Driver’s License & New DUI Law

In May of 2019 the Georgia legislature approved a new implied consent warning for persons who have been arrested for DUI in Georgia. The implied consent warning informs drivers that Georgia law requires them to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test after they have been arrested for DUI; and submitting a sample that’s over the legal limit of .08 or refusing to submit to the requested test after arrest can result in a suspension of your drivers license.

What’s New?

This new implied consent notice removes a part of the old language that states “Your refusal to submit to breath testing can be used against you at trial.” This occurred after a Georgia Supreme Court opinion which stated that your refusal to submit to breath test evidence cannot be used against you at trial. However, this ruling is only related to the breath test option. Refusing to submit to blood and urine testing can still be introduced against you at trial.

What we have found after evaluating this new implied consent warning is that most well-trained officers are now just asking for a blood test instead of a breath test. Your refusal to submit to a blood test can be used to suspend your license as well as it can be used against you at trial.

Call us TODAY!

The law in relation to DUI cases in Georgia is constantly evolving. Having a well-trained lawyer on your side is the best way to maintain your ability to drive and keep a DUI conviction off your record. Our staff of attorneys is trained by the sane trainers who are teaching law enforcement officers to investigate DUI cases. Call our office today for a free consultation at 404-581-0999.

License Suspension & Points

Help! My license is suspended from having too many points.

The State of Georgia will suspend your license if you get too many traffic tickets. In fact, the suspension by the Department of Driver Services is automatic. Most people do not know there license has been suspended for accumulating too many points until it is too late. By simply paying your speeding and other traffic tickets, you are pleading guilty and the points are automatically assessed to your driver’s record. It is important to speak with an attorney to attend the court date whenever you receive a traffic ticket in order to avoid this from happening, and to avoid the points from racking up. If 15 points are put onto your record in a 24 month period, the license suspension is automatic. It is a one year suspension.

More About Points

              Points for traffic tickets range from 1 point to 6 points. For example, texting while driving is 1 point, whereas passing a school bus is 6 points. Speeding varies on the point scale depending on how fast you were going over the speed limit. So if over two years, you are pulled over and you either were convicted in court, or simply paid the fine ahead of time, and the amount of points reached 15 in a two year period, your license will be suspended. This suspension can be anywhere from one year to three years depending on how many times you have received this type of suspension.

A Special Warning

              Be aware that the 15 point limit applies to drivers over the age of 18. If you are under 18, accumulating just FOUR points in a 12 month period will suspend your license. This means that just one speeding ticket could suspend a younger driver’s license, and no permit would be available in that situation. An attorney can help in these situations negotiate something that would not have this affect.   

Am I eligible for a permit of any kind?

YES. If this is the first time in five years you have received this type of license suspension, you are in fact eligible for a limited permit. DDS will issue a limited permit immediately upon receiving a defensive driving course and a $210 reinstatement fee in addition to the $25 permit fee. This limited permit would allow you to drive to work, medical appointments, and other limited circumstances.

              If a points suspension occurs again within another 24 month period, within 5 years of the first one, the suspension is actually a full three years. However, just as in the first case, you can get a limited permit with a defensive driving course and a higher reinstatement fee.

Call us today!

              If you have been given a traffic ticket and want to know the affect it will have on your ability to drive or how your insurance may be affected, call the Peach State Lawyer attorneys and you will have the opportunity to speak with a knowledgeable attorney for a free consultation. 404-581-0999

False Identification in Georgia

A couple times a month we receive a call from someone who receives a letter from the Department of Driver Services stating they are being investigated for providing fraudulent information, false identification, on their drivers license. That crime and others are covered in Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) 16-9-4; Manufacturing, Selling, or Distributing False Identification Documents.

What exactly does this mean?

