New Georgia Drivers License Suspension Rules after DUI Arrest

by Ryan Walsh

On July 1, 2017, the law changed in respect to administrative license suspensions after DUI arrests for drivers with a Georgia driver’s license under Georgia law.

In Georgia, an officer can petition the Department of Driver Services to suspend your driver’s license under the Georgia implied consent statute if the officer places you under arrest for Driving under the Influence (DUI), reads you the Georgia implied consent notice, and you either refuse to submit to the requested sample of your blood, breath, or urine, say nothing, or present a sample that is positive for alcohol at a level over .08, or shows the presence of drugs.

The officer must then issue to you a DS-1205 form stating the reason for the license suspension. This DS-1205 form acts in three ways. It is a notice of license suspension. It is a temporary driving permit. And it also informs you of your right to appeal this suspension of your driver’s license based on the Georgia implied consent law.

As of July 1, 2017, when you are arrested for DUI in Georgia and issued a DS-1205 form, that form now serves as a forty-five (45) day temporary driving permit. You have two options to proceed, and if you do nothing your Georgia driver’s license will be suspended at the end of 45 days.

Your first option is to use the old procedure to request a hearing. You have 30 days (not business days) to request a hearing regarding the suspension of your license by submitting a written request along with a money order for $150.00 to the Department of Driver Services. Requesting a hearing begins a process which is identical to the old method of Administrative License Suspension hearings with the same potential outcomes. We have writtentwo blogs outlining the old procedure which can be read here: and

Your second option is to forego asking for a hearing regarding the license suspension. Instead, you can apply for an ignition interlock device limited permit through the Department of Driver Services. To apply for a permit you must go to the Department of Driver Services and do the following things within thirty (30) days of receiving the DS-1205 form: (1) Install and maintain an ignition interlock device with a vendor of your own choosing for the twelve month period of your ignition interlock device limited permit. Once the Ignition Interlock Device is installed you can go to a Georgia DDS location and pay a $25.00 ignition interlock device limited permit fee, surrender your Georgia driver’s license, and execute an affidavit stating you waive your right to a hearing under the Georgia implied consent law to obtain an ignition interlock device limited permit.

Your permit will be revoked if you are convicted of a moving violation under the laws of the State of Georgia, if you have been found to have violated the terms of the limited driving permit, or you have been found to have tampered with the ignition interlock device.

You can only drive on your ignition interlock device permit for the following reasons: (1) to and from work along with performing the normal duties of your job, (2) receiving medical care or obtaining prescriptions, (3) attending school, (4) attending treatment, (5) attending court ordered driver education, (6) attending court, (7) attending community service, (8) taking a family member to work, school, or a medical appointment, (9) court ordered activities, and (10) visiting the ignition interlock provider monthly.

At the time you apply for your Ignition Interlock permit you waive your right to a hearing challenging the administrative license suspension. You must be over 21 and have a Georgia driver’s license to apply for an ignition interlock device permit. You will not be given a permit if you have a DUI conviction on your record with an arrest date within the past five years. Applying for an interlock permit will remove your CDL status if you have a commercial driver’s license.

If you choose to go the Ignition Interlock Device Permit route, you must have the ignition interlock device installed within ten days of receiving the permit. The device must be installed for a minimum of 120 days. You cannot drive any vehicle that does not have an ignition interlock device installed on it. If your case is resolved with a disposition that is not DUI while you have an ignition interlock device permit, you must remain on the permit for the entire twelve months unless you gave an implied consent sample on a DUI alcohol case. Refusal cases must continue on the permit for the entire twelve months, even if their case is dismissed or reduced.

Time spent on an ignition interlock device permit is credited towards any driver’s license suspension for a DUI conviction. You must pay a $100 reinstatement fee at the expiration of your ignition interlock device permit to reinstate your full driving privileges.

These rules are a significant departure from the longstanding procedures regarding Georgia driver’s licenses after DUI arrests. Call us today at 404-581-0999 if you have any questions about your drivers license.

VIDEO – Walk and Turn Field Sobriety Test

Imagine a straight line in front of you. Put your left foot on that line. Place your right foot in front of your left foot with your left toe touching your right heel. Put your hands down by your sides and hold that position without moving. Hello, I’m attorney Scott Smith and today we’re talking about the walk and turn field sobriety test, the second of the three standardized field sobriety tests approved by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration designed for the detection of impaired drivers.

