A large fine and possible community service sentence (or even jail time) are just part of what can happen if Athens police arrest you on suspicion of DUI. Losing your driving privileges can be a huge inconvenience. Unless you work from home, getting to work without driving could mean turning to public transit, if it is available or practical where you live. Or you could bum rides off of relatives or co-workers, or walk or bike to work. For most people, this is embarrassing at best and impossible at worst. Someone who lives miles away from their job may not be able to commute as a pedestrian, and getting rides from others can be unreliable.
Ultimately, a suspended license after a DUI conviction can cost you your job, along with your independence.
Getting your license back early
A first DUI offense (or the first one in five years) triggers a 12-month driver’s license suspension. You generally must serve the first 120 days of your suspension, but then you can petition the Georgia Department of Driver Services for reinstatement. To qualify, you must:
- Complete a course from a DDS-approved DUI alcohol or drug use risk reduction program, receive a certificate of completion and present it to DDS.
- Submit the proper payment.
You also might get approval for a limited permit to at least drive to work, school, medical appointments and other necessities.
Dealing with your driver’s license is a separate process from the criminal side of your DUI, but an experienced defense attorney can help you with both. Being able to drive legally does not matter much if you are behind bars, and freedom can be limited if you cannot drive. In many cases, you can resolve a drinking and driving charge and regain both your personal freedom and driving privileges as soon as possible.