Whether you are eligible for a hardship permit in your DUI case will depend on the circumstances of your particular case, as well as whether or not you have prior DUI charges. On a first DUI in the past 5 years (Georgia Department of Driver Services has a 5 year look back window), you are eligible for a hardship or limited permit if you tested over the legal limit or have been convicted of DUI. To clarify, there are actually two occasions for your license to be suspended even on a first DUI.
The first is an administrative suspension, which comes if your arresting officer files a 1205 form (intent to suspend) with DDS. Once filed, you must send an appeal letter detailing why you are entitled to a hearing on your suspension. If the suspension is upheld, then you will be eligible for a hardship license, assuming its your first DUI in the past 5 years, and that you did not refuse testing. If you refused testing, the suspension does not provide for a hardship license or limited permit.
The second scenario your license will be suspended is if you plead guilty or are found guilty of a DUI. This suspension will allow for a hardship license assuming it is your first DUI in the past 5 years. There is no extra penalty for a refusal DUI after a plea, but if you are still serving a 12 month administrative suspension, you will have to wait it out.
Limited permits, or hardship licenses, allow you only specific travel criteria. To and from work, school, medical appointments and any court probation requirements are the main permissible uses. Additionally, the scope has been expanded to include travel necessary to care for a minor in your household that cannot drive them self. Needless to say, a limited permit does not cover vacation travel, events and dining, and other "non essential" uses. Additionally, the limited permit is only valid in Georgia. If you drive out-of-state, you risk being pulled over and cited or arrested on a suspended license charge if the state does not acknowledge your permit.
If you have questions about your DUI, and how to avoid running afoul of Georgia's limited permit laws, call our office today. We are happy to answer any questions you have and schedule a face to face appointment to discuss your new DUI case.