Administrative License Suspension
The administrative license suspension (ALS) is an entirely different suspension from the one you’re facing from a possible DUI conviction. The ALS is a civil hearing conducted by the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSHA), and all of the element that must be proven against you in a criminal case do not have to be proven at this hearing in order to suspend your Georgia Driver’s License, or privilege to drive on the highways of this state. If you refused to take the State’s chemical test, or your test results were .08 grams or higher, the arresting officer is required to contact the Department of Drivers Services to begin the administrative suspension of your driver’s license. This suspension can, and often does, go into effect before you even go to court.
You must request an administrative hearing within 10 business days if:
- You refused to take the State’s chemical test.
- You tried to take the State’s chemical test, but they said you refused.
- You’re not sure what your blood alcohol level was.
- You’re 21 years of age or older, you took the State’s chemical test, and the result is .08 or higher.
- You’re under 21 years of age, you took the State’s chemical test, and the result is .02 or higher.
- You were driving a commercial vehicle, you took the State’s chemical test, and the result is .04 or higher.
- You were given a yellow piece of paper entitled “Sworn Report of the Arresting Officer.”
If any 1 of these 7 scenarios applies to your case you must request an administrative hearing within 10 business days of your arrest, or your driver’s license will be administratively suspended.
If you either refused to take the State’s chemical test, or you did take the test and the results were .08 grams or higher, then you have 10 business days to request an administrative hearing to stop the administrative suspension of your driver’s license. This is known as “The 10 Day Rule.” When calculating your ten business days, do not count the day you were arrested, weekends, or state holidays.
If you refused the State’s test, and do not request a hearing within 10 business days, then on the 31st day after your arrest your license will be administratively suspended. The administrative suspension for a refusing to take the State’s chemical test is known as an implied consent suspension, and will be anywhere between 1 and 5 years based on your driving record. This is a hard suspension because there is no limited driving permit for a refusal suspension (even if you request a hearing and lose). Any suspension time based on this type suspension may be credited toward the subsequent DUI suspension if you plead guilty or are convicted of the DUI.
If you took the State’s test and the results were .08 grams or higher, and you do not request a hearing within ten business days, then on the 31st day after your arrest your driver’s license will be administratively suspended for one year if this is your first offense within a 5 year period. However, you may obtain a 30 day limited driving permit for work. After 30 days, you may reinstate your license after completing a DUI Alcohol/Drug Use Reduction Program, and paying a $210 restoration fee ($200 if restoration is processed by mail). Any suspension time based on this type suspension may be credited toward the DUI suspension if you plead guilty or are convicted of the DUI.
If this is your second offense in a 5 year period, as measured from date of arrest to date of arrest, and your chemical test result was .08 grams or higher, your license will be administratively suspended for 18 months. The first 12 months of this suspension will be a hard suspension meaning there is no limited driving permit available. The following 6 months will require you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. A driver may then reinstate their license by submitting proof that they completed a DUI Alcohol/Drug Use Reduction Program, they completed a clinical evaluation performed by a state certified evaluator (and they complete treatment if the evaluator recommends it), and paying a reinstate fee of $200 by mail ($210 in person).
If this is your third offense, and your license is administratively suspended based on a chemical test of .08 grams or higher, your license will be revoked for 5 years, and you will be declared a Habitual Violator. The first 2 years of this suspension is a hard suspension with no limited driving permit available. A limited driving permit may be available for the remaining 3 years under certain circumstances.
Filling An Appeal
Your appeal to the Department of Driver’s Services must be filed within 10 business days of your arrest, or your license will be administratively suspended. Your appeal must include basic driver information such as your name, address, phone number, date of birth, date of arrest, license number, and a personal check, money order, or certified funds for $150 made payable to the “Georgia Department of Driver Services.” Your letter must also state your grounds for appeal. Every appeal is different, and will set forth different offenses. In order to insure your letter outlines all of your grounds and defenses the help of an attorney is needed.
Once completed, your letter may be:
Hand delivered to:
2206 East View Parkway Conyers
If you hand deliver your letter be sure to get a receipt for delivery, or
Sent by certified mail to:
Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety
P.O. Box 80447
Conyers, Georgia 30013
This letter must be postmarked within ten business days of your arrest. Further, be sure to send the letter certified mail, and request a return receipt. Never send anything without making copies of the original for your files, and all communications should be sent certified mail with a return receipt requested.
For extra protection you may also Fax your appeal letter to (404) 624-7848. A Fax alone is not adequate notice for your appeal. You should ALWAYS hand deliver or send your appeal letter by certified mail, with return receipt requested, to the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety.