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Do the new DUI laws in Georgia affect people convicted prior to January 1, 2013?

Marietta, GA |

Specifically, the ignition interlock device laws are what I'm asking about. I was convicted of a second DUI (2 in 5 years) on January 13, 2012. I served my full year of a suspended license and had the interlock installed in January 15, 2013. Under the old laws, I would have been required to have the interlock for 6 months. I heard from a not-so-certain source that despite my year-long hard suspension, I would still have to have the interlock for 8 months as the NEW law requires.

I am two weeks away from having the interlock for a solid 6 months and want to know if the DDS is now going to expect me to have it for another two. Am I grandfathered in due to my 2012 conviction date or no? Clarification is greatly appreciated!

Attorney Answers 3


No. You will not be required to keep the ignition interlock on your car for 2 more months. The new law that went into effect is an option people can exercise when they get convicted of a 2/5 DUI. The option is to either do what you did, and do the year hard suspension followed by 6 months of ignition interlock device, OR do a 4 month hard suspension followed by 8 months of ignition interlock device. Since you are almost done with your 6 month period there is nothing for you to worry about since you won't be exercising this option.

James L. Yeargan, Jr. is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. All information given is based only on Georgia law, and is not directly applicable to any other jurisdictions, states, or districts. Any answer given assumes the person who asked the question holds a Georgia Drivers License, and this license is not a commercial drivers license (CDL). This response, or any response, is not legal advice. This response, or any response, does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information. Any state specific concerns should be directed to an attorney who is licensed to practice law in that respective state.

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Much of what we are seeing with the new law on old cases is people who could not get interlock going back before the sentencing judge and requesting it under the new law. What you are asking is whether the old or new law applies to you. If you were sentenced in 2012, the law as it stands then would apply to you, being 6 months, and that should be what is on the sentence signed by the Judge. Call the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety and see when they show you as being eligible. If they say you have to do the 8 months, get a copy of your sentence and see a lawyer.

The above information is general in nature. In order to obtain more specific and legal advice upon which to base your important decisions, please contact our office directly for a free phone or in person consultation. Robert M. Gardner, Jr. Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP 53 W. Candler St. Or 718 Oak St. Winder, Ga. 30680 Gainesville, Georgia (770) 307-4899 (770) 538-0555 serving metro Atlanta and all of Northeast Georgia Bankruptcy, Divorce, Personal Injury, Worker’s Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Adoption, Civil and Criminal Litigation

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It sounds like the advice of my GA colleagues is solid. I suggest calling the GA version of DMV to inquire when you're eligible and go from there. Best of luck.

Jasen Nielsen

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