What are ALS Hearings in Georgia?
An Administrative License Hearing (ALS) is a hearing where the Department of Driver's Services attempts to prevent you from driving until the case has been resolved. In Georgia, you have the choice to file an appeal of your license suspension or choose to install an ignition interlock device on your automobile. If you choose not to do either, then your license will be suspended for 12 months.
The ALS Process
The ALS process begins when the arresting officer fills out a document titled DDS Form 1205. The officer has to fill out the form if you had a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more. From the date that you were arrested and receive the form, you have 30 days to request a hearing in order to prevent the automatic suspension of your privilege to drive in Georgia. This is commonly referred to as the 30 Day Letter.
At the hearing, a Georgia DUI Attorney can argue that there was not probable cause for the officer to make an arrest or numerous other defenses. Another option is that our Attorney could work out an agreement between you and the arresting officer so you are able to keep driving. Winning your ALS hearing means that your licenses is saved from being suspended and you can continue to drive.
Before July 1, 2017, it was known as the 10-day letter because you only had 10 business days to request a hearing but it has now been extended to 30 calendar days. Furthermore, you have the decision to request a hearing or install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle to save your driving privileges.
O.C.G.A. §40-5-67.1(2) sets out the parameters of an ALS hearing
The scope of the hearing shall be limited to the following issues:
(A)(i) Whether the law enforcement officer had reasonable grounds to believe the person was driving or in actual physical control of a moving motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance and was lawfully placed under arrest for violating O.C.G.A. §40-6-391; or
(ii) Whether the person was involved in a motor vehicle accident or collision resulting in serious injury or fatality; and
(B) Whether at the time of the request for the test or tests the officer informed the person of the person's implied consent rights and the consequence of submitting or refusing to submit to such test; and
(C)(i) Whether the person refused the test; or
(ii) Whether a test or tests were administered and the results indicated an alcohol concentration of .08 grams or more or, for a person under the age of 21, an alcohol concentration of .02 grams or more or, for a person operating or having actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle, an alcohol concentration of .04 grams or more, and
(D) Whether the test or tests were properly administered by an individual possessing a valid permit issued by the Division of Forensic Sciences of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on an instrument approved by the Division of Forensic Services or a test conducted by the Division on Forensic Services, including whether the machine at the time of the test was operated with all its electronic and operating components prescribed by its manufacturer properly attached and in good working order, which shall be required. A copy of the operator's permit showing that the operator has been trained on the particular type of instrument used and one of the original copies of the test results or, where the test is performed by the Division of Forensic Sciences, a copy of the crime lab report shall satisfy the requirements of this subparagraph.
Do I need an Attorney?
Yes! You should absolutely speak with a Georgia DUI Attorney before making the decision to appeal or install the interlock device. Many people are under the misconception that if they are charged with a DUI, there is nothing that can be done but nothing could be further from the truth. Every case should be investigated to see if any defenses apply and you should never just plead guilty. Some potential defenses that could apply to your case include:
- Was the roadblock handled in a constitutional manner?
- Were any of your rights violated during the arrest?
- Was the implied consent warning read correctly?
- Were the field sobriety tests conducted properly?
Our team of Georgia DUI Lawyers has extensive DUI experience and is ready to assist with your case today. If you have been charged with a DUI, you need representation now in order to avoid your license being suspended! Call today for immediate help!