By Erin Gerstenzang

If you have been arrested for DUI in Georgia and the police officer wrote you up for refusing a breath, blood, or urine test (even if you do not agree that you refused), then you should know your options when it comes to the Ignition Interlock Device (“IID”).

The IID is a device that is installed in your car to monitor your blood alcohol content while the vehicle is on. This option can be a great alternative to a twelve-month license suspension as long as you can afford the installation and monitoring fees and don’t mind that your passengers see the device.

Historically, in Georgia, when a driver refused, she had no options other than to challenge the year-long license suspension by requesting a hearing through the Department of Driver Services. Now, a handful of drivers have the second option of installing an IID instead of a suspension. For some, this option makes a lot of sense. For others, it makes more sense to request an Administrative License Hearing and challenge the suspension.

Who is eligible for the 12-month IID permit after being arrested for DUI in Georgia?*

  • Georgia license holders
  • Age 21 or older
  • No other license suspensions or revocations
  • Drivers who have not had a prior DUI in the past five years

Who is not eligible for the 12-month IID permit after being arrested in Georgia?*

  • Out-of-state licensed drivers
  • Drivers with active suspensions or revocations on their Georgia license
  • Drivers with a prior DUI conviction within the past five years (measured by date of the previous arrest)
  • Drivers with a prior ALS suspension within five years
  • Drivers whose DUI arrest involved an accident with death or serious injury
  • Drivers who have not applied for the permit with DDS within 30 days of being served the notice of suspension
  • CDL drivers – but you could have an IID if you downgraded your license to non-commercial driving privileges for the duration of the suspension period

IID Step-by-Step*

  • Get IID installed in the vehicle and apply for a permit within 30 days of 1205 issuance (usually issued at the time of arrest)
  • Department of Driver Services approved locations can be found on the DDS website at this link
  • Driver must have the interlock device installed before applying for the IID permit
  • Driver must apply in person at any DDS office within 30 days of the 1205 serve date and must waive the right to an ALS OSAH hearing
  • Driver receives a mobile notification that a change has been made to their driving history if the driver signed up for services on the DDS mobile app.

Deciding whether to install an IID in your vehicle is one of the first strategic decisions you will make with your lawyer.  Be sure you ask your attorney about any additional permit limitations that may apply, including how it will impact out-of-state driving privileges and the ability to drive rental cars.

You should discuss the specifics of your case with your attorney as some exceptions may apply that are not discussed here.