Are you still holding that starting position I discussed in the beginning of this video? It’s tough isn’t it? Now imagine you’re on the side of the interstate with cars passing at seventy miles per hour, or in a parking lot next to a busy intersection with people looking on. You’ve got an officer that’s already told you that the test is to determine whether or not you’re safe to continue to drive. Is it getting more difficult? You haven’t even begun to actually walk the test yet.

The walk and turn field sobriety test provides the officer seventy-six different opportunities to notice eight clues of impairment. If the officer notices only two clues, it gives the officer enough evidence to believe you are an impaired driver.

The eight clues are broken down into two phases. The first phase is the instructional phase. During the instructional phase the officer asks you to get into the position described at the start of the video. During this instructional phase the officer is looking to see if you break that stance of if you start too soon by mimicking the officer’s movements. Those are the first two of eight clues.

During each series of nine steps you take, the officer is looking for four clues on each step. They are looking to see whether you miss touching heel to toe, whether you step off your line, whether you stop walking at any point during the step taking, or whether or not you use your arms for balance.

There are two final in the walking phase. One is for not turning exactly as instructed by the officer, and the final clue is for taking the incorrect number of steps in either series of nine steps, going out or coming back.

Does this test seem difficult to you to pass? The test isn’t designed to be passed. It is designed to show the officer clues of impairment to help them justify arresting you. We recommend to all our clients to politely refuse to participate in field sobriety testing, especially the dexterity testing. Do not help the officer make their case.

Our team of experienced Georgia DUI attorneys are trained just like the police officers in how to properly perform field sobriety evaluations. We are trained to look at each test and break down whether or not the instructions are correct, whether the officer demonstrated it correctly, and whether or not you actually exhibited the clues the officer said he saw at the time of you conducting these tests.

If you’ve been stopped for DUI and you are worried about your performance on the walk and turn field sobriety test, or whether or not you’ve just got questions for us, call our office today for a free consultation. We’re available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Our telephone number is 404-581-0999.

Thank you.

VIDEO – What to Do When Stopped for DUI

You’ve gone out with friends or family. You’ve had a few drinks and you’re driving home when you see the blue lights behind you. What do you do when stopped for DUI? That’s the topic of today’s Peach State Lawyer video blog. Hi, I’m Scott Smith and today we’re talking about what do you do when stopped for DUI after a night out drinking.

From the time you first notice an officer behind you, you need to know that the police officer has already begun their DUI investigation.

When you see those blue lights turn on, your first job is to pull over safely and quickly. Use your turn signal to indicate you notice the police officer behind you. Slow down and pull over onto the first side street or well-lit parking lot you see.

Once stopped, put your car in park and get your driver’s license out. Put it in a place where you can easily reach it as the officer will ask you for it. Check the time in your vehicle and think about where you were coming from before you were stopped and where you were going. Also know the addresses of any major cross streets in the area you were pulled over.

Expect the officer to approach your window and ask you if you know why you were pulled over. It is okay to tell them you are not sure why you were stopped. But know your statement can be an admission against you.

After this brief conversation officers will ask you more specific questions about how much you had to drink and where you were earlier that evening. Be careful with your answers. Any admissions of drinking can be used against you at trial. But a denial of drinking may be just as harmful as an admission.

Field sobriety tests are completely voluntary. Politely refuse them. These tests are designed solely to gather evidence that can help police officers make their decision to arrest you. You cannot pass these tests.

There are three standardized field sobriety tests that the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has determined are the only series of tests to determine alcohol impairment. These tests are number one the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, two, the walk and turn test, and three the one leg stand test. An in depth discussion of each of these tests is available in a separate video blog highlighting each of them.

You should also refuse to submit to a roadside breath test. Even though the officer will deny it, the roadside breath test will provide a number. And that number will be used by the officer in their decision to arrest you.

A DUI on your criminal history can follow you forever. Our office of experienced and trained Georgia DUI attorneys can help answer answer any questions you have about hypothetical situations or pending charges. We’re available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week to help you out. Call us today at 404-581-0999 for a free consultation.

Thank you so much.