If you’re a regular driver in Georgia, you may have heard of the state’s “implied consent” law. The state has recently made some changes to the law surrounding implied consent and license suspensions. The law and its changes are complex, but here we discuss some of the biggest changes. To understand your rights and responsibilities as a driver, make sure you review these legal changes before you get back on the road.
According to Georgia law, by driving on Georgia roads, you implicitly agree to submit to a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine following a DUI arrest. The police will perform this test to determine the amount of alcohol or drugs in your blood. This test is completely voluntary, although the officer will tell you the law “requires” you to submit to the test. While you may refuse the test, there are consequences for a refusal.
If you refuse to take the chemical test, the State of Georgia may penalize you administratively by placing restrictions on your driving privileges and suspending your driver’s license for up to one year.
If you violated Georgia’s implied consent rule by refusing a chemical test, and your license was put under an administrative suspension for a DUI arrest, you will now have two options to restore your right to drive in the state. The changes are effective for all DUI arrests made on or after July 1, 2017.
Once you receive a notice of your license suspension (called the DDS 1205 Form) following a DUI arrest, you will now have 45 days on a temporary driving permit, as opposed to the previous 30 days. As long as you act within 30 calendar days (extended from 10 business days), you can use one of two methods to avoid an administrative license suspension.
The First Option
Your first option is the same as it was under the previous law: your attorney can send a hearing request to appeal your license suspension. You will still have to pay a $150 filing fee to request your hearing.
The Second Option
The second and newest option involves the installation of an ignition interlock device. You will have to blow into the device, which is essentially a breathalyzer, before your car will start. The process involves applying for an Ignition Interlock Limited Device Permit, which comes with a $25 filing fee, within 30 days of receiving your 1205 notice. Application for the Interlock Device waives your right to an administrative license suspension hearing.
Your interlock device permit will last for one year, at which point you can renew the permit for 2 months at a cost of $5. You can only renew it once, so make sure you start applying to reinstate your driver’s license as soon as you’re eligible. You should also avoid breaking other traffic laws and tampering with your interlock device, because your permit can be revoked following certain convictions.
Although the new laws extend the time limit you’re given to pursue either option, you must still act fast to retain your driving rights. If you’re not sure which option is right for you, or if you need help filing an application, contact the detail-minded attorneys at Savannah DUI. We will walk you through every step of the process and work hard to get you favorable results on your DUI case.