Individuals charged with DUI in Georgia have the option in certain cases to use an Ignition Interlock Device rather than lose their ability to drive. If you have been charged with DUI in Cherokee County, you need an experienced DUI attorney to help determine if this is right for you.
Ignition Interlock Devices
An Ignition Interlock Device is connected to the ignition of a vehicle and prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver has consumed any alcohol. DUI laws in Georgia make it illegal for drivers to operate motor vehicles if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, but those subject to an Ignition Interlock Device may not consume alcohol in any amount if they intend to drive.
House Bill 205
On March 25, 2016, the Georgia General Assembly passed House Bill 205 which created an "Ignition Interlock Device Limited Permit." The law took effect on July 1, 2017, and set forth the procedural requirements for use of the new permit. Individuals charged with driving under the influence in Georgia may be subject to an administrative license suspension (ALS).
If subject to an ALS, a person who wishes to apply for the Ignition Interlock Device must waive his or her right to an administrative hearing. They must then have an Ignition Interlock Device installed on their vehicle. Certain initial and monthly costs are associated with the use of these devices, which can be more fully explained to you by your DUI attorney.
A person who wishes to use an Interlock Ignition Device must satisfy certain additional requirements.
- Application must be made with the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) within 30 days of the person being served notice of the ALS.
- The individual must have a Georgia driver's license, without previous driving suspensions, revocations, or cancellations on his or her license.
- If the individual holds a Commercial Driver's License (CDL), that person must downgrade to a non-commercial license.
- The DUI charge cannot be from an accident that causes serious injuries or fatalities.
- There can be no prior convictions within the previous five years.
- A person's Georgia driver's license must be surrendered, either to the arresting officer or to the DDS, before the permit is issued.
- Payment of a $25.00 permit fee.
How long a person is required to use the Ignition Interlock Device depends on whether he or she consented to the state-administered chemical test, commonly referred to as the Breathalyzer test. If a person consents to the use of the test, they must keep the device installed on their vehicle for four months. Anyone who refuses the chemical test and applies for the permit must keep the device installed for twelve months.
An installed Ignition Interlock Device creates monthly reports that can be reviewed by a person's probation officer and the court. These reports include any failed tests and can detect attempted tampering with the device. After these reports are reviewed and no issues are reported, a person is eligible for either a non-Ignition Interlock Limited Permit or full reinstatement of driving privileges.
Know Your Options
The best way to protect your rights when facing DUI charges is to have an experienced DUI attorney in your corner. Contact us today to set up a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you fight your DUI.