Your Complete Guide to the ALS Hearing Georgia

Speak with a trusted Criminal Defense Attorney in Georgia.

If you have an upcoming Administrative License Suspension or ALS Hearing, Georgia criminal defense attorney Philip Kim may be able to assist you. 


Author: Philip Kim, Founder, Philip Kim Law, P.C.

Defense lawyer Philip Kim has committed his career to standing up for the accused, and protecting the rights and reputations of his valued clients. If you face criminal charges in Georgia, we can provide you with the skilled, effective defense representation you need.

Published on March 18, 2021, last updated on March 28, 2024.


ALS Hearing Georgia – What You Need to Know

In Georgia, if a police officer suspects you are operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, they will test the alcohol concentration in your blood. If the chemical test shows that your blood alcohol level is above the legal limit (0.08 percent or higher), you will likely be arrested for Georgia DUI.

It’s important to know that, under Georgia DUI law, the arresting officer has to read the implied consent warning correctly and timely at the time of the chemical test conducted. Suppose the arresting officer violated the Implied Consent Law or gave advice contradicting the implied consent warning. In that case, the State of Georgia may be unable to use such test results against you.

Under state law, the arresting officer must complete a form known as Georgia Department of Driver Services DS-1205 if your blood alcohol content is 0.08 percent or higher. Once you receive the form, you have 30 days to request a hearing with the Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH). This is why the form is often called the “30-day letter.”

At the hearing, your attorney will present defenses as to why the state should not revoke your Georgia driver’s license due to your arrest for DUI. Winning your ALS or Administrative License Suspension Hearing (sometimes called a “license hearing” or “license suspension hearing”) means that you get to keep your driver’s license while your criminal case is decided.

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Navigating the 30-Day Rule: A Critical Pathway

Understanding the 30-day rule following a DUI arrest in Georgia is paramount. This timeframe is not just a procedural footnote; it’s a critical juncture that can significantly influence the trajectory of your case. Upon arrest, the clock starts ticking, launching a countdown that demands swift and strategic action. The issuance of the DS-1205 form by the arresting officer initiates this period, during which your decision-making will have lasting impacts.

The first step is to secure a seasoned DUI attorney, whose expertise can navigate the complexities of your case with precision. This legal ally will guide you through the process of requesting an ALS hearing, a move that can prevent the automatic suspension of your driving privileges. It’s a nuanced battlefield, where knowledge and timing are your best defenses.

Failing to act within this window not only jeopardizes your license but also limits your defense options. This period allows for the preparation of a robust defense strategy, aiming to challenge the suspension at the ALS hearing effectively. Remember, this is more than a fight for your license; it’s a battle for your rights and future mobility.

Navigating the 30-day rule

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Alternate Options to ALS Hearing GA

If you do not request a hearing following your DUI arrest, your other option is to install an ignition interlock device in your car. If you choose neither option, you will face an automatic license suspension.

If you refuse to submit to an alcohol concentration test and fail to request a hearing, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for 12 months. If you consented to a test (breath, blood, or urine test) at the time of your arrest, you would face an automatic 30-day suspension of your driver’s license.

During these 30 days, if you attend an approved DUI school and pay a reinstatement fee of $210, you may be able to retain limited driving privileges while your case is decided.


Georgia ALS Hearings Letter

Once you receive your 30-day letter, you have an important decision to make. An experienced Georgia DUI lawyer like Philip Kim Law can help you understand the defenses available to you that may allow you to avoid the suspension of your Georgia drivers license and retain your driving privileges.

Under Georgia DUI law, the issues that can be presented at these state administrative hearings are limited. This is one reason why having an attorney with experience in this type of hearing is vital.

For example, your DUI lawyer may argue that the police officer lacked probable cause to pull you over in the first place. In other words, your attorney will challenge whether the arresting officer had reasonable grounds to believe you were intoxicated while operating your motor vehicle.

Your lawyer may also argue that the police officer failed to inform you of your “implied consent” rights or the consequences of refusing to submit to blood alcohol testing.

Because these issues can be complex, hiring an experienced DUI attorney is vital. An experienced attorney can help you understand the potential defenses available to contest your Georgia DUI charges and fight the possible ALS license suspension. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can maximize your chances of successfully asserting these defenses and preserving your right to drive.

Georgia ALS hearing letter

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What Happens When You Win an Administrative License Suspension Hearing in Georgia?

The effect of winning your ALS hearing is that you will retain your driving privileges. It is important to know that most ALS hearings are separate from your criminal case. No matter the outcome of your Administrative License Hearing, you and your attorney will still have to fight your actual DUI charge in court later.

There are several possible outcomes in ALS hearings. First, the arresting officer may not appear in court. Because License Suspension Hearings are civil matters rather than criminal, they are often a lower priority for police officers. If the arresting officer does not appear, the judge will dismiss your case, and your license will not be suspended.

Second, the police officer may decide to withdraw from the administrative suspension. In this case, the outcome of your criminal case will determine whether your license is ultimately suspended.

Finally, suppose the officer appears and refuses to withdraw the administrative suspension. In that case, the judge will conduct the hearing, and the outcome will determine whether your license will be suspended until the conclusion of your criminal case.

No matter which Georgia county your case is in, you should hire an attorney with experience in the criminal court hearing your case. Attorney Philip Kim has extensive experience in Gwinnett County, Fulton County, Cobb County, and Barrow County.


Georgia ALS Hearing Request

By hiring an experienced Georgia DUI attorney, you can rest assured that your case will be resolved in a way that minimizes the consequences to you. Attorney Philip Kim knows that retaining your license is of utmost importance. He will help you reach a resolution that limits your license suspension to the extent possible under Georgia law.

By hiring an experienced attorney right away after being arrested for DUI in Georgia, you can decide whether you should request an ALS hearing and what defenses may be available to you.

Although it is possible to represent yourself at an ALS hearing, you face a much higher risk of a lengthy license suspension if you do not have an experienced attorney fighting your case.

What happens when you win an ALS hearing GA

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Georgia ALS Hearing Schedule

Normally, ALS appeal hearings are scheduled approximately two to four weeks after the appeal is filed with the Department of Driver Services (Georgia DDS). A filing fee of $150 must be paid when the appeal is filed.

The judges who preside over ALS hearings are administrative law judges who are only authorized to decide certain issues. The judge who ultimately presides over your DUI case will not be the same judge deciding your appeal at your ALS hearing.

Several other important differences exist between your criminal case and your ALS hearing. For example, the burden of proof at an ALS hearing is known as the “preponderance of the evidence.” This means that concerning each issue, your attorney must prove that it is more likely than not that your legal position is correct.

So if the issue is whether the police officer had reasonable grounds to believe that you were intoxicated, your attorney will have to prove that it is more likely than not that the police officer did not. This differs from a criminal hearing, where the prosecution must prove each element of their case beyond a reasonable doubt.


Contact a Skilled Georgia DUI Attorney


If you have been arrested for a Georgia DUI, you need an experienced attorney to give you the best chance of retaining your driving privileges while your case is decided. Attorney Philip Kim has the knowledge and experience to guide you to the best possible resolution of your case.

Philip is committed to protecting your rights and will vigorously defend you against any criminal charges or violations of your rights that may have occurred during the arrest. He will also ensure that you are informed of each part of the legal process and will use every available defense to protect your license.

Contact Philip Kim today for a free consultation.

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Philip Kim Law, P.C.
368 West Pike Street, Suite 203
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
(678) 203-6968
Fax: (678) 273-3501
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