Georgia recently introduced new changes to its driving under the influence (DUI) laws that may prove to be a benefit to the average driver in the state.
In particular, it has extended the amount of time someone has to challenge
the automatic or hard suspension of their driver’s license after
being arrested for a DUI. It also created an alternative method to stop
the hard suspension that involves the use of an ignition interlock device (IID).
30-Day License Suspension Rule
In the past, a driver arrested for a DUI would only have 10 business days
to request an administrative hearing, during which he or she could retain
a DUI attorney’s help to argue for the stoppage of that suspension.
The new laws have extended that 10 business day window to a
30 calendar day window instead. This provides a significant amount of additional time to plan
ahead, work with a criminal defense lawyer, and enter the administrative
Keep in mind that the hard suspension does not depend on a DUI conviction.
You could ultimately be found completely innocent of the DUI charges filed
against you and still have to wait for the automatic suspension of your
driver’s license to end. In most situations, the hard suspension
will last at least one year but could be as lengthy as
five years in some cases. Be sure to talk to a DUI lawyer about requesting the administrative
hearing within 30 days as soon as you can after being arrested.
Ignition Interlock Device Alternative
To avoid both an automatic driver’s license suspension after a DUI
arrest and an argument during an administrative hearing, a driver in Georgia
may request to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle
instead. An IID requires the driver to blow into a breathalyzer-like device
before the vehicle can be started and also periodically while the vehicle
is in operation. Failing to blow a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level
below the preset legal limit will not allow the engine to turn over and
may even notify the police.
Drivers with IIDs in their vehicles must also pay initial installation
fees, removal fees, and monthly maintenance taxes for possessing the device.
Since an IID is usually installed for at least one year, the final cost
can be quite steep. Due to the numerous downsides of ignition interlock devices,
this option is not recommended except for an extremely limited number of
If you need the help of an Atlanta DUI attorney to decide how you want
to challenge the automatic suspension of your driver’s license after
a DUI arrest, do not hesitate to
contact Thomas & Willis. Our law firm can put 100+ years of combined legal experience to use when
analyzing your case and arrest details. With our guidance, you can confidently
determine how you should fight for your license during your administrative
hearing, or if you should use the rare alternative of installing an IID
in your car.
Let’s discuss the details of your case today. Call 404.566.5199 for a