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Refused the Breathalyzer Georgia DUI License Suspension

Breathalyzer test results are critical to the prosecution during a driving under the influence (DUI) case. In light of this, Georgia enacted an Implied Consent law that requires all licensed drivers suspected of DUI to comply with the officer's request for a breath, blood or urine test. Those who refuse this request are subject to an automatic license suspension, which is imposed by the Department of Driver Services.

The length of the suspension period depends on the number of breath test refusals on your record. For a first offense, the penalty is a one-year license suspension. The amount of time increases for each subsequent offense, leading to a three-year suspension for a second refusal and a five-year suspension for a third.

Because the license suspension is an administrative penalty, any person who refuses the breathalyzer test can lose their license even without being convicted of drunk driving.  In fact, you have only 10 business days after your breathalyzer refusal to submit an administrative license suspension (ALS) hearing request with the Department of Driver Services. If you fail to submit the proper paperwork and payment on time, your license will be suspended on the 31st day after your arrest and you will lose any chance to appeal this administrative penalty.

To win your hearing, you must successfully challenge reason for your license suspension. In the case of a breathalyzer test refusal, this may include establishing that the officer did not inform you of the Implied Consent notice. Before asking you to take the official breath test, the officer must review the penalties you face if you fail the test as those you face if you refuse to take it. Failure to notify you of the warning could result in the reversal of your license suspension.

Contesting a license suspension after a breathalyzer refusal can be complicated. For that reason, our firm invites website visitors to ask questions online. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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