Where and When Can You Drive After a DUI Arrest?
If you or someone you know got arrested for driving under the influence here in Georgia, you probably are aware that there are some serious consequences involved. Not only is there the possibility of jail time, hefty fines, DUI school, mandatory community service, substance abuse evaluation and treatment, but you will also risk losing your license to drive. Even a first time DUI offense could result in a one year driver's license suspension.
Criminal penalties associated with a DUI do not apply until after you plead guilty, or are found guilty by the court. However, driving privileges are another matter. Your driver's license is handled by the Georgia Department of Driver Services. The driver's license suspension is automatic and handled as an administrative procedure. A DDS suspension doesn't even depend on whether you are guilty of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or not. If your license gets suspended before your court appearance, you will have to take a bus, or get a ride, or somehow get to the court without driving.
After getting arrested, the Atlanta Police or Georgia State Patrol officer will usually take your driver's license, and give you a form that acts as your temporary driver's license. However, the temporary license is only good for 30 days. After that, your license will be suspended. A suspended license means no driving anywhere. If you are caught driving while on a suspended license, you will face additional penalties, and it will take even longer to get your driving privileges back.
The only way to stop an automatic license suspension is to request an ALS hearing. Don't wait until the temporary license is almost expired, because by then it will be too late to request an ALS hearing. You only have 30 days from the date of arrest to request a hearing, or you have waived your chance to contest the automatic suspension. If you request a hearing, your suspension will be halted until the hearing takes place, so you can fight to keep your driving privileges.
Driving After a DUI Arrest in Georgia
Whether or not you can drive to your first court appearance after a DUI will depend on when it is scheduled, and if your license was suspended. You will not be able to drive anywhere on a suspended license. If your court appearance takes place before the 30 day temporary permit expires, you will be able to drive to court, and to any other places you need to drive. If your court appearance takes place after suspension, you will only be able to drive to court if you have requested and been granted a limited driving permit. In some cases, a limited driving permit will allow you to drive to court. It will also allow you limited driving, including to and from school or work, DUI school, and medical appointments.
Georgia DUI Defense Lawyer
Don't wait until your license is suspended by DDS. You only have 30 days to request an ALS hearing so you can keep your license. Your DUI defense lawyer can file the 30-day letter, represent you before the ALS hearing to fight for your license, and defend you in court so your DUI arrest doesn't lead to a conviction. Our Georgia DUI Attorneys at Lawson and Berry have successfully represented hundreds of people charged with Atlanta DUIs, in both ALS hearings and before criminal proceedings. You only have 30 days, so call our office today so we can discuss the consequences of a DUI for your criminal record, and for your ability to drive.