Administrative License Suspension (ALS) DUI Case v. Criminal DUI Case
DUI License Suspension
DID YOU KNOW THAT AFTER MOST GEORGIA DUI ARRESTS, THERE ARE 2 CASES THAT THE DEFENDANT MUST BE PREPARED FOR?
In most Georgia DUI cases, there are 2 separate proceedings which you must be prepared to defend against. Most people are generally familiar with the criminal proceedings. The criminal case will take place in a criminal court, and the defendant will be required to appear in a state court, a municipal court, a probate court, or superior court to answer the criminal accusation or indictment against them. In the criminal DUI case, the prosecutor acting on behalf of the State of Georgia attempts to have the Court and the Judge put you in jail, place on you on probation, fine you, make you do community service, or complete other conditions.
Generally, a case will originate in a municipal court when the arrest is made by a city police officer, although a defendant has the right to bind the case over to a state or superior court for motions, trial, and plea negotiations. In those counties that do not have a state court, cases made by a Georgia State Patrol officer or deputy will usually start in the probate court, although the defendant may bind the matter over to the superior court of that county. A handful of counties have a “recorder’s court,” and in those courts a defendant may also bind his case over to the state court for disposition.
The second case resulting from a DUI arrest is the administrative license suspension (ALS) proceeding. The State of Georgia will suspend your license for one year if you refused to submit to a chemical test for intoxicants. If you submitted and the test showed a blood or breath alcohol level of .08 or more, your license will be suspended for one year if it has not been administratively suspended within the past five years. However, after thirty days you can reinstate your license with proof of completion of DUI school paid payment of the reinstatement fee of $210.00 ($200.00 by mail). The period of suspension increases to eighteen months for a second ALS suspension within five years and five years for a third within five years, although in the latter instance a probationary license may be available after two years.
The suspension begins thirty days after you are served with notice unless you request an ALS hearing within 30 days after your date of arrest. This notice is usually given at the jail or police department where you were taken after you were arrested. The deadline for requesting a hearing is hidden on the back of the “Sworn Report of the Arresting Officer” so it is frequently overlooked by our clients who have found themselves in this unfamiliar and stressful situation.
HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE FROM GOING INTO SUSPENSION FOLLOWING A DUI ARREST IN GEORGIA?
The only way to prevent the license suspension from becoming effective on the 30th day following arrest is to request an administrative hearing within ten business days of the service of notice. If this hearing is not requested within that time, there is nothing that can be done to prevent the license suspension. Once the hearing is requested, it will put on hold any suspension action until the hearing is held and a ruling is made. The actual proceedings of the Office of State Administrative Hearings and appeal rights are covered separately.
Contact a DUI lawyer at Sessions & Fleischman today a for a free case review and evaluation. We can help you develop a plan for attacking your case.
What Do You Do if Your License Has Been Suspended for Refusing a DUI Test?
If this suspension is based upon your refusal to submit to blood/breath/urine test,
- your license will remain suspended for a period of at least one (1) year,
- You will not be eligible for a limited driving permit, and
- this suspension is not subject to early reinstatement.
You may receive credit for the time served on this suspension toward satisfaction of the suspension of your driver’s license for driving under the influence if you are convicted in the criminal case related to this suspension. You must win your criminal DUI case or get your DUI reduced in order to re-obtain your driver’s license prior to the expiration of 12 months.
Georgia Law Regarding Suspension of Your Driver’s License After Refusing to Submit to A State-Administered Test After a DUI Arrest (o.C.G.A. § 40-5-67.1)
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.
Reinstatement of Your Driver’s License After an Administrative License Suspension for Refusing to Submit to A State-Administered Test Following a DUI Arrest
The reinstatement of your driver’s license after an administrative license suspension for refusing to submit to a state-administered test following a DUI arrest only requires the passage of time. The suspension “ages off” of the record at the end of 1 year. No reinstatement fee is required in order to re-obtain your driver’s license.