Under O.C.G.A. 16-9-4 it is unlawful for any person to knowingly possess, display, or use any false, fictitious, fraudulent, or altered identification document. It is also unlawful to make, alter, sell, distribute or deliver the identification document with intent to provide them for others. An identification document has to be issued by a government agency or by authority of the government and it must contain a name, and a description or photograph. Common identification documents include passports, VISAs, military IDs, driver’s licenses, or state issued ID cards. This also includes employer issues ID badges, if the badges contain a trademark or trade name and access cards that are unique to specific individuals.

What will happen?

Anyone found guilty of possessing an identification document for their own use would be guilty of a misdemeanor. If you’ve made, altered or sold identification documents for others, they you would be guilty of a felony. Also, if you’re found to use property to help you in violating this code section, you can be subject to civil forfeiture of the property used to aid in possessing, making, altering, or selling these identification documents.


If you’ve been charged or are worried you are going to be charged with an identification document violation in Georgia, call us today for a free consultation at 404-581-0999.


by Ryan Walsh

Georgia DUI – License Hearing and Ignition Interlock Device

Do I fight for a license hearing or choose an Ignition Interlock Device? This is a tough question but one that must be answered within thirty days of your arrest. The Ignition Interlock device is a decent option for those individuals charged with a DUI-Refusal where they are facing a hard one-year suspension if they lose the administrative license hearing. The license hearing is the only recommended route for a DUI-Per Se case where you ultimately submitted to a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine. This recommendation is based on the fact that you are eligible for a limited driving permit even if you lose the hearing. Installing the Ignition Interlock in this situation will just add unnecessary burden and expense. Still, many times we will advise you to submit a request for an administrative hearing even if you are facing the one-year hard suspension , but that decision is based on your personal needs and the facts of your case.

If you wish to file an appeal and request an administrative hearing, then the formal request must be mailed off within thirty days from the date of your arrest. Those are not thirty business days and that is a strict deadline so you must mail your request the Friday before the deadline if it falls on a weekend.

If you wish to go the Ignition Interlock route, then you must first install the Ignition Interlock device at a certified provider. With the Ignition Interlock installed, you must then go to your local DDS branch to show proof of installation and file a waiver of the administrative hearing.

Making this decision isn’t easy, but it’s often the first step of the DUI process. For an in-depth evaluation of all your options, call us today for a free consultation at 404-581-0999.

Atlanta DUI Lawyer

by Mary Agramonte

If you or a loved one has been charged with an Atlanta DUI, picking the right criminal defense attorney can be challenging. You need to look to the credentials, success rate, and reputation of the attorney in the field. Even if you believe you are guilty of the DUI, it is still important to contact an attorney experienced in complex area of DUI law as having a knowledgeable DUI attorney can be the difference in saving and losing your driver’s license. There are some DUIs that if you plead guilty, your license is suspended without a limited permit. The license repercussions of a DUI conviction are one of many reasons to contact a DUI attorney.

Call our firm to speak with experienced DUI attorneys on how to best defend your case. Experienced Atlanta lawyers in our firm are available any time, including nights and weekends, to provide you with the best possible outcome and advice. We can be contacted 24/7 at 404-581-0999 and provide free consultations.

Our firm consists of six highly trained Atlanta and Fulton County attorneys. We have an office near the Municipal Court of Atlanta – and have successfully defended against hundreds of Atlanta DUIs. W. Scott Smith has 18 years of DUI under his belt. He is active The National College of DUI Defense, Georgia Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers, The Lawyer Club of Atlanta, the Cobb County Bar Association and the Sandy Springs Bar Association.

The address of the Atlanta Municipal Court is 150 Garnett Street. This court handles all cases where defendants are charged with traffic misdemeanors and local ordinances within the City of Atlanta in Fulton County. Atlanta has its own police department, and so if you are arrested for a DUI in Fulton County by an Atlanta Police Officer, your case will begin in the Atlanta Municipal Court. Additionally, if you are pulled over and arrested by a Trooper with the Georgia State Patrol within the City of Atlanta, your case will also begin in the Atlanta Municipal Court. DUI Court is currently held by Judge Bey at 1pm and 3pm daily. If you’ve been arrested and are in custody, Atlanta Muncipal Court Judges hold bond hearings Sunday through Friday, daily. The Atlanta Municipal Court does not always hold bond hearings Saturdays, so if you were arrested late Friday night or early Saturday morning you may not see a Judge until Sunday.

