DUI License Consequences in Georgia

Understanding the ways to protect your license after a DUI arrest can shelf you from unnecessary penalties. With our team by your side, you can feel confident and empowered as you navigate the challenges ahead.

Georgia DUI Penalties

Understanding DUI License Hearings in Georgia

In Georgia, if you are arrested for DUI and your license is suspended, you have 30 days to request an administrative license hearing at the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH). This hearing is separate from any criminal proceedings and is held to determine whether your license should be suspended or not.

During the hearing, you and the arresting officer will have the opportunity to present evidence and testify. You may also be represented by an attorney at the hearing. The hearing officer will then make a decision based on the evidence presented. If the hearing officer decides that your license should be suspended, you will have the right to appeal the decision to the superior court in the county where the hearing was held.

It is important to note that the purpose of the administrative license hearing is not to determine your guilt or innocence in the criminal case. The hearing is solely focused on the administrative consequences for your license. However, the outcome of the hearing may still be relevant to the criminal case and may be taken into consideration by the court.

1205 Notice Explained

When you receive a ticket for DUI in Georgia, the officer will also confiscate your license.  In return you will receive a 1205 notice.  The officer may explain to you that the 1205 notice serves as your license for the next 45 days, and thereafter your license may automatically be suspended.

Make sure you read the fine print.  That notice also includes language putting you on notice that you have 30 days to appeal the suspension.

IT IS IMPERATIVE that you act quickly to send in this letter with the required $150.00 fine.  If you do not send in the letter, it is possible that your license may be suspended after the 45 days.  There may be circumstances in which it is best not to send in the 30-day letter.

Even if you are not yet ready to hire an attorney to handle the DUI charge, you should at least speak with a defense lawyer to discuss your options regarding this 30-day letter.

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The scope of an administrative license hearing in a DUI case in Georgia is limited to the following issues:

  • Whether the officer had reasonable grounds to believe the person was driving or in actual physical control of a moving vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance and was lawfully placed under arrest for violating Georgia’s DUI laws, or whether the person was involved in an accident or collision resulting in serious injury or fatality;
  • Whether the officer informed the person of their implied consent rights and the consequences of submitting to or refusing a chemical test at the time of the request;
  • Whether the person refused the test, or whether tests were administered and the results indicated an alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or more (0.02 grams or more for those under 21, or 0.04 grams or more for commercial vehicle operators); and
  • Whether the tests were properly administered by a trained individual using an approved instrument that was in good working order. A copy of the operator’s permit and the test results or crime lab report must be provided to satisfy these requirements.

The Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH) conducts administrative hearings at various locations throughout the state of Georgia. Here is a list of the addresses for some of the locations where OSAH conducts hearings:

  • Atlanta:
    • 55 Park Place NE, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30303
    • 237 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30303
  • Augusta:
    • 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Augusta, GA 30901
  • Columbus:
    • 100 10th St, Columbus, GA 31901
  • Gainesville:
    • 200 S. Enota Dr NE, Gainesville, GA 30501
  • Macon:
    • 345 Mulberry St, Macon, GA 31201
  • Marietta:
    • 3400 Cedars Pkwy SE, Building 1200, Marietta, GA 30060
  • Savannah:
    • 607 W Oglethorpe Ave, Savannah, GA 31401
  • Tifton:
    • 801 N. Tift Ave, Suite 1200, Tifton, GA 31794
  • Valdosta:
    • 302 N Ashley St, Valdosta, GA 31601

Please note that this list may not include all locations where OSAH conducts hearings. You can find additional information about OSAH hearing locations on their website or by contacting OSAH directly.

If you have been arrested for DUI in Georgia and the officer submits a “Refusal” form in connection with the arrest, you will have three options for your license:

  1. Do nothing: If you choose this option, your Georgia license (or Georgia driving privileges) will automatically be suspended for 12 months starting on the 46th day after the arrest. No permit will be available.
  2. Request a hearing on the suspension with a 30-day letter: If you choose this option, there are three possible outcomes:
    • If the officer is not present at the hearing, you will win and there will be no suspension.
    • If the officer is present and testifies appropriately, the judge will order a one-year suspension. No permit will be available.
    • If the officer is present and agrees to withdraw the suspension.
  1. Install an ignition interlock device in your car: This device must be used in your car for a period of 12 months, regardless of the outcome of your case. If you choose this option, you will need to follow these steps within 29 days of your arrest:
    • Schedule an appointment with an approved ignition interlock device provider.
    • Bring the installation paperwork to a local Department of Driver Services (DDS) branch office and apply for an interlock permit.
    • Waive your right to a hearing with OSAH on the permit application.
    • If DDS has received the suspension paperwork (“1205 form”) from the officer, they will issue the permit at that time. If they have not yet received the form, a notation will be made in your file stating that you installed the device within

To challenge an administrative license suspension (ALS) for DUI in Georgia, you must first request an administrative hearing within 30 days of your arrest. You can do this by sending a written request, known as a “30-day letter,” to the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH) along with $150.

You may find the DDS form for this letter at dds.ga.gov.

You must include your name, date of birth, driver’s license number, and the date of your arrest. You should also include a statement explaining why you are requesting a hearing and any relevant evidence you have to support your case.

After sending the 30-day letter, you will receive a notice from OSAH with the date, time, and location of your hearing. You should plan to attend the hearing in person, as this is your opportunity to present evidence and argue your case before an administrative law judge.

At the hearing, you can present evidence, such as witness testimony, to challenge the suspension of your license. You may also be able to negotiate a settlement with the prosecution, such as agreeing to a reduced suspension in exchange for a guilty plea. If you are unable to reach a settlement, the judge will make a decision on your case and issue an order.

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Defense Attorney Erin H. Gerstenzang

Criminal defense for DUI

You can trust the EHG team to provide you with the expert representation you need when facing a DUI charge in Georgia. With a thorough understanding of the various sentencing practices that can vary by county, prosecutor, judge, and defense team, Erin and her team at EHG will work tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

Based in Atlanta, the EHG team experience representing clients in courts throughout the local metro area, including Fulton, Cherokee, Cobb, Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Paulding counties. Trust her to provide you with the defense you deserve.

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