Almost everyone has heard of a “DUI,” but almost no one has heard of an “ALS.” However, if you or someone you know has recently been arrested and charged with DUI in Georgia, you need to know about what an “ALS” is, what it can do to you, and how to handle it.
“ALS” stands for Administrative License Suspension. If you are deemed by the arresting officer to have “refused” the breath/urine/blood testing at the station, or you submitted to such testing and the results were over the legal limit, the officer is required to issue (although he will occasionally fail or decline to do so) a Department of Driver Services Form 1205. Your license will generally be taken, and you will be given a slip of paper to serve as notice of the ALS and to function as a temporary driver’s license. The relevant portions for you are that first, if you do nothing, your Georgia Driver’s License will be administratively suspended 30 days after your arrest. Such suspension will occur automatically without further review or any opportunity to contest the suspension, unless you quickly file an appeal of the ALS. You have ten (10) business days from the date the ALS was submitted (generally the date you were arrested) to send off such an appeal to the Department of Driver Services, along with a $150.00 “administrative filing fee” required by the Department. If an appeal is filed correctly within the 10 business day window, then the automatic license suspension is stayed pending an administrative hearing.
The practical effect of an ALS initiation is that you now have two cases proceeding simultaneously: The administrative license suspension, and the underlying criminal case for DUI. Losing either one will result in a license suspension. However, the potential advantage of an ALS appeal is that it gives you an additional opportunity to negotiate with the State to obtain the result you want, and also grants the ability to gain additional information about the case by putting the arresting officer under oath and on the record to testify regarding the details of the arrest at the administrative hearings, which can be invaluable for a favorable resolution to your underlying DUI charge. The attorneys of the Berelc Law Firm are experienced in helping you navigate the legal framework created by your DUI charges and ALS notice, but the time requirements to pursue appeals require that you contact legal representation as soon as possible after your arrest.