No. You need to file a 10 Day Letter with DDS if you have not done so already. If you refused the State's Test, they probably have filed a 1205 form seeking a 12 month hard suspension of your license for that refusal regardless of whether you eventually are convicted of the DUI or not. The 10 Day Letter asserts your right to have a hearing to challenge that suspension.
If you can avoid the administrative suspension for refusing the State's test, then you can go on to deal with fighting your DUI case. If you are eventually convicted either by a plea or losing a trial, then (if this is the first DUI you have had within the past 5 years) be immediately eligible for a limited permit that will let you drive to and from work. That limited permit will be good for 120 days, after which you can get your full license back as long as you have completed the DUI School.
Of course the best thing to do is get a lawyer to help you avoid the Administrative License Suspension then beat the DUI charge and avoid a license suspension entirely.
If you would like to discuss the details of your case in depth and talk about potential defense strategies, you are welcome to call me for a free consultation. My office is in Gwinnett County where I prosecuted DUI's for almost three years, but I also practice in Fulton and DeKalb Counties.
Not necessarily, you need to file a letter within 10 business days to appeal the suspension of your license. That will provide an opportunity to avoid a hard suspension, But the circumstances of that can be rather complicated. You should speak with an experienced DUI attorney about how best to protect your license and possibly get your case reduced. Feel free to call anytime at 404-987-0245 to discuss in more detail at no charge.
Will you lose your license? Possibly.
If you plead guilty to the DUI, will you automatically have a hard 12 month suspension? No.
There are two possible ways for your license to be suspended from a DUI arrest. Your license may be suspended as a result of the refusal, via an Administrative Suspension. The second is the suspension you will receive if you are convicted of DUI.
The arresting officer and Department of Driver Services (DDS) will attempt to suspend your driver’s license immediately under the following circumstances:
- If you refuse to take the State’s breath, blood, or urine test.
- If you are 21 years old or older and your alcohol level exceeds .08% on breath test.
- If you are under 21 years old and your alcohol level exceeds .02% on the breath test.
- If you are driving a commercial vehicle and your alcohol level exceeds .04% on the breath test.
This suspension is known as the Administrative License Suspension (ALS). You must act quickly to save your driver’s license. You only have ten business days to appeal to this suspension. If you refused the State’s test and you do not file a timely appeal, or you do file a timely appeal and lose, a hard one year suspension is likely. However, there is still hope for saving your driving privileges – by beating the underlying DUI criminal case.
License suspensions in a DUI criminal case vary based on several factors. Things like the defendant’s age (over/under 21), previous DUI convictions (or guilty pleas), possession of drugs during the arrest, etc., can all affect a license suspension. However, in many instances, even if an individual’s license is suspended for a one year, they may be eligible to apply for a work permit immediately. And, after 120 days on the wok permit, they may apply for early reinstatement of their full license, by paying a $210 reinstatement fee and providing proof that they attended DUI school.
It sounds like you have at least a little knowledge of the potential consequences. A little knowledge is often a dangerous thing, as it can lead to bad decisions. You should absolutely speak with an experienced DUI attorney, and you should do so immediately!
Paul J. Sieg
Paul J. Sieg is a criminal defense and entertainment law attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. All information provided is based on Georgia law and federal law, where applicable, and is not necessarily directly applicable to any other jurisdictions, states, or districts. This response is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. Rather, this response is in the form of legal education, and is intended to provide general information. Any specific concerns should be directed to an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your respective jurisdiction.
I am assuming that at some point you were read the Implied Consent notice and asked to take a State administered chemical test of your breath, blood or urine which you refused. If so, your license is being suspended based upon your refusal to take this test. You need to file an appeal of this suspension within 10 business days of your arrest in order to contest your suspension. It is best to retain an experienced DUI attorney to assist you with this appeal.
According to the facts of your case, you may be able to both save your license and avoid conviction for DUI. Officers often make errors in these investigations that open the door to defenses. The officer in your case could have pulled you over without articulable suspicion that you were DUI or committing a traffic violation. Thereafter, the officer could have botched the DUI investigation by performing the field sobriety evaluations incorrectly. If you refused to take his field sobriety evaluations, he may have lacked probable cause to arrest you. Then, he could have made an error reading you the Implied Consent notice before he asked you to take the test. All of these may be viable defenses to both your criminal case and your license suspension. You need to consult in detail with an experienced DUI attorney about your case.
As for pleading guilty. If this is your first DUI, the suspension from a conviction is not a "hard" suspension in that you can get a limited driving permit. However, the suspension from the refusal is a hard suspension (no permit). I cannot stress enough the importance of immediately acting to save your license by filing your appeal. Contact a DUI attorney immediately.
Allen R. Knox
125 TownPark Drive, Suite 300
Kennesaw, GA 30144
I would observe that several attorneys who practice in Georgia have answered this question. But beware of attorneys who answer state specific questions for jurisdictions in which they're not familiar and don't practice. A beer is a beer is a beer? Maybe. But Georgia ain't Illinois or California. It ain't even Alabama.
Alan J. Levine
Lyle & Levine, LLC
274 Washington Avenue