What is the 10 Day Deadline? If you have been arrested for DUI in the State of Georgia, you have ten (10) business days to file an appeal with the Georgia Department of Driver Services or else your driver’s license is automatically suspended for one (1) year. New Law: A change in GA law now requires a filing fee of $150.00 when you file your DDS Notice of Appeal & Request for Hearing.
If you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in the State of Georgia, the 10 business days following the date of your arrest is a crucial period of time. If you fail to follow the requisite steps, GA Dept of Driver Services (DDS) WILL AUTOMATICALLY SUSPEND YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE before you ever appear in Court or have a chance to defend the charges against you. It is a separate, administrative process brought by GA DDS. While you may still have a chance to beat the DUI charge, your license will be administratively suspended for a period of time, possibly one (1) year, depending on the facts with limited ability to shorten the suspension. To avoid suspension of your driver’s license, a letter-appeal must be sent to the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services (“DDS”) within ten (10) days of your arrest, and failure to do so causes an immediate suspension which oftentimes is temporarily irreversible. If the arrested driver does not appeal the suspension within ten (10) days, suspension becomes effective thirty (30) days from the date the DDS Form 1205 is issued to the driver by the arresting officer. The appeal must be accompanied by a $150 filing fee, and DDS has no authority to waive for indigency. The date on which the appeal is postmarked, rather than the date on which it is mailed, is determinative of its timeliness. And, a “family emergency” is not considered a sufficient reason for an untimely filed appeal.
The Administrative Case: Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS)
The Administrative License Suspension (“ALS”) is a separate animal from the criminal charge of DUI and oftentimes operates independently of the criminal process. Georgia DDS can and will suspend your driving privileges before the criminal charge is resolved absent proper and competent legal representation. If arrested for DUI in Georgia, the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) opens a separate legal case against you if (A) you refused to submit to the official state test of blood, breath, or urine, OR (B) if you submitted to and have a breathalyzer (Intoxilyzer 5000) result of 0.08 or higher (age 21 or more), .04 or higher (if operating a commercial vehicle), or .02 or higher (if under age 21). DDS will attempt to suspend your license for 1 to 5 years. This means you will lose your drivers license PRIOR to any plea agreement, investigation of the charges against you, or other disposition of the charges against you, including any trial (in most cases). The suspension is automatically entered against you unless you file an “appeal” letter within 10 business days after the date of arrest. Filing an “appeal” buys you some time and possibly, with the help of a good DUI Attorney, prevents any suspension from occurring. Yet another reason to call a DUI attorney…to file your appeal letter for you.