Georgia’s 30-Day Rule

Save Your License after a Georgia DUI

When you are arrested for driving under the influence in Georgia, the officer must present you with a form 1205 from the Georgia Department of Drivers Services. This provides the defendant with the ability to drive for 30 days, but it also signifies the state’s intention to suspend your license.

This means that you only have 30 business days from the date of your arrest to prevent your license from being suspended or even revoked!

Contact a Atlanta, Georgia law office to reach a DUI defense attorneys. You may be eligible to have one of our experienced DUI lawyers file your Administrative License Suspension Hearing Request.

Georgia lawmakers have toughened the DUI laws. If you are charged with DUI, and you refuse to take a breath, blood or urine test, OR if you take the test and your result is 0.08 or greater, you have only 30 business days to request a special hearing. Failure to do so may result in a one-year suspension of your driver’s license. You must act now if:

  • You took the test and my blood alcohol level was .08 or higher.
  • You refused to take the test.
  • You tried to take the test, but they said you refused.
  • You were under 21 on the day of your arrest, and your test result was.02 or higher.
  • You have a CDL, were in your rig when arrested, and your blood alcohol level was.04 or higher.
  • You are not sure what your blood alcohol level was.

Remember … getting arrested for DUI does not mean you have to lose your license or pay inflated insurance rates.

Administrative License Suspension (ALS) Hearing

You have 10 business days, starting the day after your arrest, to contest the automatic suspension of your license.

As our first step in your defense, our criminal defense attorneys will request an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) Hearing and represent you at that hearing before the Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings.

We find many clients are confused by the fact that the typical DUI in this State ends up in two separate and very different courts. Most people are familiar with the regular criminal court and have a good idea about the issues involved there. Few people are acquainted with the other court, the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH) where the court holds ALS hearings.

Proceedings in the OSAH are typically initiated when a police officer files a Department of Driver Services Form. In the ALS hearing before the OSAH, the central issue in cases is whether the person charged should have his or her license suspended and for how long. Since there is no possibility of jail time and there’s not even the possibility of a fine, the standards and procedures are much different than in criminal court and much less favorable to the accused.

A judge makes all the decisions about the outcome of a case. The lawyer at an ALS hearing will, in consultation with his or her client, generally do one of four things:

  • Try to have the 1205 petition thrown out because the police officer doesn’t show up for the hearing,
  • Have the police officer unilaterally withdraw the 1205 petition, that is, without any conditions for the withdrawal,
  • Have the police officer withdraw the 1205 petition in exchange for a promise to plead guilty to either reckless driving or DUI in the criminal court, or
  • On rare occasions, try the case before an OSAH judge

Unless you have been subpoenaed, you are not typically required to appear at your Administrative License Suspension Hearing.

Beat a DUI in Georgia

First, just because a police officer arrests you for driving under the influence doesn’t mean you’re guilty of doing so. This applies even if you refuse to submit to the state-administered breath or blood tests. A DUI attorney will try to get your case dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge. They  can often get the State’s evidence declared inadmissible – that is, thrown out.

A lifelong prosecutor once claimed it is more difficult for a criminal defense attorney to win a DUI trial than it is to win a murder or rape trial. That’s why you don’t want just any attorney representing you in your DUI case. You want a lawyer who not only knows the law inside and out but also someone who knows the judges, prosecutors, police officers and their training, and expert witnesses.

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