If you've been arrested for DUI, it is likely that the arresting officer confiscated your driver's license and gave to you a 1205 form. This is a request by the officer to have your license suspended.
To avoid the suspension, you must write a letter, including a $150 processing fee, to the Georgia Department of Driver's Services
following the instructions on the back of the 1205 form to request an administrative license suspension (ALS) hearing within 10 business days of your arrest. If you don't, your license will be suspended on the 31st day following the arrest. If you refused to provide a blood alcohol content (BAC) sample, you risk a "hard" suspension of 12 months without a limited permit to drive. If you did provide a sample, you risk a suspension of 30 days.
The administrative license suspension hearing is a civil proceeding. It has NOTHING to do with whether or not you are guilty for the DUI offense. The focus is on your privilege to drive. A couple of things can happen at this hearing. You can enter into an agreement with the arresting officer that you will plead guilty at the appropriate time in exchange for his dismissal of his license suspension request. In which case, your license will not be suspended unless, and until, your case results in a conviction for DUI. You can also have a hearing, in which case an administrative law judge decides the fate of your driver's license.
If you are over 21 years of age and your license is suspended administratively, this is your first DUI arrest within a 5 year period, and you provided a sample of your blood or breath with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, the administrative suspension technically lasts for a year, but you can go to the Georgia Department of Driver's Services and reinstate your license after 30 days. Additionally, during this 30 day period, you may have limited driving permit.
If you refused to give a BAC sample, an administrative suspension last for a year. You do not get a limited driving permit. There is no early reinstatement. If this happens, the only way to be eligible for reinstatement during this year is a reduction of the DUI charge, a dismissal of your case, or an acquittal at trial.
Requesting the administrative hearing for you is the first action I take. The important thing to remember is that time is of the essence!
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