If you’ve been arrested for DUI in the State of Georgia, there are several different scenarios you may face with regard to your drivers license. This is so because (contrary to popular belief) cops are human beings. Not only do they make mistakes but, like all other animals, Police often choose the path of least resistance when doing their jobs.
When a police officer arrests someone for DUI in Georgia, he/she may confiscate your license under a couple of different circumstances. The most common are 1) If you refused to give a sample of your blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance and/or 2) If you gave a sample and that sample came back at.08 or higher. After confiscating your license, the officer is supposed to provide you with a DDS Form 1205.
Confusion arises when the officer 1) Takes your license, but doesn’t give you a 1205, 2) Fails to take your license, but gives you a Form 1205, or 3) Takes your license and gives you a 1205 despite the fact that you fail to meet any of the criteria for suspending your license.
In each and every one of the situations above, you MUST contact an experienced DUI Attorney and get a 10-Day letter sent to the Department of Driver Services as soon as possible!
As mentioned above, the police often choose the path of least resistance when doing their jobs (in other words, they’re lazy). Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearings are always during the day… and sometimes they’re even held in the afternoons. The law enforcement officers who make the most DUI arrests, not surprisingly, work at night. They, like everyone else, value their sleep. Attending an ALS Hearing at 1pm is going to seriously cut into their sleep schedule or time off. They do not want to prepare for these hearings and they do not want to attend if they don’t have to. Hence the “tricks” above they’ll employ to get out of going.
In scenario “1” above, if the officer takes your license, but doesn’t give you a DDS Form 1205, he/she could still initiate license suspension paperwork without your knowledge. If you fail to request your ALS Hearing, your license will be suspended automatically without his/her having to attend a hearing. The officer will get the benefit of suspending your license without having to do any work. If your license has been confiscated, you should call a reputable DUI Law Firm as soon as you’re released from jail.
In scenario “2” above, where the officer doesn’t take your license, but does give you the DDS Form 1205, this could just be sloppy police work. It could also be the officer’s attempt to make you believe no action is being taken to suspend your license. If you walk out of the jail, license in-hand, you could be lulled into a false sense of security thinking, “at least they didn’t take my license.” This is a mistake! If the officer submits the DDS Form 1205 on his end, you have 10 days to respond or you could potentially face a 1 year suspension. Comb through the paperwork you were given when you were released. If a DDS Form 1205 is among those documents you should call a DUI Defense Lawyer immediately.
Finally, in scenario “3”, sometimes the police just don’t know the law and/or sometimes they want to see if they can “sneak in” a suspension. Why? Because they can! This usually happens where a driver is arrested for DUI, consents to blow in the Intoxilyzer machine and yet doesn’t blow a.08 or higher. The driver will still be charged with DUI Less Safe, but these circumstances do not (usually) warrant confiscation of a driver’s license (unless you’re a commercial driver or under age 21). If the officer still takes your license and/or gives you a Form 1205, you will be facing a 1-year suspension if you fail to respond to this within 10 days. You should consult with an experienced DUI lawyer immediately upon your release from jail.
Not only is DUI one of the most serious misdemeanor offenses to be charged with in the State of Georgia, it is also one of the most complicated. You should not trust your case to a general practitioner without extensive DUI experience and training. Furthermore, it’s unwise to try and handle these things yourself.