI. Focus on winning the DUI or getting the criminal DUI case reduced, not on trying to undo a conviction from your prior GUILTY plea, which (like concrete) gets more and more hardened as time goes forward. By getting the criminal case reduced or dismissed, any ALS action --- even for repeat administrative license suspensions or a revocation – gets cleared immediately. See the chart showing minimum penalties for your DUI charge, if convicted, at www.DUI.tv/galaws.pdf for details.
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