If you have been arrested with a DUI in Atlanta or in Fulton County, our lawyers are ready to fight to avoid a DUI conviction. We are a group of knowledgeable attorneys prepared to defend against your Atlanta DUI in order to best protect your freedom and your license. If you have been charged with Driving under the Influence and your case is in the Atlanta Municipal Court, call a law firm with the experience necessary to achieve the most favorable result for you.  We are available 24/7 to speak with you about your Atlanta DUI at 404-581-0999.


Georgia’s New Distracted Driving Law for Georgia Drivers

by Mary Agramonte


As you have probably heard, Georgia’s new law on Distracted Driving will become effective on July 1, 2018. Georgia’s legislature has made the use of a cell phone will driving illegal in response to an alarming rise of traffic fatalities and serious injuries from car accidents.

The new law will prohibit Georgia drivers from the following:

  • Holding a cell phone at all
  • Texting, reading/ sending emails, using internet
  • Watching or recording videos

The following use of electronic devices will still be allowed even under the new law:

  • Speaking/texting with voice based communication
  • Using an earpiece or Bluetooth to talk on the phone
  • Using a navigation or GPS app

The punishment under this new law will be fines, fees, and points. Specifically, for a first conviction in 24 months, you will face a fine of $50.00 which will not include any surcharges and taxes. A second conviction will increase to $100.00 plus court costs and surcharges.

While the cost is fairly slight for a traffic offense, there will be other repercussions of the law. If an officer sees you on the phone, he now has the ability to pull your vehicle over which in some cases could lead to more serious charges. For example, an officer who has lawfully pulled you over for using your phone can then observe an odor of alcohol coming from your vehicle which can then lead to a DUI arrest.

Overall, this bill is being enacted to save lives as talking and texting on a cell phone while driving places other drivers and pedestrians at risk. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, Georgia will now join the other 47 states that have already enacted laws prohibited texting and driving.

Aggressive Driving Attorneys in Georgia

by Mary Agramonte

Georgia uses a point system to categorize different types of traffic tickets. Traffic offenses range from 1 point all the way up to 6 points. 6 point offenses are considered the most serious, have the harshest penalties, and are the most likely to land you in jail facing high fines and even a suspended license.

Georgia treats the offense of Aggressive Driving as a 6 point offense, meaning it is considered a very serious offense in Georgia courts. Under Georgia law, a person commits the offense of Aggressive Driving when he or she operates any motor vehicle with the intent to annoy, harass, intimidate, injure, or obstruct another person. For example, if you are overtaking and passing someone with that intent, then you can be charged with Aggressive Driving. Similarly, if you are “tailgating” someone by following them very closely, then you can be charged with Aggressive Driving. In Georgia, you can be cited or arrested for Aggressive Driving if an officer observes you commit an act of road rage or if someone on the road calls 911 to report it.

Aggressive Driving has harsh penalties, and because of that you need the best Aggressive Driving Attorneys in Atlanta on your side fighting for you and your freedom. Aggressive Driving is considered a High and Aggravated Misdemeanor. This means that the maximum penalty can be a $5,000 fine (which ends up being much higher with the additional court costs and fees), and can land you in jail for up to 12 months. This is all in addition to the 6 points it will add to your driver’s license , which is then reported to your car insurance company, which can result in significantly higher premiums.

If you are under 21, an Aggressive Driving conviction will automatically suspend your license. Even if you are over 21 years old, the Aggressive Driving charge can still suspend your license depending on how many other tickets you have had in the past two years. Additionally, if you are arrested on scene for Aggressive Driving, then this will appear on your criminal history forever, unless the case is won with the help of knowledgeable Atlanta criminal defense attorneys.

