Georgia Administrative License Suspension (ALS) Hearings during the Pandemic

Following a DUI arrest, the State of Georgia has authority to suspend the driver’s license of the accused in a civil proceeding, which is separate from the criminal case, if one of the following occurs:

  1. After the accused has been arrested, the officer on the scene read the accused the correct “Implied Consent” notice and he/she refused to comply with either a breath, blood, or urine test in order to determine their blood alcohol content; OR
  2. The accused consented to a breath, blood, or urine test and the results showed that the blood alcohol content of the accused was above the legal limit.

At this time, the accused has a few options. He/she can either appeal the license suspension or install an interlock device in their vehicle for the duration of the suspension. However, in this blog we will solely discuss the former.

Appeal of License Suspension

In the normal world in which we are not dealing with a global pandemic, following a DUI arrest, if one of the two circumstances above are true, the accused has 30 days from the date of the arrest to file an appeal of his/her license suspension. Due to the concerns and difficulties surrounding Covid-19, the State of Georgia has extended the deadline, which allows the accused to file an appeal within 120 days of arrest. This gives individuals charged with a DUI much more time to consider all their options following their arrest. However, if the appeal is not filed within the new extended deadline then the driver’s license of the accused will be suspended. In Georgia, there are two different types of license suspensions:

  1. 12-month suspension: This is also known as a “hard suspension.” This type of suspension happens if subsection (1) above occurs. In other words, the accused refused to comply with either a breath, blood, or urine test following the reading of the Implied Consent notice. For this suspension, there are no forms of temporary or restricted licenses. If the accused does not file an appeal or fails to install an interlock device within the stated time frame, his/her license will be suspended for an entire year.
  2. 30-day suspension: This type of suspension occurs if the circumstances surrounding the arrest mirror subsection (2) above. This means that the accused consented to a breath, blood, or urine sample and the results of that sample showed that his/her blood alcohol content was above the legal limit. During this 30-day suspension, if the accused attends a Georgia DUI School and pays a reinstatement fee of $210, the accused can obtain a restricted license, and furthermore, have their driver’s license reinstated after 30 days.

At the Law Offices of W. Scott Smith, we understand that there are grave consequences following a DUI arrest, including the possibility of a license suspension. Therefore, our attorneys are knowledgeable about all possible options for our clients and have vast experience dealing with such appeals. Therefore, if you have been arrested for a DUI and are potentially facing a license suspension, please call our office today at 404-581-0999 for a free consultation.