DUI – Ignition Interlock to Keep Your License
If you have been charged with a DUI in Georgia, and your license is subject to an administrative license suspension, you might have an option to get a limited driving permit from the Department of Driver Services.
The “Ignition Interlock Device Limited Permit” requires that you wave your right to an administrative hearing, and that you have an ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle you wish to drive.
To even qualify for this permit, you have to:
- Waive your right to the administrative hearing
- Apply for the permit within 30 days of being served notice of the ALS by the arresting office or the DDS
- ALS cannot stem from an accident where there were fatalities or serious injuries
- You must be licensed in Georgia and not have any other suspensions, cancellation or revocations against your license
- If you hold a CDL, you must downgrade to a non-commercial license to obtain the permit
- You can't have a DUI in the prior five years
- You must surrender your license to the arresting officer or the DDS
- You must pay a $25.00 fee
A person who consents to the state-administered chemical test and opts for the new permit will be required to successfully maintain the ignition interlock device on their vehicle for a period of 4 months. If he or she is subsequently acquitted of the underlying DUI charge, or the underlying DUI charge is dismissed or reduced, the ignition interlock restriction may be removed at no cost and the driver's license may be replaced. The decision as to whether a fee is charged for removal of the ignition interlock device from the person's vehicle under such circumstances will be at the discretion of the device provider. A person who refuses the state-administered chemical test and opts for the new permit will be required to successfully maintain the ignition interlock device on their vehicle for a period of 12 months, regardless of the outcome of the underlying DUI charge.
Successful maintenance of the ignition interlock device must be evidenced by the permit holder to DDS through the production of satisfactory monthly monitoring reports prior to DDS removing the ignition interlock restriction from the permit. A permit may be renewed for a fee of $5.00 if additional time is needed for the permit holder to comply with the terms of the ignition interlock device, but it may only be renewed one time once the permit holder becomes eligible to reinstate his or her driver's license. Following the designated term of successful compliance, the ignition interlock device restriction may be removed from the limited driving permit in person at a DDS customer service center for a fee of $100.00 (or $90.00 if removal of the restriction is requested by mail or other approved alternate means). The removal fee is in addition to any reinstatement fee that may be required.
In addition to the new permit, effective July 1, 2017, the period of time a person may legally drive on a DS-1205 form after being charged with DUI and served notice of an ALS will increase from 30 days to 45 days. And, the period of time a person has to request an administrative hearing after being charged with DUI and served notice of an ALS will increase from 10 days to 30 days.
These changes are based on House Bill 205, which was passed by the Georgia General Assembly on March 25, 2016, and signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal on April 26, 2016. House Bill 205 can be viewed in its entirety here.
What Should I Do?
You should speak to a lawyer before you decide to waive your right to an administrative hearing. DUI cases can be complex, and choosing the interlock device might not be in your best interest.
Reach out to Rick Ryczek (call now: 678.376.5541) and get his take on your next steps before your license is suspended. Making a decision about your driver's license and your criminal record shouldn't be taken lightly; getting an attorney engaged is really your best next step.
*As always, we try to provide you with detailed and relevant information – however, errors can occur and information can become outdated. Please see the Georgia Department of Driver Services site for the latest information on requirements and fees of the Interlock; and always seek the advice of an attorney if you have legal concerns.