Get the legal help you need. There are defenses available to those charged with Aggressive Driving in Georgia, but you need experienced criminal defense attorneys on your side to protect your freedom, your wallet, and your future. Call us today for a FREE CONSULTATION at 404-581-0999.

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 – Georgia Drivers License Consequences of a Second in Five Year DUI Conviction in Georgia

If you are convicted of a second DUI charge within a five year period from the dates of arrest, the penalty against your drivers license by the Georgia Department of Drivers Services is escalated. For a second in five conviction, your full driving privileges will be suspended for eighteen months. After first serving a 120 day hard suspension of your license which means no driving at all in those first 120 days, you will be eligible for a twelve month ignition interlock device permit if you have completed the following requirements:

  • You must submit an original certificate of completion of a DDS approved alcohol or drug use risk reduction program
  • Complete a clinical evaluation with a counselor licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities along with any treatment required by the counselor
  • Show proof of installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle from a DDS approved vendor
  • Pay a $25 permit fee.

If you cannot afford the cost to obtain an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, the court can exempt you from the requirements of the device, but you will still have to serve that additional twelve month suspension of your license.

After serving the 120 day hard suspension and the additional twelve months with an ignition interlock device, you must still serve an additional two months without the interlock device for a total of eighteen months before you can reinstate your full license.

For reinstatement you must pay the $210 reinstatement fee and show DDS proof that an ignition interlock device was maintained in your vehicle for twelve months or show an order from the court exempting you from the interlock device due to hardship.

A second in five DUI conviction will cause a major impact to your ability to drive. Therefore, it’s important to get out in front of a second DUI arrest by consulting with an attorney to discuss your options in fighting the case. Our experienced attorneys are available twenty four hours a day  seven days a week to talk with you about your case.

Call us today at 404-581-0999. Thank you.

VIDEO – Effects on a Drivers License of a First DUI Conviction in a Five Year Period in Georgia

by Ryan Walsh and Scott Smith

We get questions all the time regarding what happens to your Georgia drivers license after a DUI conviction. The Georgia Department of Driver Services looks at Drivers License suspensions for DUI convictions in five year periods from the date the incident occurs.

The information provided in this video blog is for people that hold Georgia drivers licenses. If you do not hold a Georgia drivers license, you will not be eligible for a limited driving permit in Georgia and must serve the full period of suspension before you are eligible for a drivers license in Georgia.

If you have an out of state drivers license, it is important to consult with an attorney licensed to practice in the state you hold your drivers license about the consequences of a DUI on your out of state drivers license. Please remember, if you do not have a Georgia drivers license, you will not have the privilege to drive in Georgia during the suspension period.

If this is your first conviction for an arrest occurring in the past five years, the period of drivers license suspension is 120 days. You will be eligible for a limited driving permit for those 120 days if you have not had a conviction for an offense that suspends your Georgia drivers license in the past five years.

The limited driving permit costs $25 and is valid for one year, even though the period of suspension is only 120 days. To obtain a limited driving permit you must also have a First DUI Conviction Affidavit issued by the Court or a certified copy of your disposition.

A Limited Driving Permit means you can only use your car for the following:

  • Going to your place of employment or performing the normal duties of your job
  • Receiving medical treatment or obtaining prescription drugs
  • Attending college or school if you are regularly enrolled as a student
  • Attending Addiction or Abuse treatment for alcohol or drugs by organizations recognized by DDS
  • Court ordered driver education, driver implement, or alcohol and drug treatment programs
  • Attending court, reporting to a probation office or officer, or performing community service
  • And Transporting an unlicensed immediate family member for work, medical care, or prescriptions, or to school.

After the 120 day period you can reinstate your license if you pay the $210 reinstatement fee and submit an original certificate of completion of a DDS approved DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program.

Our attorneys and staff are experts in the field of Georgia DUI. If you have a question in regards to your Georgia drivers license suspension or DUI arrest, please call us immediately at 404-581-0999.Addressing a DUI case early is the key to gathering the necessary evidence to present the best defenses in your case.