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DUI License Suspension

Posted by Manal Chehimi | Nov 16, 2016 | 0 Comments

First DUI License Suspension

“I've lost my driving privileges after getting a DUI. How can I have my license reinstated?”

When your license is suspended or revoked your driving privileges are withdrawn until the end of the period of time prescribed by the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). At the end of the suspension or revocation period, you may apply for a new license once you satisfy certain requirements.

“What if this is my first DUI offense in 5 years? Am I eligible for a driving permit?”

A person who is sentenced on a 1st DUI offense in 5 years can receive a First Conviction Affidavit from the court at the time of sentencing. This, or a certified copy of the disposition of the case, and a completed copy of the ticket will allow you to immediately obtain a probationary license. Please note that the First Conviction Affidavit does not give you permission to drive from the courthouse to the License Service Branch. Be sure to make other arrangements after your court date.

In addition to the First Conviction Affidavit (or a certified copy of the disposition) and a completed copy of the ticket, the following must also be presented to DDS:

  • One of the following:
    • A certified copy of your birth certificate
    • Certificate of birth registration
    • Valid passport
    • For non-citizens, valid passport with a valid I-94 card
  • Or two of the following:
    • Original social security card
    • Certified copy of marriage license
    • Previous year's income tax return
    • Current auto registration
    • Voter registration card

 After 120 days and once you have completed the Driver's Risk Reduction School, you may have your license reinstated by:

  • Giving the DDS the white original of the Driver's Risk Reduction completion certificate, and
  • Paying the reinstatement fee of:
    • $200.00 (money order or cashier's check only) if by mail, or
    • $210.00 if done in person at a full-service licensing facility.

Second in Five Years DUI License Suspension

“What if this is my second DUI offense in 5 years? Can I get a driving permit?”

A person convicted of a second DUI in 5 years will face harsher license suspensions. Under the new law that went into affect January 1, 2013, you become eligible for a limited driving permit after a hard suspension of 120 days. To obtain this permit, you must present a certificate of eligibility from a DUI Court or Drug court program, or proof of enrollment in substance abuse treatment.

If the permit is approved, you must install and maintain an ignition interlock device in your car for eight (8) months. After the eight (8) months with the ignition interlock device, you may renew this permit for an additional six (6) months without the ignition interlock device.

You cannot obtain the ignition interlock permit to drive until you provide the following to DDS:

  • Successfully completing Driver's Risk Reduction school
  • Completing a clinical evaluation
  • Proof of enrollment in an approved substance-abuse treatment program or DUI court or Drug court program
  • Furnishing the Department of Driver Services (DDS) with completion forms
  • Submitting an application for a limited driving permit

 After a total suspension of 18 months, you will be eligible to have your full driving privileges reinstate. To reinstate after a 2nd in 5 DUI conviction, the following is required:

  • Documentation of installation and maintenance of the ignition interlock for 8 months (Or an exemption order)
  • Proof of completion of an approved substance-abuse treatment program
  • Paying the reinstatement fee of:
    • $200.00 (money order or cashier's check only) if by mail, or
    • $210.00 if done in person at a full-service licensing facility.

Restrictions of Driving Permits:

The DDS may specify places you may travel to with a limited driving permit, specific routes of travel, times of travel, specific vehicles, or other restrictions. Typically, Limited Driving Permits may be obtained for:

  • Going to your place of employment or performing the normal duties of your occupation
  • Acquiring prescribed medical attention or obtaining prescribed drugs
  • Attending classes at a college or other regularly attended school in which you are enrolled
  • Attending a driver education or court-ordered assessment and treatment program
  • Going to and from Ignition Interlock centers

Ignition Interlock Device

“What is an Ignition Interlock Device permit? Am I eligible?”

In 1999, the Georgia General Assembly passed “Heidi's Law”. This act requires all trial courts to impose the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in the cars of all offenders convicted of a second DUI offense within 5 years. The Department of Driver Services is required to note on the driving record and on the offender's driver's license that the use of the interlock is mandatory. Additionally, some courts may require the Ignition Interlock Device even if it is not a second DUI offense.

The Ignition Interlock Device is an alcohol detection device that is connected to the ignition system of your car. Each time the car is started, the driver must first blow into the handset to test for alcohol on the breath. If there is alcohol present, the car will not start. There will also be random retests during the operation of the vehicle and any sign of alcohol will cause the horn and lights to activate until the car is stopped. This program requires periodic reporting to the agency supplying the device so that the unit can be tested and progress reports can be forwarded to the court.

To be eligible for an Ignition Interlock permit after a 2nd in 5 years DUI conviction, the licensee must submit:

  • Successfully completing Driver's Risk Reduction school
  • Completing a clinical evaluation
  • Proof of enrollment in an approved substance-abuse treatment program or DUI court or Drug court program
  • Furnishing the Department of Driver Services (DDS) with completion forms
  • Submitting an application for a limited driving permit

About the Author

Manal Chehimi

Manal earned her BA with honors from Georgia State University and her Juris Doctor from the John Marshall Law School, where she excelled. She has nine years of experience in the legal profession. She was the President of the...

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