Multiple offenses of DUI and their effect on the license | Atlanta DUIlawyer

Prior to 1993, an attorney who was asked to handle a DUI case focused primarily upon the criminal aspects of the case. Since January 1, 1993, however, Georgia implemented administrative license suspension laws that affected a substantial number of motorists charged with DUI. In 1994, new laws were passed that assured that 95% of all people charged with DUI in Georgia will have some type of administrative hearing involved in their case. The effective date of these changes was January 1, 1995.
Since the 1970s, anyone who refused to take a chemical sobriety test at the request of an officer having probable cause to ask for such a test faced possible administrative license suspension for having refused the State's test. In the early 1970s the suspension was 90 days. The suspension was later changed to “6 months to 12 months” (depending on certain conditions), and now all refusals are for 12 months. As has always been the case in Georgia, a refusal suspension precludes any opportunity to obtain a work permit or temporary driving privileges while the suspension period is “aging” off. The DDS staff refers to this as a "hard suspension," meaning that someone in this status has no privilege to drive whatsoever.
With the addition of administrative license suspension laws, a person can no longer escape the penalties of administrative suspension by simply taking a test. Persons age 21 and over who have no prior DUI offenses in the 5-year period immediately preceding arrest face a 1-year suspension for taking a test and yielding a BAC of 0.08 grams percent or higher. These drivers may seek a 30-day temporary "work" permit immediately after conviction by paying a fee to DDS of $25. The person seeking to obtain this permit needs to be a Georgia licensed driver. In addition, he or she will either need to have (a) an Affidavit of First Conviction or (b) certified copies of the final disposition of his or her case, including the sentencing sheet and copies of any and all uniform traffic citations (front and back) or the accusation. All documents need to be certified by the clerk of court.
The first offender (age 21 and over) may apply for full reinstatement after 30 days by attending the Risk Reduction program and paying $200 ($210 for walk-in reinstatement) pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-67.2. Similar administrative suspension rules apply to underage drivers and persons operating a commercial vehicle, except the per se limits are 0.02 grams percent and 0.04 grams percent, respectively. Furthermore, this only applies to reinstatement of the REGULAR driver's license, and (if otherwise not eligible for certain categories of license, such as reissuance of the CDL for at least 12 months) only a regular license may be issued.
For a second offense within a 5-year term, the offender faces a 3-year suspension. During the first 12 months of suspension, no driving permit of any type is allowed. Legislation in 1999 [the so-called “Heidi's law”] in 2000 and 2001 dramatically altered the previous rules for reinstatement after 12 months. Following these changes, an adult whose license is administratively suspended for a second DUI offense in 5 years must wait EIGHTEEN months to get his/her license back (O.C.G.A. § 40-5-67.2(a)(2)) or seek early reinstatement by use of an approved ignition interlock device. DDS takes the position that 100% of all “second-in-five” offenders MUST get the interlock device for 6 months as a condition to any future re-licensing. Under O.C.G.A. § 42-8-112(b)(3), an ignition interlock device must be installed for 6 months on ANY vehicle to be driven by the suspended driver. This assumes, however, compliance with other prerequisites to issuance of the interlock permit, such as completing the Risk Reduction program and getting enrolled in or completing the now-mandatory DHR 17-week alcohol and drug course. Treatment “clearance” documents (for alcohol or drugs) are now required in all cases involving second or subsequent offenders. See for the required steps.
A third offender within a 5-year period (a person who had 2 prior offenses within a 5-year time frame) faces a 5-year revocation of his or her license. The person is not eligible for any limited driving privileges whatsoever unless he or she is able to qualify for a provisional driver's license under O.C.G.A. § 40-5-58(e). The requirements for eligibility for this provisional license at the 2-year mark were not (and still are not) a simple matter of filing paperwork. These provisional license requirements differ from any other provision in Georgia law regarding early reinstatement of driving privileges. Moreover, beginning with the arrests July 1, 2001 and after, DDS takes the position that 100% of drivers licensed in the State of Georgia who are age 21 and over MUST install an ignition interlock device for at least 6 months BEFORE re-licensing of any type can occur.
Drivers under age 21 at the time of disposition of a second or third offense (within 5 years) are not eligible for the early reinstatement (2nd offenders) or provisional license (3rd offender) by installation of an interlock device. These under 21 offenders must wait a full 18 months (2nd offense) or 30 months (3rd offense). Contact an atlanta dui lawyer for a free consultation.