Your driver’s license – is it suspended after being arrested for DUI in Georgia? The answer might not be as simple as you think. A qualified DUI lawyer knows how to navigate the complicated rubric of law governing whether your driver’s license is valid or suspended after being arrested for DUI in Georgia. Here are some the questions that must be answered first to answer the question whether your license is suspended and whether a suspension is right around the corner.
Did you receive a DDS Form 1205 or Form 1126? Did the arresting officer take your driver’s license? The arresting officer should have taken your driver’s license. If so, the officer either issues Form 1205 or Form 1126. And, even if the arresting officer let you keep your driver’s license if you received either Form 1205 or Form 1126, these rules apply. Both forms allow you to drive, but the length of time before your license is automatically suspended varies between the two. You can read more about this topic generally at the DDS website and on the reverse side of Form 1205. What follows is a helpful guide to the distinct differences between the two temporary licenses issued when you are arrested for DUI in Georgia, all prepared by Ted Morgan Law.
Form 1205 instructs the driver that the license becomes permanently suspended for 12 months (aka “ALS suspension”) unless you take certain action, mainly, filing for a hearing within 30 days from the date you received Form 1205 (usually the date of arrest). This is commonly known as the “30-day rule.” Until then, you are driving legally under a 1205 Permit. It serves as a substitute for your real license. Keep the Form 1205 in a zip-lock bag (to protect it from destruction, heat, etc.) and place in your vehicle. If you are pulled over, you present the Form 1205 to the officer as your license.
If the Form 1205 hearing request is properly made, the 1205 permit is extended automatically for 90 days (unless you have a hearing before then and the hearing judge rules against you). Another option when you receive Form 1205 is to exercise your right to install an ignition interlock device for up to 12 months (4 months for certain drivers) and apply for an ignition interlock driving permit, but you must do both BEFORE the 30-day rule (above) expires. If you miss this deadline, you miss lots of opportunities to keep your driving license. Keep in mind the administrative suspension works somewhat independent and quicker than the criminal case for DUI. Here at Ted Morgan Law, we can explain your best options to keep your driver’s license.
Form 1126 looks like a white (or blue) label the officer places on the bottom of the DUI citation itself (aka “Non-ALS” or “180 Day Permit”). This usually occurs when the driver was tested for blood-alcohol at the scene, scored well, but nonetheless is arrested for DUI Less Safe. Again, 1126 serves as a substitute for your real license and you enjoy full driving privileges for 180 days. More importantly, it does not require you to do anything immediately like Form 1205, but you must carry it with you when driving to avoid a citation for failure to display your license. Form 1126 is renewable in 180 days increments at any DDS office IF you can prove your DUI case is still pending with a letter from the judge, the prosecutor, or the clerk of court. Some general practice attorneys fail to understand however that once it expires, your driver’s license is NOT suspended (but you can be cited for failure to display a proper driving license). Here at Ted Morgan Law, we can explain how to get the best result even if you receive Form 1126 and need an extension.
You can check the status of your Georgia driver’s license by clicking this link for DDS.