Being without a driver’s license in today’s world can make life incredibly difficult. We are a nation of drivers—we drive to and from work, to school, to take our children to school and extracurricular events, to do our shopping, attend church, visit friends and engage in recreational activities. When you are unable to drive, your life gets exponentially more difficult, therefore it is crucial that you do everything in your power to keep your driver’s license following your Georgia DUI charges. Below are things you should know if you have been charged with DUI:

  • When you are arrested for DUI in the state of Georgia, the arresting police officer is required to read the Georgia Implied Consent Notice to you, requesting that you undergo a breathalyzer test, a urine test, or a blood test.
  • You may be subject to an administrative driver’s license suspension following your arrest. The administrative driver’s license suspension is entirely different than the license suspension you could receive if convicted of DUI. The administrative license suspension usually takes place before you ever go to court for your Georgia DUI.
  • As of July 1, 2017, refusing to agree to a state-administered breath, blood or urine test—or taking the test but testing over the legal limit according to your age and type of license—will result in the police officer submitting a sworn report which initiates an administrative driver’s license suspension hearing.
  • While prior to July 1, 2017, you had 10 business days to appeal an administrative suspension, you now have 30 days. During that 30 days, you must either make a request for an administrative hearing, or you must request an Ignition Interlock Device Limited Permit (if you qualify). If you do neither of these things, your Georgia driver’s license will be suspended on the 46th day following your arrest.
  • To qualify for an Ignition Interlock Device Limited Permit, you must have no prior DUI convictions within the past five years, you must have a current Georgia driver’s license, you must be at least 21 years old, and you must not have a suspension, cancellation, revocation or denial on your license.
  • Your administrative license hearing is a totally separate issue from your criminal plea or criminal trial.
  • You must make sure your appeal, along with $150.00, is in the mail within 30 days from the day you were arrested for DUI.
  • Should you fail to exercise your right to appeal, or you come out on the losing end at your administrative suspension hearing, your license will be suspended as follows:
  • If you refuse to take a state-administered chemical test, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year, with no driving permit of any type allowed.
  • If you have a BAC over the legal limit (according to your age and the type of license you possess), you will lose your license, but you will be eligible for a limited 30-day driving permit, with the option to reinstate after 30 days.
  • If you choose to apply for an Ignition Interlock Limited Driving Permit, you will also receive a 45-day temporary driving permit. If you refused a state-administered chemical test, you must apply within 30 days of your arrest, the permit is good for one year, and you are giving up your right to an administrative license suspension hearing. If you took a chemical test and tested over the legal limit, you will have the ignition interlock device on your vehicle for four months.

If you have been arrested and charged with a Georgia DUI, you may have many questions, and are likely worried, stressed and anxious about your future. Perhaps you made a serious mistake, and need help, perhaps you made a one-time bad decision and need help, or perhaps you are simply not guilty of the charges. Whatever your situation, it is extremely important that you contact an experienced Georgia DUI attorney as quickly as possible, to minimize the long-term consequences of your charges. In addition to criminal penalties such as fines, fees, potential jail time, community service and probation, you could face administrative penalties in the form of the loss of your driver’s license.

Getting the Help You Need As Soon as Possible Following Being Charged With DUI

Working with a knowledgeable Georgia DUI attorney is your best line of defense when the stakes are this high. Melanie Ellwanger has a long history of obtaining the very best outcomes for her DUI clients. With a unique perspective and experience which comes from time spent as a prosecutor, defense attorney and judicial candidate, Melanie Ellwanger will aggressively defend your DUI charges as well as your right to continue to drive. Call Melanie Ellwanger at 404-803-3105 for a dedicated, knowledgeable attorney who will work hard for the best outcome and will be a constant advocate in your corner.