Appealing a Georgia DUI License Suspension During COVID

If you have recently been arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence in Georgia, chances are that the arresting officer took your driver’s license from you and served you with license suspension paperwork. If this is the case, making sense of the deadlines to file an appeal and your options in saving your right to drive can be utterly confusing. This article is here to help you make sense of the Georgia Dept. of Driver Services requirements to challenge any pending license suspension.

DUI License Suspension Paperwork

If you have been charged with DUI, often times your license will be taken and you will be served with a DDS 1205 form. The form looks like this:

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As you can see, the paper is pretty distinct, but the top line will always say: “GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF DRIVER SERVICES.” If your stack of papers from the jail includes this paper, you know you need to act to save your license and right to drive. If you read the bottom of this paperwork under the caption “TEMPORARY DRIVING PERMIT,” you notice the form serves as a valid temporary permit for 45-days. Don’t confuse this with your deadline for actually doing something about appealing to keep driving! That procedure is outlined on the back of this same paper (or page 2). Additionally, if you do nothing, this form notifies you that your license will be suspended on the 46th day after you received this notice.

Two Appeal Procedures for Drivers

You usually have two options to consider to save your right to drive after a DUI arrest. The first option, which is always available is to file an appeal with the Dept. of Driver Services. That procedure is laid out under “APPEAL PROCEDURES.” The basics are that the notice will instruct you that you have 30 days to have the appeal filed with DDS and you must include certain language within your appeal letter, along with the $150 filing fee. YES- you must include the $150 filing fee or DDS will say that you did not comply with the procedures and you have waived your right to this hearing.

***If you allegedly refused chemical testing, you are subject to a 12-month license suspension and no work permit or hardship permit is available. With this much on the line, obviously you want to make sure you meet all requirements to file a valid appeal. Additionally, Forsyth County and neighboring jurisdictions will use this appeal process to have you commit to pleading GUILTY to the DUI charges against you. If you go into this appeal process un or ill-prepared, you risk not being able to even challenge your DUI arrest, if you must save your driver’s license. ***

During the current COVID-19 pandemic and public health state of emergency, Governor Kemp has enacted amended timelines for this appeals process that could be to your advantage and keep you driving for an expanded period of time. Due to the ever-changing nature of the laws and procedures around this process, we will not publish the specific timelines within this article. However, this is certainly a key piece of information that we will discuss with you if setup a consultation to discuss your defense.

The second option to save your driver’s license from a DUI suspension is to follow the “IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE LIMITED DRIVING PERMIT” procedures. The highlights of this procedure is that you commit to keeping an ignition interlock device, which requires you to blow into the device to start your vehicle and periodically while you operate it, for 12-months. This 12-month period is not shortened, even if you win your DUI case or have the original charges reduced to lesser charges, like reckless driving.

The key points of this interlock permit are:

  1. You must not have a prior DUI within the past 5 years
  2. You must be a Georgia license holder (valid GA license)
  3. You must be 21+ years old

The timeline for this interlock permit has not changed due to COVID, though that makes little sense. You have 30 days to have the device on your vehicle, AND apply for and obtain your limited permit inside a DDS customer service center. Note: DDS does not cut any breaks for this process- if you miss the 30 day deadline, you have no interlock option available.

What’s Next?

If you are serious about your defense and want to ensure have counsel every step of the way, including navigating these DDS appeal procedures to save your driver’s license, give us a call today- or use the contact form within our site- to contact us. We have a Team devoted to representing our clients through every step of this process and will start discussing defense strategy from our first conversation.

Both of our defense attorneys, Peter and Evan, use these processes to help their clients minimize the effect this license suspension process on their right to drive. Our team has a combined 36+ years of DUI defense experience and will utilize every tool at our disposal to achieve the best results in your case.

Read over this up-to-date 2021 information and then give us a call to get rolling.

Relevant links:

Evan Watson's 2020 video on Appealing License Suspensions **This video does NOT discuss the COVID-19 revised timelines- CALL US to discuss**

Georgia Dept. of Driver Services Website on DUI

Smart Start Ignition Interlock Provider

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