Will my license be suspended if I refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test?
For most of us, it is difficult to imagine our lives without being able to drive. In Georgia, with limited public transportation options in some areas, many of us rely on our vehicles to travel daily to work, school, the grocery store, visit friends and family, and many other destinations. Without a valid driver’s license, it could become difficult to maintain your career, keep your children in school, and simply survive. If you have been arrested for a DUI, there is a very real possibility that you could be facing suspension of your driver’s license. Our Atlanta DUI lawyers discuss how you can immediately attempt to preserve your license post-arrest and what license consequences you could face if convicted.
Automatic License Suspension in Georgia
In the state of Georgia, should you refuse to take the breathalyzer test when requested or if you submit to the test and register over the legal limit, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended. This suspension will go into effect before you are even convicted of a DUI. While a recent Georgia Supreme Court ruling has rendered it unlawful for your refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test to be used against you in court, you can still face the administrative suspension of your license for up to one year.
Critically, you have just 30 days to file an appeal of your license revocation, which will run from the day of your arrest. Should you fail to file within this time frame, you will lose your license for up to a year and have no recourse. This makes it vital that following your arrest, you act quickly to file an appeal with the Department of Driver’s Services and seek an administrative hearing. While your appeal is pending, your license will remain valid.
Protecting Your License After an Arrest
Should you find yourself convicted of a DUI, you could potentially lose your license for longer than one year. Repeat DUI offenders could even find their license revoked. To protect your ability to drive, you will want to prevent a conviction. Work with an experienced DUI lawyer who will fight to see that your charges are dismissed or you win at trial. Beating a conviction represents your best chance at getting your license back sooner. Contact a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest to start protecting your legal rights.