Georgia Administrative License Suspension Hearing Request New Time Limits

To all potential clients charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) there are important revisions to the rules regarding Georgia Administrative License Suspensions (ALS) effective July 1, 2017.  The new administrative license suspension hearing laws went into effect on July 1, 2017.  They apply to all Georgia drivers charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs after the effective date.  This post deals with changes to the time limitations under which a Georgia driver has to request an ALS appeal hearing to avoid a license suspension for DUI.

If you are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Georgia, police will generally request a test of your breath, blood, or urine to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) or if you have drugs in your system.  If a Georgia driver with DUI charges refused to take the test or tested above the legal limits for blood alcohol content (BAC), the license was suspended for one year UNLESS an administrative license suspension hearing was requested.

One of the biggest changes to the administrative license suspensions hearings framework is the time that a person charged with driving under the influence has to request an ALS hearing.  The time limitations for filing an administrative license suspension hearing letter used to be 10 business days.  The controlling code section is O.C.G.A. 40-5-67.1(g)(1).  Here is the old version:

“A person whose driver’s license is suspended or who is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle pursuant to this Code section shall remit to the department a $150.00 filing fee together with a request, in writing, for a hearing within ten business days from the date of personal notice or receipt of notice sent by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, or the right to said hearing shall be deemed waived. Within 30 days after receiving a written request for a hearing, the department shall hold a hearing as is provided in Chapter 13 of Title 50, the “Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.” The hearing shall be recorded.”

Here at Goldstein Law Group, our driving under the influence attorneys always thought that the old 10-day limit for requesting a hearing for an administrative license suspension hearing was too short.  Quite often, we would have a potential client with DUI charges meet with us and our Georgia DUI lawyers would have to inform the client that the time period for filing an ALS hearing had already passed and that their Georgia driver license was suspended for one year with no recourse.

It appears as though the Georgia legislature has finally agree with our Georgia DUI attorneys, because the ALS laws has been changed to greatly extend the time limitations to file for an administrative license suspension hearing.  The new administrative licenses suspension hearing laws allow for 30 days to file for an ALS appeal hearing to avoid a license suspension for DUI.  Here is the new ALS law code section, which is still O.C.G.A. 40-5-67.1(g)(1):

“A person whose driver’s license is suspended or who is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle pursuant to this Code section shall remit to the department a $150.00 filing fee together with a request, in writing, for a hearing within 30 days from the date of personal notice or receipt of notice sent by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, or the right to said hearing shall be deemed waived. The issuance of an ignition interlock device limited driving permit to a person eligible for such permit under paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-5-64.1 shall constitute a waiver of the right to a hearing under this subsection. Within 30 days after receiving a written request for a hearing, the department shall hold a hearing as is provided in Chapter 13 of Title 50, the “Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.” The hearing shall be recorded.”

There are a few changes to this new ALS law code section, with the most important being:

  1. The time limit to file for an administrative license suspension appeal hearing is now 30 days instead of 10;
  2. The days to file for an ALS hearing are now measured in calendar days and not business days;
  3. To appeal an administrative license suspension hearing request must now be sent via certified mail or statutory overnight delivery with return receipt requested;

Failure to follow the code section correctly will waive your right to an administrative license suspension hearing and your Georgia driver license will be revoked for one year.  There is now a provision for an ignition interlock permit, but that is a post for another day.

As always, the DUI lawyers here at Goldstein Law Group help Georgia drivers with DUI charges in Gwinnett, DUI charges in Atlanta and across the metro area.  Feel free to contact our DUI attorneys if you have any questions.