Persons who have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Georgia and whose Georgia driver’s license is subject to an administrative license suspension (ALS) may have the option beginning July 1st to obtain a new type of limited driving permit from the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS).
The new permit, technically referred to as an “Ignition Interlock Device Limited Permit”, will be conditioned upon the person whose driver’s license is subject to an ALS voluntarily waiving his or her right to an administrative hearing and having an ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle they intend to drive. The current ALS process, including the right to an administrative hearing, will remain in place as an option for persons whose driver’s license is subject to an ALS and either do not qualify for or do not wish to obtain the new permit.
In addition to waiving their right to an administrative hearing and having an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle, persons whose driver’s license is subject to an ALS and who are interested in obtaining the new permit must also meet the following conditions:
- Application for the permit must be made with DDS within 30 days of the person being served notice of the ALS by the arresting officer through the DS-1205 form, or—in the event of a DS-1205S form—within 30 days of receiving such notice of the ALS from DDS;
- The ALS cannot stem from a motor vehicle accident involving fatalities or serious injuries;
- The person must be licensed in Georgia and not have any other suspensions, cancellations, or revocations against his or her Georgia driver’s license;
- If the person holds a Georgia commercial driver’s license (CDL), he or she must downgrade to a non-commercial Georgia driver’s license in order to obtain and maintain the permit;
- The person cannot have any prior convictions for DUI in the 5-year period preceding application for the permit;
- The person must surrender his or her Georgia driver’s license, either to the arresting officer at time of arrest or to DDS prior to issuance of the permit; and,
- The person must pay a $25.00 permit fee.
The period a person must successfully maintain the ignition interlock device on their vehicle will be based on whether he or she consents to or refuses the state-administered chemical test requested by the arresting officer.
A person who consents to the state-administered chemical test and opts for the new permit will be required to successfully maintain the ignition interlock device on their vehicle for a period of 4 months. If he or she is subsequently acquitted of the underlying DUI charge, or the underlying DUI charge is dismissed or reduced, the ignition interlock device may be removed at no cost and the driver’s license may be replaced. A person who refuses the state-administered chemical test and opts for the new permit will be required to successfully maintain the ignition interlock device on their vehicle for a period of 12 months, regardless of the outcome of the underlying DUI charge.
Successful maintenance of the ignition interlock device must be evidenced by the permit holder to DDS through the production of satisfactory monthly monitoring reports prior to DDS removing the ignition interlock restriction from the permit. A permit may be renewed for a fee of $5.00 if additional time is needed for the permit holder to comply with the terms of the ignition interlock device, but it may only be renewed one time once the permit holder becomes eligible to reinstate his or her driver’s license. Following the designated term of successful compliance, the ignition interlock device restriction may be removed from the limited driving permit in person at a DDS customer service center for a fee of $100.00 (or $90.00 if removal of the restriction is requested by mail or other approved alternate means). The removal fee is in addition to any reinstatement fee that may be required.
In addition to the new permit, effective July 1, 2017, the period of time a person may legally drive on a DS-1205 form after being charged with DUI and served notice of an ALS will increase from 30 days to 45 days. And, the period of time a person has to request an administrative hearing after being charged with DUI and served notice of an ALS will increase from 10 days to 30 days.
These changes are based on House Bill 205, which was passed by the Georgia General Assembly on March 25, 2016, and signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal on April 26, 2016. House Bill 205 can be viewed in its entirety here.
For information on driver testing, licensing and issuance, please visit the DDS website at www.dds.ga.gov. Save time and money with online services including the ability to Skip a Step! and complete paperwork before before you arrive.