Can I Still Drive After Being Arrested for DUI in Georgia?

Attention: If you have been arrested for DUI, you may only have 30 days to request an administrative hearing to prevent your license from being suspended.

Getting pulled over and arrested for DUI can make you feel scared, overwhelmed, and unsure of what happens next. As the flashing lights creep into your rearview mirror, a sinking feeling washes over you as you realize that this one mistake may drastically impact your driving privileges, your future, and maybe even your freedom.

Like many of our clients, your mind is likely racing with questions about what a DUI arrest means legally. Will I lose my license? For how long? Can I still drive to work and school? What other penalties may I face? And how can I limit the damage to my future?

With decades of experience representing Georgia drivers in DUI cases, our criminal defense firm understands these concerns intimately. We know that in the chaotic aftermath of a DUI arrest, having clear, compassionate guidance is critical.

In this article, we’ll walk through the typical license suspension process following a DUI charge and what options may exist to retain limited driving privileges. We’ll also discuss why building an experienced legal defense from day one is vital for protecting your rights and navigating this complex legal terrain.

Losing Your License – What to Expect After a DUI Arrest

In Georgia, a DUI arrest sets off two paths that could lead to losing driving privileges:

  • The arresting officer can initiate an Administrative License Suspension (ALS)
  • A conviction triggers an automatic suspension for 120 days or more

An experienced attorney can potentially delay or challenge suspensions through legal arguments or negotiations. Restricted permits may also help regain limited privileges.

The DDS Administrative Suspension

After a DUI arrest, officers may initiate an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) by seizing the driver’s license and issuing a DDS 1205 form. This can happen if the driver:

  • Refuses testing
  • Has a chemical test result with over a .08 BAC 
    • .02 BAC if under 21
    • .04 BAC for commercial drivers

The driver then has 30 days to appeal the suspension, request an ignition interlock permit, or do nothing and face suspension on day 46. 

Appealing or seeking permits involves complex strategic considerations best explored with an attorney. Tactically doing nothing may also make sense in certain situations, pending factors like test results, driving needs, and previous records.

Navigating Your DDS Hearing

If you appealed the administrative license suspension, then you will recieve notice for a hearing on that appeal.

An experienced DUI defense attorney can represent you in this hearing, which can either involve negotiating an agreement with the arresting officer or conducting a full hearing on the administrative suspension, including cross-examining the officer on probable cause and testing compliance, and fighting to save your driving privileges.

Without legal guidance, drivers risk making the wrong decisions on whether to appeal their administrative suspension and how to handle the hearing. But with our firm by your side, you can ensure that you receive the best guidance for your situation and increase your change of success.

Court-Ordered License Suspensions Upon DUI Conviction

Beyond the ALS process, when an individual is convicted of a DUI in a Georgia court, there is a mandatory suspension of the individual’s driver’s licenses. These suspensions typically fall within the following ranges: 

  • First Offense: Suspended for 120 days up to 1 year
  • Repeat Offenses: Suspended for anywhere between 18 months and 5 years

With a first lifetime DUI Conviction for someone over 21, there can be options to receive a limited driving permit.  An attorney can help you determine what type of suspension you might be facing and what resolutions would make you eligible for a permit.

Why Fighting to Retain Driving Privileges Matters

For many Georgians, losing their license, even temporarily, means losing their livelihood and independence. Without being able to drive to jobs, school, medical appointments, childcare, and court-mandated DUI classes, lives get derailed.

Our clients sometimes face tough trade-offs between aggressively fighting charges or pursuing routes more likely to restore driving privileges quickly. Through strategic discussions, our attorneys outline legal options and potential outcomes to understand each client’s unique priorities. We then propose a tailored game plans aligning with these goals, so our clients can choose the best option for themselves.

Consult Our Legal Team After Being Arrested for DUI 

Getting arrested for DUI can throw your life into turmoil and uncertainty overnight. Trying to navigate the legal processes and administrative hurdles on your own adds further distress on top of major disruption.

Having an experienced Georgia DUI defense attorney help you through this process is important.  Consult our legal teamas soon as possible after an arrest. Our team can help build your defense strategy and give you the clarity needed to make informed decisions. 

Though the path forward remains difficult, you don’t have to walk it alone. Contact us today for a consultation.