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Understanding Your Options after a Drunk Driving Arrest

In the state of Georgia, a person who is over the legal drinking age of 21 can be arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if he or she has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Motorists under the age of 21 can be charged with DUI if they are driving with a BAC of 0.02% or higher, and commercial driver’s license carriers can be charged with DUI if their BAC is 0.04% or above while operating a commercial vehicle.

If you have been arrested or charged with DUI, contact Thomas V. Duck III, P.C. to discuss your options with a skilled Albany DUI attorney. In many cases, we are able to help our clients fight for reduced penalties and work to keep their driver’s license. If you wish to avoid having your license suspended, it is important that you act quickly, as you only have 30 calendar days to request an administrative hearing.

Arrested for DUI in Dougherty, Worth, or Lee County, GA? Contact our office at (229) 999-4147 to discuss your options with our legal team today.

Refusing a Test in Georgia

If you refuse a chemical test, such as a breath, urine, or blood test, administered by the state. If you refuse a test, your driver's license will be suspended for 12 months.

Is Your License Suspended Immediately After a DUI in Georgia?

If you're arrested for a DUI in Georgia, your license will not immediately be suspended. However, you only have 30 calendar days to file for an Administrative License Suspension hearing or to request an ignition interlock permit. If you do not take either of those steps, your driver's license will be suspended.

These processes can be difficult, that's why it's important to have an experienced DUI attorney helping you through the process.

Administrative License Suspension Hearing in Georgia

In addition to other penalties, you may be facing driver’s license suspension if you are arrested for DUI. You may be able to stop the suspension of your driver's license by requesting an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearing or by having an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle.

Recent changes to Georgia DUI laws have changed how these processes work. The most notable changes include:

  • The DS-1205 form, issued to drivers at the time of arrest, halts the administrative license suspension set for the 45th day after the arrest. At the end of 45 days, if the accused individual has not requested an ALS Hearing or an ignition interlock permit, his or her driver's license will be suspended.
  • Drivers now have 30 calendar days to file for an ALS hearing with the Office of State Administrative Hearings. While this is more than the 10 days previously allowed, it is still important that you act quickly if you wish to take this approach to avoid driver's license suspension.
  • ALS hearing requests must be sent via certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, and a return receipt must be requested.
  • Instead of an ALS hearing, drivers may request an ignition interlock permit and have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle for a period of 120 days (if the driver submitted to a breath, blood, or urine test) or 12 months (if the driver refused a breath, blood, or urine test). This waives your right to an ALS hearing.

If you choose to file an appeal, you will be required to submit a $150 filing fee. Your appeal must be filed within 30 calendar days and must be submitted via certified mail or statutory overnight delivery with return receipt requested. Once the letter is sent, you will be allowed to continue driving until the time of your ALS hearing.

Can a DUI Be Dropped in Georgia?

A DUI conviction in Georgia is permanent and cannot be expunged or removed from your record. This is because a DUI is classified as an aggravated misdemeanor. However, there are some options:

  • File an appeal: If your DUI case was recently ruled on, you can file an appeal. If you win your case and the ruling is overturned, you may be eligible to have your records restricted.
  • Reduce charges: An expected outcome in Georgia DUI cases is reducing charges.

Georgia Ignition Interlock Law

If you pursue the ignition interlock approach to keeping your driver's license, you must install an ignition interlock device (essentially, a small breathalyzer that records the driver's BAC before the vehicle can be started) on your vehicle within 30 days of the DUI arrest. Once the device is installed, you must apply for an ignition interlock permit at the Georgia Department of Driver Services. If you submitted to a breath, blood, or urine test, the ignition interlock device must remain on your vehicle for 120 days. If you refused or are accused of refusing a test, the device will be required for 12 months. If this is the case, the device cannot be removed for any reason, even if your charges are reduced or you win your case.

Discuss Your Options with an Attorney

Before making any decisions about how you'd like to proceed with your DUI case, it is best to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you determine the best course of action. Furthermore, during ALS hearing proceedings, your lawyer can thoroughly investigate your case and argue on your behalf. There are many potential defenses and winning your hearing will allow you to retain your Georgia driving privileges. Our criminal defense attorney can provide you with clear legal counsel and aggressive representation.

How Can A DUI Lawyer In Albany Help You?

When it comes to a DUI, having a lawyer to help support and guide you will benefit you tremendously. Our lawyers at Thomas V. Duck III, P.C. have helped many individuals facing DUI charges in Albany, GA, and we understand that each client and each situation is unique. We go above and beyond to ensure that each case receives the attention that it requires. When you hire a DUI lawyer, he or she will fight to protect your rights and your future.

A DUI lawyer can help you in the following ways:

  • Thoroughly investigating your case
  • Gathering valuable evidence to support your case
  • Providing you with important legal advice
  • Serving as an emotional support system
  • Advocating for you
  • Negotiating on your behalf
  • Representing you in the courtroom

If you or someone you care about was recently charged with a DUI, don't wait - contact our DUI attorneys in Georgia to schedule a free initial consultation and to learn more about how we can help you.

To discuss your case with a skilled DUI attorney in Albany, GA, call Thomas V. Duck III, P.C. at (229) 999-4147 today. We fight for the rights of our clients and can help you navigate the legal system.

Past Clients Tell Their Stories

  • I have never met an attorney that approaches his job with such compassion and zeal.

    “I have never met an attorney that approaches his job with such compassion and zeal. When I initially approached Mr. Duck to represent my son, he immediately sprung into action. In addition, Mr. Duck and his team were well prepared and thorough, making sure that all pertinent information was presented and also revealed. Thank you Mr Duck, you are a Godsend. I highly recommend Mr. Thomas Duck to others if a criminal defense attorney is needed.”

    Former Client

  • Mr. Duck is very professional and went above and beyond to get my case dismissed.

    “I would highly recommend his services!”

    Former Client

  • I was amazed!

    “I was amazed at the result he was able to achieve.”

    Former Client

  • Not Guilty of Murder!

    “From the day we hired Attorney Duck he seemed to be sharp and always addressing issues that didn't seem right or seemed false in my case(On behalf of the state). I feel as though if there was anything that could've been done, it was. He always kept me posted and informed with any plea bargains or court dates. I'd rather not, but if I had to go through it again I wouldn't choose anyone else. Attorney Duck is without a doubt is one of the best at what he does.”


  • He and his staff are courteous, professional, and responsive.

    “Tommy worked hard on my case and that resulted in an outcome better than I expected.”

    Former Client