UPDATE: AS OF JULY 1ST, 2017, THE 10 DAY LETTER HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO 30 DAYS. EVEN THOUGH THE DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED, YOU STILL NEED TO ACT NOW!
The most important thing you need to do after being arrested for DUI in Atlanta is send what is commonly referred to as the "10-day letter." The arresting officer will submit a report to the Department of Driver Services, which will then suspend the driver's license of any driver that refuses to take a state-administered test or for any driver that submitted to a state-administered test showing that his or her blood alcohol concentration was 0.08 grams percent or more.
An attorney can help you.You only have 30 days after your arrest to request a hearing and appeal the automatic suspension of your driver's license. If you fail to send the 30-day letter, your license will be suspended after your arrest. At the hearing, an administrative law judge will decide whether it was reasonable for the arresting officer to believe that you were under the influence of alcohol while operating a moving vehicle. This hearing is a civil matter, and not criminal, and only requires that the officer prove his case by a preponderance of the evidence.This proceeding is separate from your criminal case pending in the City of Atlanta Municipal Court, but can have significant consequences on your ability to drive.
Your DUI defense lawyer can help you with your driver's license.If you refused to take the state-administered test, you are facing a hard 12-month license suspension and you will not be eligible for a limited-use driving permit. If you did submit to the state test, an Atlanta DUI attorney will be able to help you get a limited-use permit that will allow you to drive to work, school, including DUI school, and to seek medical care and treatment, and your license will be eligible for early reinstatement after 30 days if you attend a Risk Reduction course (DUI school).
This administrative suspension will be credited toward any suspension period imposed in the criminal action.There are many strategies that can be utilized at ALS hearings that can save your license or even lessen the consequences of a license suspension should you later be convicted of DUI in the criminal proceeding. Because of the complexity of Georgia's DUI law and the significant impact a DUI charge can have on your daily life and ability to drive, you should consult a DUI specialist soon after your arrest to be aware of your options and the potential consequences.