Administrative License Suspension: The procedure by which a person can have his/her license suspended even before going to court on the DUI. Generally in most states, a person’s license can be administratively suspended if the person registers
above a certain BAC or refuses the State Chemical test.
Alcohol and Drug Evaluation: A process in which a qualified alcohol evaluator determines whether a person has a possible abuse problem; the
evaluation itself can take one to three hours. The results can indicate that the person needs a 17 week program. A&Ds are mandatory in Georgia on all 2nd and subsequent DUI convictions.
DUI Task Force: A group of police officers with specialized training on DUI detection. These officers specifically focus on drunk drivers; many have videos in their patrol cars; many units receive money grants from State and Federal governments.
DUI School: Also known as “Risk Reduction”, it is currently a 20 hour class that is required to obtain license reinstatement due to a DUI license suspension. For more info go to the DDS web site.
- BAC Datamaster – uses infrared spectroscopy to estimate blood-alcohol level. These devices can make mistakes, especially if they are stored improperly
or calibrated poorly.
- Breathalyzer – uses a breath sample to estimate blood-alcohol level. Now being phased out, the term “breathalyzer” is a common term for any
- Intoxylizer – uses infrared spectroscopy to estimate blood-alcohol level.
- Intoximeter – may use a combination of fuel cell and infrared spectroscopy technology to determine blood-alcohol content.
Drug Scheduling: A system of classification by which the state and federal governments determine drug possession charges based on the potential for addiction, medically approved uses, and effects on the user.
Felony: A crime where the penalty is over a year in jail. DUIs are mostly misdemeanors, but in some States a DUI can be elevated to felony status in certain situations, like repeat or habitual offenses, or any DUI-related fatalities.
- Standard Field Sobriety Test – 3 tests, consisting of a horizontal gaze test, walk-and-turn test, and the one-leg stand test.
- Divided Attention Testing – A test where one must follow instructions and listen while performing basic physical movements; the walk-and-turn and
one-leg stand tests are examples.
- Common Sobriety Tests – The following are simple tests generally used to find probable cause of a DUI: Counting, Finger-to-Nose, Reciting the Alphabet,
Standing on One Leg, Walking a Line, Walk-and-Turn, and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus.
First Offender Plea: A plea whereby the Defendant “pleads” guilty, but the case is dismissed after the Defendant has completed certain conditions of his/her sentence. Most States do not allow first offender on DUI cases, but do allow first offender on drug
FTA: Failure to appear. If a person fails to appear on their scheduled court date, several things may happen. Any bond will be forfeited to the court system. The driver’s license could be suspended or revoked. A warrant may be issued.
Graduated licensing program: State mandated laws requiring new drivers (typically teens) to acquire a certain number of practice driving hours before they receive their licenses as well as restrictions to the age and
number of passengers they’re allowed to carry initially.
Implied Consent Warning: The only “rights” that must be read to a DUI suspect before the State can request a State chemical test of the suspect’s blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substance. The arresting officer must read the ICW (normally from an orange colored card) at the time of arrest.
Ignition Interlock Device: A device the size of a cell phone, placed in a car; the driver must blow into the device, and if any measurable amount of alcohol is present, the car will not start. Mandatory for multiple DUI offenders in most States, and for even
first time offenders in some states.
Mandatory Suspendable Offenses: Georgia Code 40-5-54 provides that a conviction of the following traffic violations results in a mandatory license suspension: Vehicular Homicide; Serious injury by vehicle; Felony
while using a motor vehicle; Unlawful or fraudulent use of a license or ID; Driving on suspended, revoked or cancelled license; Racing; Hit and Run; Fleeing and Eluding; DUI.
Misdemeanor: Crimes where the maximum punishment is one year in jail and a $1000 fine. DUIs are generally misdemeanors. Multiple DUI convictions can be considered a “high and aggravated” misdemeanor which can result in higher fines.
Nolo Contendere: A form of plea meaning “no contest” – a person will not defend the charges placed against them. Usually unavailable in DUI cases; if available, pleading “nolo” almost always counts as a DUI charge and with it, license suspension and mandatory
Open Container Laws: This law prohibits the drinking of alcohol inside a vehicle or public area. As far as inside a vehicle is concerned, some states won’t allow anyone in the vehicle to have open containers, while others won’t allow the driver to
have an open container.
Probation: A judge can issue probation in lieu of some or all of a convicted offender’s jail time. The offender must not violate the law, must complete the sentence and must report to their probation officer as required.
Probation Revocation: If a person on probation fails to comply with his/her sentence or violates any of the terms of probation, their probation can be “revoked” by the judge, and the probationer can be sentenced to jail.
Retainer: This is, essentially a contract between the lawyer and the defendant, allowing the lawyer to act on the person’s behalf and represent them in legal matters. SR-22 Insurance: Insurance stating a driver has liability coverage and the insurance company will be notified if it is cancelled. This type of insurance is necessary in most states for those who have a DUI conviction.
Super Speeder: In Georgia, a person convicted of speeding 85 mile per hour on more on Interstates, and 75 miles per hour or more on two lane roads. The consequences: an additional fine of $200 from Driver’s Services; if the fine is not paid within 90 days of
notice from DDS, the license is suspended.