What is a “Refusal” Case?


It is important to seek the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible if you have been charged with a DUI in Georgia.  Our Savannah DUI attorneys have the knowledge required to effectively represent you in your ALS hearing and the experience necessary to evaluate your case and take the appropriate course of action.  In Georgia, if you are charged with DUI, your driver’s license may be suspended, or if your are not a Georgia driver, your privilege to drive in Georgia may be suspended.  If you are facing an administrative license suspension (ALS), you must request a hearing within 10 days of your arrest.  If the officer files the paperwork necessary for the suspension, you will receive a form permitting you to drive for an additional 30 days.  If you do not appeal the ALS within 10 days of your arrest, your license will be suspended at the conclusion of the 30 days.

Two Situations Resulting in ALS Suspensions
You will face an administrative license suspension if you are charged with DUI in Georgia in two situations:

  • If you refused to submit to the state chemical test; or
  • If you took the state chemical test and your blood alcohol levels were over .08 grams.

If you are stopped by an officer in Georgia and are then investigated for DUI, you will likely be read Georgia’s Implied Consent law.  The officer will place you under arrest and read the corresponding “card” to you.  When the officer is done reading, he will ask if you consent to the state chemical test (either blood draw or breathalyzer).  If you refuse to submit to this test, the officer will fill out a 1205 form and your license will be suspended for 12 months.  This is a hard suspension, which means that you cannot get a work permit or reinstate early.

You will have 10 days from the time of the arrest to appeal the suspension.  If you appeal, you will have the opportunity to challenge the suspension.  It is important to retain an attorney as soon as possible after you are charged with a DUI in Georgia so that you can fight to retain your driving privileges.  The Savannah, Georgia DUI attorneys at Jarrett & Price are experienced in handling ALS hearings and will zealously defend your rights.

What happens if I blow over .08 grams?

If you submit to a state administered breathalyzer and you “blow” over .08 grams, your license will be suspended for 12 months.  However, unlike the hard suspension from a “refusal” case, you can apply reinstate within 120 days of a first conviction within five years if you can establish that you completed a DUI risk reduction program and pay the restoration fees.  If it is your second conviction within five years, you can apply for reinstatement after 18 months upon the same showing of proof and payment of restoration fees.

An officer must meet a number of requirements in order for the DUI investigation to stand.  Therefore, you need and experienced DUI attorney to determine if the officer followed all procedures and challenge the officer’s actions at the ALS hearing.  If the officer did not follow the required procedures, you may be able to keep your license.

If you are under the age of 21 or are driving a commercial vehicle, the legal limit is lower and the suspension consequences are more severe than those outlined above.

What is the Scope of the ALS Hearing?

The ALS hearing is limited in scope.  It focuses on whether

  • the officer had reasonable grounds to believe the driver was operating a vehicle or exercised control over the vehicle while under the influence,
  • the driver was involved in an accident resulting in serious injury or a fatality,
  • at the time the officer made the request he properly informed the driver of his or her implied consent rights and the consequences of submitting or refusing to take the test,
  • the driver refused the test (this is not as clear as it might seem),
  • the driver blew over the legal limit,
  • the test was properly administered and whether the officer administering the test was properly certified.

Call our Savannah Georgia ALS Hearings and DUI Attorneys today!

We will explore every avenue of your case and make sure that your rights to retain your driver’s license is defended.  Call today to speak with our DUI attorneys at (912) 401-8880 or fill out our contact form below.  We look forward to serving you!

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