The first question that must be answered is what state issued your drivers license. If you have a GEORGIA license, the impacts of both DUI arrests and DUI convictions are fairly straightforward. You can check the current status of your Georgia drivers license here, through the Georgia Department of Driver Services. If you have an out of state license, it gets a bit more complicated and you should contact a DUI lawyer to talk about your license status specifically. Adam Brown has a network of attorneys he consults from across the country to make sure your home state’s requirements are met.
There are many traffic and criminal offenses in Georgia that can result in the suspension of your Georgia driver’s license. If you hold an out-of-state license, those same offenses will suspend your Georgia driving privilege, but it is up to your home state on whether or not they will take action on your license.
For DUIs, there are two broad categories of license suspensions. The first is due to an “administrative” suspension (also referred to as an “ALS suspension”). The second is due to a DUI conviction.
An administrative suspension stems from the DUI arrest, and what happens after the implied consent notice is read to you. If you either refuse, or have an unlawful concentration of alcohol in your system, the arresting officer will issue you a DDS Form 1205. Read it carefully. There is an extremely important 30-day window after receiving that form, where you must decide if you want to appeal the officer’s decision to administratively suspend your license, install an ignition interlock device, or do nothing (not adviseable).
In short, if you refused to submit a sample of your blood, breath, or urine, the officer will issue you a “refusal” suspension, which is a 1-year HARD license suspension (or driving privilege suspension if licensed out of state). That means there is no driving at all during that 1 year. If this is your FIRST administrative suspension, submitted to testing, but tested over the legal limit, you will only face a 30-day suspension AND you will be able to get a limited driving permit so that you can drive for work, work purposes, school, and medical appointments, among other limited things.
For license suspensions due to a DUI conviction, it does not matter whether you refused or submitted to the implied consent law. What matters is that there is a conviction for DUI. The conviction consequences for DUIs are progressively harsher depending on how many DUI convictions you’ve obtained within a 5 year period.
For the first DUI conviction within a 5-year period, the license suspension is 120 days, and you will be eligible for a limited permit (as described above) but only if the DUI was based on alcohol. There is no limited permit available for DUI-drugs, or DUI-combo (with drugs involved)
For the second DUI conviction within a 5-year period, the license suspension will be a total of 18 months. The first 120 days will be a HARD suspension (no driving), followed by 12 months of an ignition interlock device permit, followed by 2 months of a “regular” limited permit.
For the third DUI conviction within a 5-year period, you will be deemed a “habitual violator” and your license will be suspended for 5 years.