Blowing over the Legal Limit and Georgia DUI License Suspension
Georgia's driving under the influence (DUI) laws state it's unlawful to operate a vehicle with blood alcohol content (BAC) at .08% or higher (for drivers over the age of 21). Those who take the breathalyzer test and blow over the legal limit are subject to two legal actions—both administrative and criminal. And, unfortunately, this administrative penalty may be imposed automatically before you even face your criminal charges.
Because driving is a privilege—and not a right—the Georgia Department of Driver Services has the authority to suspend the license of anyone who either tests over the legal BAC limit or who refuses to take the breathalyzer test. In fact, once you blow over the limit, the officer can immediately confiscate your license and provide you with a form that will serve as your temporary permit until your license is suspended 30 days after your initial arrest—unless you submit a hearing request to the Department of Driver Services within 10 days.
The penalties for having a BAC above the legal limit depends on the number of prior offenses on your record. For a first offense, your license can be suspended for one year; however, you may be eligible to have your license reinstated after 30 days if you successfully complete DUI school and pay the appropriate early reinstatement fee. In addition, you can apply for a limited license that will allow you to drive to court-approved locations during the 30-day suspension period.
While the license penalty for blowing over the limit is not as severe as refusing to take the test, it can have an impact on your day-to-day life. For that reason, it's important to appeal the administrative license suspension.
Understanding your rights is important after a DUI arrest. That's why our firm is available 24/7 online to answer questions from our website visitors.