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).
Georgia DUI License Suspension
In the past, a driver arrested for a DUI would only have 30 calendar days to request an administrative hearing. Under Georgia law, this period has been extended from a 30 calendar 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 hearing well-prepared.
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 circumstances.
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 Willis Law Firm. 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 free consultation.