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Carter Pilgrim Stroud Blog

Thursday, October 31, 2013

How a DUI can affect your license/privilege to drive

            As an attorney who specializes in the practice of DUI Defense, I often get the question: “What happens to my driver’s license if I am convicted of a DUI?”  The reality is there is no quick and fast answer to that question.  Many factors come into play including but not limited to:

1)     Age of the offender

2)     Number of prior offenses within a specified time period

3)     Whether a test was taken or refused

4)     If taken, what the results of that test were

5)     The specific code section under which you have been charged

 

In this article, I will attempt to shed some light on the license implications of having a DUI on your record, both before and after your case goes to court.  By no means is this article intended to be exhaustive of all potential driving privilege ramifications; however, I will provide a good guide for most drivers and some attorneys.

 

Before Court

 

            The first question I will ask a person charged with a DUI whom calls into the office is, “Do you still have your driver’s license?”  In most circumstances, if a person charged with a DUI does not have their license, the officer or deputy has taken it and given the driver a DPS 1205 form.  A DPS 1205 form looks like the one to the right.  It may be white or yellow, depending on the department.

 

A person can be issued this form for four distinct reasons:

1)     The driver refused to submit to the state mandated test by the officer.

2)     The driver took a breath test and registered .08 grams or higher on the Intoxilizer 5000.

3)     The driver was under the age of 21, took a breath test, and registered .02 grams or higher on the Intoxilizer 5000.

4)     The driver was operating a commercial vehicle, took a breath test, and registered .04 grams or higher on the Intoxilizer 5000.

 

It is within the officer’s discretion to seize your license and issue you a DPS 1205 form if you fall within one of the categories listed above.  Therefore, not all people who register over a .08, for example, will be given one of these forms. 

           

If you have been given one of these forms, you have 10 business days from your date of arrest to file an appeal with the Administrative License Suspension Hearing Unit.  An attorney can help you draft this letter and send the appropriate fees.  At our office, this is included in your representation.  If you fail to file a request for an appeal within the designated time period, 30 days from your date of arrest, your license may be suspended for a period of one year.  The length of that suspension and whether you can get a “work/hardship” permit depends on which of the four categories you fell into.  You would need to contact our office if you feel that your license has been suspended due to a failure to file a request for a hearing.  We may be able to help you get back on the road.

 

After Court

 

            If you plead guilty or are convicted of DUI, your age and the code section under which you were charged, among other things, has an impact on the length of your suspension and whether a permit is available.  The chart below is a good guide for all the subsections of the DUI statute; O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391:

 

 

Code Section O.C.G.A §

 

 

Length of Suspension

 

Permit?

40-6-391 (a) (1)

“Less Safe” – No Refusal

  • 12 month suspension in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 40-5-63 (a) (1)
  • Following 120 days, and upon the completion of a DUI Risk Reduction Program, license can be reinstated at the discretion of DDS

Yes – subject to the conditions of O.C.G.A. § 40-5-63 (a) (1)

40-6-391 (a) (1)

“Less Safe” – Refusal

  • 12 month suspension in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 40-5-63 (a) (1)

No – pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 404-5-67.2 which explicitly excludes an offender from a permit under O.C.G.A. § 40-5-64

40-5-391 (a) (2)

Drugs “Less Safe” or “Per Se”

  • 180 day suspension pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-75 (a) (1)

No – pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-75 (e)

40-6-391 (a) (3)

Intoxicants “Less Safe” – No Refusal

  • 12 month suspension in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 40-5-63 (a) (1)
  • Following 120 days, and upon the completion of a DUI Risk Reduction Program, license can be reinstated at the discretion of DDS

Yes – subject to the conditions of O.C.G.A. § 40-5-63 (a) (1)

40-6-391 (a) (3)

Intoxicants “Less Safe” –Refusal

  • 12 month suspension in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 40-5-63 (a) (1)

No – pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 404-5-67.2 which explicitly excludes an offender from a permit under O.C.G.A. § 40-5-64

40-5-391 (a) (4)

Drugs and Alcohol Combined

  • 180 day suspension pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-75 (a) (1)

No – pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-75 (e)

40-6-391 (a) (5) [>.08]

Alcohol “Per Se”

  • 12 month suspension in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 40-5-63 (a) (1)
  • Following 120 days, and upon the completion of a DUI Risk Reduction Program, license can be reinstated at the discretion of DDS

Yes – subject to the conditions of O.C.G.A. § 40-5-63 (a) (1)

40-6-391 (a) (6)

Marijuana****

  • Found Unconstitutional

N/A

40-6-391 (i)

Commercial Vehicle

  • 12 month suspension in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 40-5-63 (a) (1)
  • Following 120 days, and upon the completion of a DUI Risk Reduction Program, license can be reinstated at the discretion of DDS; however, may possibly be a lifetime disqualification of the individuals CDL

Yes – subject to the conditions of O.C.G.A. § 40-5-63 (a) (1)

40-6-391 (k) (1)

Under 21

  • If alcohol concentration was .08 grams or more, 12 month suspension in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 40-5-57.1 (b) (2) (B) (ii)
  • If alcohol concentration was .079 grams or less, 6 month suspension in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 40-5-57 (b) (1) (B) (i)

No – pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-57.1 (b) (2) (B)

****DUI Marijuana cases are being prosecuted under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391 (a) (2) which is a 6 month suspension with no permit available.

 

            Finally, the number of convictions an individual has within a 5 year period has an impact on the length of suspension and whether a permit is available.  Many factors come into play with regards to this; therefore, you should contact our office if this is not your first offense.  Generally, if you are convicted of multiple offenses within a five year period, you will lose your license for a minimum period of one year and you will not be allowed a permit to drive for work or other approved purposes.  A new exception now exists for certain individuals.  This is something that we can discuss with you once we have all the facts.  

 

            It should also be stressed that licensing implications, although difficult to decipher through the Georgia Code, are not the only implications of a DUI.  Jail time, loss of job, effects on insurance, and other collateral consequences are just as impactful and very likely.  It is extremely important you contact an attorney if you have been charged with a DUI offense.  Make sure that the person you hire is experience in these types of cases and knows the law. 

 

If you are currently facing a DUI charge in the State of Georgia, do not hesitate to contact our office.




If you need assistance please contact our firm through our website or request a consultation online.

Carter Pilgrim Stroud, Attorneys at Law located in Suwanee, GA serves Cumming, Buford, Lawrenceville, Braselton, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Duluth, Norcross, Hoschton, Jefferson, Commerce, Dawsonville, Gainesville, and other surrounding areas.



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