Driving to Court After a DUI
You may be aware that after a DUI you may be at risk of losing your driving privileges for a period of time. However, it may not be clear exactly how and when a suspended license takes effect. Additionally, it may be unclear whether there are limited exceptions to when and where you can drive in the days and weeks before your first court appearance. Whether you will be able to drive to court for your first appearance after an Atlanta DUI will depend on your individual circumstances.
Loss of Driving Privileges
Some of the confusion surrounding when a driver can drive after a DUI is caused because a DUI will result in two separate processes with separate penalties. The criminal proceeding will take place in a court of law, with penalties including jail time, fines, DUI school, and community service. The separate process is administrative. After a DUI arrest with a BAC over the limit, or for refusing to submit to a chemical test, the Department of Driver Services (DDS) will automatically suspend a driver's license after 30 days. The only way to prevent an automatic suspension is to request an ALS hearing or by installing an ignition interlock device by submitting a 30 day letter.
Loss of driving privileges will come from DDS through an administrative process. There are two ways DDS will suspend a driver's license. First, if a driver does not formally and sufficiently request an ALS hearing, complete with administrative fees, their license will be automatically suspended after 30 days. Second, if a driver does request an ALS hearing, and loses the hearing, their license will be suspended. If your license is suspended, you cannot drive anywhere. Not to court, not to work, and not to school. After a suspended license, you will not be able to drive anywhere unless and until your license is reinstated, or you are granted a limited driving permit.
Limited Driving Privileges
After a suspended license, a driver can apply for a limited driving permit. However, if at the time of arrest, the driver refused a chemical test, they will not qualify for a limited permit, and will have to wait a year to get their license reinstated. A limited driving permit will allow a person to drive to and from certain locations, including to and from work, school, attending court, reporting to a probation officer, or performing community service. After 30 days with a limited driving permit, your full license may be reinstated.
However, the easiest way to ensure your driving privileges are never suspended or revoked is to timely request an ALS hearing or install the interlock device within 30 days. If you request an ALS hearing, then the automatic suspension will be temporarily stopped until the hearing takes place. Your driving privileges will not be limited during this time. Upon winning an ALS hearing, then the DDS will no longer go through with an automatic license suspension.
Atlanta DUI Court Lawyer
Whether or not your can drive to court will depend on whether or not your license has been suspended by DDS. The ALS hearing or the ignition evidence is your key to keeping your license to drive, but your time to take action is limited to 30 days. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Atlanta, consider all the penalties, negative consequences, restrictions and limitations on your daily life that can result if you don't fight the ALS hearing and the criminal charge. The ALS hearing and criminal court process are separate and should be handled by an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer who exclusively defends people charged with drunk driving offenses. Call me today, so we can immediately file a 30-day hearing letter, discuss what happened in your case, and fight to keep your license and defend your rights in court.