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Georgia DUI by Out-of-State Driver
DUI is illegal in Georgia no matter where a person is from, or what state issued his or her driver’s license. If someone is arrested for DUI in Georgia, for the most part he or she will face the same potential legal penalties that a Georgia resident would face. The exception to this is the license suspension provision — see below. Legal penalties are based upon the number of prior offenses that person has on his/her record. If you have prior offenses and have been arrested for DUI in Georgia, I’d urge you to consult my pages on DUI – Second Offense in 10 Years, DUI – Third Offense in 10 Years, and DUI – Fourth or Subsequent Offense in 10 Years. Here’s a quick run-down:
Georgia cannot suspend or revoke an out-of-state license.
Georgia only has the authority to suspend licenses from the state of Georgia. That is not to say that your home state cannot impose sanctions based on your Georgia DUI, but only that Georgia lacks the authority to suspend a non-Georgia license. Georgia can, however, suspend or revoke a person’s privilege to drive in Georgia based upon a Georgia DUI.
The Georgia Implied Consent Warning is designed to inform drivers suspected of DUI of their right to refuse state-administered chemical testing. The Implied Consent warning expressly states (in part):
“If you refuse this testing, your Georgia driver’s license or privilege to drive on the highways of this state will be suspended for a minimum period of one year.”
Officers usually have the entire warning on a card, which they read to drivers suspected of DUI. If an officer reads the Implied Consent warning verbatim, Georgia courts have held that this is sufficient information to give a non-Georgia driver notice that Georgia cannot suspend his/her license. This is despite the fact that officers frequently read this very quickly and it often blurs together in people’s minds.
If, however, an officer makes extraneous statements aside from the verbatim reading of the Implied Consent Warning, and these statements give a non-Georgia licensee incorrect information about whether Georgia can suspend a non-Georgia license, a court may find that any subsequent consent to testing was not voluntary. If this occurs, the results of any subsequent test would be suppressed from evidence and the State would be barred from using the results at trial.
Why should a non-Georgia driver hire an attorney for a Georgia DUI case?
Even though Georgia cannot directly suspend a non-resident’s license, you should not assume that the case is not serious. Non-Georgia residents can still face severe consequences, including jail time, probation, steep fines, and community service requirements. In addition to that, your home state may impose license penalties for your Georgia DUI. And traveling back and forth for court can be expensive and time-consuming, requiring days off work and away from family. A Georgia DUI Defense Lawyer may be able to take care of some of your court dates for you, potentially avoiding some travel time and inconvenience. You need a lawyer who will fight for you. Call me today.
URGENT: If you have a Georgia license and have been arrested for DUI in Georgia, you have only 30 days to appeal the administrative suspension of your driver’s license or to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. If you fail to act, your license will be suspended. Do not wait until your license is suspended. Know your options. Get in touch today.
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