Taking Action on Georgia Implied Consent DS 1205 License Suspension for DUI Arrest
In virtually all DUI arrests that occur in Georgia, the reading (by the arresting officer) of a Georgia "implied consent" advisement triggers one of TWO TYPES of pre-trial administrative license suspension "actions" against the person who is under arrest for D.U.I. (driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other impairing substance). This rule of the arresting officer initiating an administrative license suspension proceeding is applicable whether you possess a Georgia driver's license or a license issued by another state. As of May 13, 2010, Governor Sonny Perdue signed into law House Bill 1055, calling for a new FILING FEE of $150. This filing fee is mandated. Failure to pay this $150 amount (personal check is acceptable) will void the appeal and likely cause immediate suspension of your driving privileges.
Don't Be Fooled -- all Roadside "Tests" Before the DUI Arrest are Optional and Voluntary.
The only "chemical" tests (or evaluations of any type) that are MANDATED by Georgia law (in order for you to retain your driving privileges in GA) are the tests requested AFTER you have been arrested for DUI. All other screening tests offered BEFORE ARREST, such as roadside agility exercises, the "eye" test, performing a partial alphabet, or the hand-held tester (preliminary breath tester) offered prior to arrest, are 100% optional and voluntary. No penalty follows (and no loss of driving privileges can occur) from your refusal to submit to these subjectively-graded evaluations that are offered PRIOR TO ARREST for D.U.I.
Administrative Suspension Follows any post-Arrest Refusal to be Tested or Per Se Result
If you suffer an administrative license suspension for the refusal to submit to testing (blood, breath, urine --- or any two or any three of these types of tests --- your arresting officer decides) or for being "per se" (if you agree to testing and are "over the legal limit") based on a breath test reading at the station, jail or in a mobile BATmobile (Breath Alcohol Testing), Georgia will seek to suspend your right to drive immediately by the arresting officer issuing you a DS 1205 Form that begins the administrative license suspension process in Georgia. The permitted "level" of alcohol in your breath, blood or urine in a per se alcohol DUI arrest is 0.080 grams % for drivers who are age 21 and over and are not driving a commercial motor vehicle, 0.040 grams % or more for any person operating a commercial motor vehicle, and (for any drivers who are under age 21 at the time of the DUI arrest, 0.020 grams % or more) from any "chemical" test taken within three (3) hours after driving.
Once ALS Proceeding is Started, You MUST File an "Appeal" within 10 Business Days
The issuance of this DS 1205 Form MANDATES that you file a written appeal and (as of May 13, 2010, PAY A FILING FEE of $150) to be able to seek a reversal of the pending suspension action WITHIN TEN  BUSINESS DAYS after your DUI arrest if you want to try to continue driving until the criminal case gets resolved. Our office can prepare and file these important "appeals" for prospective clients for a very nominal fee of $50, without requiring that you hire a person in our firm. If you later hire our firm, we apply the amount paid ($50) against any retainer fee for one of our lawyers. The best part is that our staff can do this 24/7, by phone or e-mail communication. We never close. Call us at 404-250-1113 or 877-384-4367 or e-mail us at [email protected]
After DUI Arrest, Your Driver's License is Taken, and a Paper License is Issued to You
The arresting officer is required [under O.C.G.A. ? 40-6-67] to confiscate (pick up) your plastic operator's (driver's) license, whether issued by Georgia or another state. This same code section authorizes the issuance of the DS 1205 Form that initially provides the arrested driver with a yellow piece of paper that becomes the temporary "permit" to drive for 30 daysafter the date of arrest. WARNING: This thirty-day permit confuses many DUI arrestees, who do not read (within the front and back of the DS 1205) about the requirement of the 10-day request for hearing, described above. If you file the appeal, you MUST also send the $150 filing fee. If the driver misses filing the ten-day letter, he or she may be totally suspended from driving for ONE FULL YEAR or longer, beginning on the 31st day following his or her arrest in Georgia for any D.U.I. charge.
Losing the ALS Hearing can cripple your chances of Winning the DUI Criminal Case
This administrative suspension can be and often IS more devastating to an accused impaired driver in GA than the potential suspension that occurs in the criminal case for a DUI first offender, if a DUI conviction does eventually occur. If arrested for D.U.I. in the State of Georgia, statutes mandate that you should be issued one of two types of notices of suspension of your license. You will either be issued a Form DS-1205 (issued in about 97% of all GA DUI arrests) OR a Form DS-1127 (issued in about 2% of GA DUI arrests). The forms look and ARE completely different in their APPEARANCE and their PURPOSE. It is a white STICKER, about 1.5" tall and approximately 3.5" across, and is usually placed at the bottom of a DUI ticket (uniform traffic citation).
The Most Commonly-Issued ALS Form is the Yellow-Colored DS-1205 Form
When a DUI arrest is made in Georgia, the arresting officer is compelled by State laws to take away (confiscate) your plastic license and issue a pre-conviction, written notice of a proposed, IMMEDIATE driver's license suspension action. Usually, it is the Form DS-1205. This form is commonly referred to by lawyers who are DUI specialists (and by police officers who handle DUI arrests) as "a 1205 form" or "a DS-1205 form." Click on the hyperlink to see an sample of this State-issued pre-printed, 8 1/2 " by 11", yellow-colored form (sometimes called a DPS-1205) [CLICK on this link to see the PDF version of this blank form --- FRONT and BACK, plus a copy of the Arresting Officer's Instructions to follow in completing and filing the Form DS-1205 and the Arrested Driver's Instructions]. This form may not mention the required $150 filing fee that became part of GA law on May 13, 2010.
How a "Business" Day is Defined & Calculated by Georgia's Implied Consent Law
In a nutshell, this is how you count "business" days, under the Georgia implied consent law. First, you START counting the 10 days beginning on the next calendar day AFTER the actual date you are arrested, so long as that day is NOT a Saturday, Sunday, or a State holiday. Georgia law defines "ten business days" as weekdays that are NOT State holidays in Georgia. In counting, the FIRST day (of the 10 business days) is the next weekday AFTER your arrest date. Weekend days and STATE holidays (not federal holidays) are NOT counted as "business days".
How and When is the Appeal letter RECEIVED by DDS in Conyers?
The appeal --- and the $150 filing fee for all arrests May 13, 2010 and after --- must either be RECEIVED at DDS [Department of Driver Services] Headquarters in Conyers, Georgia, or is deemed to be received if it bears an OFFICIAL U.S. Postmark date on the envelope or before that last "business" day. A second method of direct delivery is possible, with signed proof of delivery to DDS Headquarters in Conyers (2206 East View Parkway, Conyers, GA 30013). See their web site for hours of operation: www.dds.ga.gov. Remember, WE NEVER CLOSE, and can handle the letter for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call NOW at 404-250-1113 or 877-384-4367.
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