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Limited Driving Permits Following Administrative License Suspensions In Georgia DUI Cases

Posted by Ben Sessions | Jun 30, 2015 | 0 Comments

Following a DUI arrest in Georgia, your Georgia driver's license may be suspended prior to the conclusion of the criminal portion of your DUI charge. Under the current practices of the Department of Driver Services, if you submitted to the blood or (post-arrest) breath test, you will most likely be eligible for a limited permit if you suffer an administrative license suspension.

The relevant provision of O.C.G.A. § 40-5-64 states:

(1) Notwithstanding any contrary provision of Code Section 40-5-57 or 40-5-63 or any other Code section of this chapter, any person who has not been previously convicted or adjudicated delinquent for a violation of Code Section 40-6-391 within five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained or pleas of nolo contendere were accepted to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained or a plea of nolo contendere is accepted, may apply for a limited driving permit when and only when that person's driver's license has been suspended in accordance with paragraph (2) of subsection (a.1) of Code Section 40-5-22, subsection (d) of Code Section 40-5-57, paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-5-63, paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-5-67.2, or subsection (a) of Code Section 40-5-57.1, when the person is 18 years of age or older and his or her license was suspended for exceeding the speed limit by 24 miles per hour or more but less than 34 miles per hour, and the sentencing judge, in his or her discretion, decides it is reasonable to issue a limited driving permit.

O.C.G.A. § 40-5-67.2(a)(1) referenced in O.C.G.A. § 40-5-64 states:

(a) Any driver's license required to be suspended under subsection (c) of Code Section 40-5-67.1 shall be suspended subject to the following terms and conditions:
(1) Upon the first suspension pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 40-5-67.1 within the previous five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which a suspension was obtained to the date of the current arrest for which a suspension is obtained, the period of suspension shall be for one year. Not sooner than 30 days following the effective date of suspension, the person may apply to the department for reinstatement of his or her driver's license. Such license shall be reinstated if such person submits proof of completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program and pays a restoration fee of $210.00 or $200.00 when such reinstatement is processed by mail unless such conviction was a recidivist conviction in which case the restoration fee shall be $510.00 or $500.00 when processed by mail. A driver's license suspended pursuant to Code Section 40-5-67.1 shall not become valid and shall remain suspended until such person submits proof of completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program and pays the prescribed restoration fee.

The referenced section of O.C.G.A. § 40-5-67.1 states:

(c) If a person under arrest or a person who was involved in any traffic accident resulting in serious injuries or fatalities submits to a chemical test upon the request of a law enforcement officer and the test results indicate that a suspension or disqualification is required under this Code section, the results shall be reported to the department. Upon the receipt of a report of the law enforcement officer that the officer had reasonable grounds to believe the arrested person had been driving or was in actual physical control of a moving motor vehicle upon the highways or elsewhere throughout this state in violation of Code Section 40-6-391 or that such person had been driving or was in actual physical control of a moving motor vehicle upon the highways or elsewhere throughout this state and was involved in a traffic accident involving serious injuries or fatalities and that the person submitted to a chemical test at the request of the law enforcement officer and the test results indicate either an alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or more or, for a person under the age of 21, an alcohol concentration of 0.02 grams or more, the department shall suspend the person's driver's license, permit, or nonresident operating privilege pursuant to Code Section 40-5-67.2, subject to review as provided for in this chapter. Upon the receipt of a report of the law enforcement officer that the arrested person had been operating or was in actual physical control of a moving commercial motor vehicle and the test results indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.04 grams or more, the department shall disqualify the person from operating a motor vehicle for a minimum period of one year.

(d) If a person under arrest or a person who was involved in any traffic accident resulting in serious injuries or fatalities refuses, upon the request of a law enforcement officer, to submit to a chemical test designated by the law enforcement officer as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, no test shall be given; but the law enforcement officer shall report the refusal to the department. Upon the receipt of a report of the law enforcement officer that the officer had reasonable grounds to believe the arrested person had been driving or was in actual physical control of a moving motor vehicle upon the highways or elsewhere throughout this state in violation of Code Section 40-6-391 or that such person had been driving or was in actual physical control of a moving motor vehicle upon the highways or elsewhere throughout this state and was involved in a traffic accident which resulted in serious injuries or fatalities and that the person had refused to submit to the test upon the request of the law enforcement officer, the department shall suspend the person's driver's license, permit, or nonresident operating privilege for a period of one year or if the person was operating or in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle, the department shall disqualify the person from operating a commercial motor vehicle and shall suspend the person's driver's license, permit, or nonresident operating privilege, subject to review as provided for in this chapter.

It's a confusing maze of statutes that DDS currently relies upon for the issuance of limited permits in cases where you submitted to the state-administered test and the results were in excess of the legal limit. That all being said, it is completely unclear why/how the Department of Driver Services continues to disregard the clear mandate that.

Any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, a driver with no previous conviction for a violation of Code Section 40-6-391 within the previous five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the date of the current arrest, during the period of administrative suspension contemplated under this chapter, shall be entitled to a limited driving permit as provided in Code Section 40-5-64.

O.C.G.A § 40-5-67.2.

Again, why aren't refusal cases eligible for a permit?

This post is provided by:

The Sessions Law Firm
1447 Peachtree St NE #530
Atlanta,
GA
30309

Phone: 470-225-7710

About the Author

Ben Sessions

I work to provide exceptional service, attention, and results to each of my clients. Most of clients come to me because they are in a completely overwhelming situation. They need someone that will do more than address their legal problems.

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