Driving is a privilege that many people take for granted until the possibility arises that it can be taken away. If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence, you’ll face two types of consequences. The most concerning may the criminal case since this can result in heavy fines, jail time, and social and professional consequences. However, there are also administrative penalties to consider. Many people accused of a DUI also worry about having their driver’s license suspended. You may have heard of someone who lost their driving privileges even before they got convicted. This is possible but if you take the appropriate steps with the right DUI lawyer in Atlanta you can continue to drive.
What Happens After You Get Arrested
If an officer arrests you and your blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit, they will confiscate your driver’s license. In its place, they will give you a DS-1205 form. This form indicates the state’s intention to suspend your driver’s license and it provides you with a temporary 30-day permit.
The temporary permit comes with full driving privileges so you can drive as you normally would. However, you need to keep the 1205 form in your vehicle in case the police pull you over. That way, you will be able to prove that your license is valid even though you don’t have the actual document in your possession.
The same process applies if you refuse to submit to a chemical test, thanks to Georgia’s implied consent laws. After your arrest, you have the option of requesting a license suspension hearing or applying for an ignition interlock device. The Georgia Department of Driver Services oversees this process and it is separate from the criminal case against you. It has its own administrative rules. However, you shouldn’t make a decision without speaking to a DUI lawyer in Atlanta. If you really want to get back on the road, you shouldn’t take chances.
The Ignition Interlock Device Explained
An ignition interlock device is designed to prevent you from drinking and driving. It is installed in your vehicle and you have to blow into the mouthpiece before you start your car. If the device finds that you’ve been drinking, the car won’t start. The device can also require you to pull over while you’re driving to take another test. If you were drinking and driving, it will turn off the vehicle. If you choose to get an interlock device instead of scheduling a hearing, you’ll have to keep it on your car for 12 months. While this may be inconvenient, you’ll be able to keep your license and drive without additional restrictions.
What Happens If You Get Convicted
If you plead guilty to a DUI or the court convicts you, you could face a one-year driver’s license suspension. This could cause serious disruption to your family life and your ability to earn an income. However, there are ways to avoid the maximum sentence and you can apply for reinstatement after 120 days. In order to give yourself the best chance of retaining the right to drive, you should call a DUI lawyer in Atlanta as soon as possible after your arrest.
Under certain circumstances, you may be able to get a limited driving permit while your license is suspended. This would allow you to drive for specific purposes such as going to work, school, or the doctor. There may be restrictions on the routes you can take, the hours you can drive, and the vehicle you can use. If you drive a commercial vehicle, you will not be able to get a limited driving permit. Also, the DDS can revoke these permits if the court convicts you of certain violations. These include breaking state laws or local ordinances regarding the movement of vehicles and violating the conditions of your permit.
Let Howard & Arca DUI Lawyers Handle Your Case
DUI cases can be very complicated. The trouble starts from the moment you get arrested even if the case gets dropped later or you’re found not guilty. That’s why it’s so important to work with an experienced Georgia DUI defense firm. When you have a member of our team on your side, we’ll help you with both the administrative and criminal aspects of your case. All we ask is that you call us as soon as possible so we can begin looking into the circumstances surrounding your arrest. Our aim is to get you the best possible outcome so you can begin to move on with your life.