DUI: What will happen to my driver's license?

Question: I got a DUI in Alpharetta having dinner and drinking at the restaurant called “Pure” and I have some questions and I want to schedule a meeting or consultation so we can talk about what to do for my DUI charge. I want to know what a 10 day letter is. And how does the drunk driving charge affect my license?

S.B. in Milton, GA

Answer: A “10-day” letter is used to request an administrative hearing from the Georgia Department of Driver Services in order to avoid a license suspension. It is called a “10-day” letter because you have 10 business days from your arrest to send in the letter and request a hearing. If you miss this 10-day deadline, your license can be suspended for a year if you refused the blood, breath or urine test.

Refusing to submit testing (whether urine, blood, or breath testing) after being read the Implied Consent Law during your arrest could end in a year suspension of your license.

A bill recently passed by the Georgia legislature, however, is changing the laws to some extent around the “10-day” letter. Starting July 1, 2017, those who are arrested for DUI will have the choice to either request a hearing or accept to have an interlock system placed in their car for a year. This means you will have a system placed in your car that locks the engine until you blow into the system, proving you are not intoxicated. Of course, there is a charge for this device.

It also means that you will not have to appear at an ALS hearing. Choosing to have the interlock system means that you will have that system in your car for a full year no matter what. If the DUI charge is reduced during court, the interlock will still remain in your car for a year.

Whereas, however, if the charge is reduced, you could possibly have no restrictions your license. Furthermore, this bill is changing how much time you have in order to request a hearing. Starting July 1, 2017, you will have 30 business days to request a hearing instead of just 10, changing the “10-day” letter into the “30-day” letter.

But beware, as this is a new law, it is much better to have the administrative appeal submitted within the 10-day window. Many Alpharetta DUI lawyers are concerned about how the law will be implemented by both the Georgia Department of Driver Services and the Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings.

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