HOW TO GET YOUR LICENSE BACK AFTER A DUI
Suddenly finding yourself without a driver’s license can throw your life into disarray. How will you get to work or school? How will you take care of everyday tasks like grocery shopping or medical appointments? If you have been convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), your driver’s license may be suspended for a year or more, turning your life upside down in just a few minutes. This will definitely require an adjustment to your lifestyle, but do not give up hope. Your DUI attorney in Cumming may be able to help you regain some of your driving privileges after a DUI with a restricted license or limited permit.
LICENSE SUSPENSION AND REVOCATION
The suspension or revocation of your driver’s license is an administrative penalty that occurs independently from the criminal DUI proceedings; you may also have your license suspended as a penalty handed down in criminal court. The administrative process is handled by the Department of Driver Services.
The state of Georgia has “implied consent” laws which mean every driver is presumed to have consented to a chemical test of their blood alcohol concentration; if you refuse to submit to a chemical test, you will receive an automatic one-year license suspension if convicted.
The length of your license suspension will vary based on your BAC and whether or not you have had multiple convictions. If you are convicted of a DUI under the age of 21, your license will be revoked for a minimum of six months. For a first DUI offense, you will generally receive a suspension of up to one year. A second offense carries a suspension of up to three years, and a third will bring a suspension of up to five years.
RESTRICTED LICENSE OR LIMITED PERMIT
In the state of Georgia, some DUI offenders are eligible for a restricted driver’s license. This will depend on the details of your offense and probation. The easiest way to get a restricted license is to get an Affidavit of First Conviction from a judge. This is only available to first-time offenders or those for whom this is their first offense in over five years. It is entirely up to the discretion of the judge whether or not they will issue this affidavit; if they have made the suspension part of the terms of your parole, you will not be eligible to receive a limited permit until after your parole is complete. You can also bring a certified copy of your traffic citations and sentencing sheet to the Department of Driver Services to request a limited permit. You will need to pay for the limited permit, as well as any fees associated with filing appeals on the suspension of your license.
A limited permit does not allow you to drive everywhere you may feel you “need” to go. The state has very specific rules regarding what places are considered necessary. You are allowed to drive to work, school, probation meetings, doctor’s appointments, and your community service assignment. You may also be allowed to drive to drug and alcohol abuse counseling. Although many people would consider the grocery store or church to be necessary, these are not covered by the limited permit.
DRIVING WITH A SUSPENDED LICENSE
Considering the very narrow selection of places you are allowed to drive to with a restricted license, it can be tempting to take the chance and drive to the places you want to go anyway. Resist the temptation – driving on a suspended license is a serious crime. If you are arrested for driving on a suspended license, you can be found in violation of your parole and sent back to jail or charged a fine. Remember that your suspended license goes into effect immediately in court; if you drove yourself to court in the morning, you will not be able to drive yourself home.
DUI LICENSE SUSPENSION IN GEORGIA
There is no avoiding the disruption that a license suspension or revocation will have on your life, but you may be able to mitigate the difficulties with a restricted license. An experienced DUI lawyer in Cumming can guide you through the process of applying for a restricted license, as well as helping you understand the detailed limitations of the license. The last thing you want is to misinterpret the restrictions and end up with an arrest for driving on a suspended license on top of the original DUI conviction.