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Georgia drivers face lengthy license suspensions after DUI arrests

Even if a University of Georgia student is able to keep his or her college scholarship or a business executive at a successful firm is not at risk of losing his or her job after a DUI arrest or conviction, a DUI arrest carries other harsh consequences that could have a serious impact on one's daily activities.

When an individual is suspected of drunk driving in Georgia, an officer may ask the driver to perform a field sobriety test and take a breath test. If the driver blows a 0.08, the individual could have his or her driver's license suspended for six months. Refusing to take a breath test at the request of an officer will result in a license suspension of 12 months.

A driver's license suspension may not seem like a harsh consequence after a DUI arrest since individual's may be more concerned about the damaging effects of a conviction, but the truth is, losing one's driver's license -- even temporarily -- is a huge inconvenience. So many Athens residents rely on their driver's licenses to get to internships on time after class, to travel for business purposes, or to take their children to and from school each day.

In an effort to avoid a license suspension, drivers charged with DUI may choose to work with an experienced attorney to help them apply for a restricted driver's license while also aggressively defending the charges in order to avoid a conviction.

After a DUI arrest in Georgia, individuals have only 10 business days to apply for an administrative hearing to be approved for a restricted driver's license. A restricted license may allow an individual to continue to drive to and from work or school during the suspension period. Additionally, if an individual fights his or her charges and the charges are dismissed, the driver's license may no longer be restricted or suspended.

Drivers who refuse a breath test during a DUI arrest will not be able to apply for a restricted license. However, their license may be reinstated if the DUI charges are dismissed.

Source: Reuters, "How to Get Your Driver's License Revoked," Cynthia Hsu, Esq., March 9, 2012