Since January 1, 2013, there has been a significant benefit to people convicted of their 2nd DUI in 5 years (2/5) that is oftentimes either unknown, misunderstood, or misapplied. It is the 2/5 limited permit.

First, I want to point out that DUIs are now measured based on a 10 year look back period which is measured from the dates of arrest. The only exception to this look back period is when you are dealing with the Department of Driver’s Services (DDS). For licensing purposes, the DDS will still measure your offense dates in 5 year increments. Here is why this significantly benefits drivers who are convicted of a 2/5 DUI.

Prior to January 1, 2013, the DDS would issue a “hard” license suspension period for a 2/5 driver. The driver was not eligible for a “limited permit” for the first 12 months of the license suspension period.

Now, the driver becomes eligible for a limited permit after 120 days if the driver meets certain conditions. Fortunately, this applies to drivers over 21 years of age and drivers between 16-20 years of age.

If you are in the 2/5 category of drivers and want to apply for the limited permit, there are some important things to keep in mind before going before the trial judge.

1. The driver must have a clinical drug and alcohol evaluation followed up by any treatment that is recommended. I would strongly suggest that documentation of current and ongoing treatment be available to be given to the judge.

2. If the driver is fortunate enough to have a limited permit issued, he or she will be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device in the vehicle for a number of months. The judge has discretion to exempt the driver from the ignition interlock device requirement if he or she determines that it would cause undue financial hardship.

3. The driver must provide the following documents to the DDS in order to obtain an ignition interlock device; Certificate of completion of DUI school, clinical evaluation completion and proof of enrollment in a substance abuse treatment program or proof of enrollment in drug court program; and proof of installation of the ignition interlock device.

The limited permit that includes the interlock device will allow the driver to drive only to work, school, regularly scheduled meetings for alcohol or substance abuse, and monitoring visits with the ignition interlock service provider.

Once the interlock condition is removed, the limited permit will still allow the driver to drive to work, school, and regularly scheduled meetings for alcohol or substance abuse. However, the permit will expand to include attending court, probation appointments, community service, receiving medical care or treatments or obtaining prescription drugs. It will also allow a driver to take immediate family members to work, school, and to medical care and pharmacies if that family member does not hold a valid driver’s license.

After an 18-month total suspension period, the driver will be eligible for early reinstatement of his or her full driving privileges. The maximum license suspension period is 3 years if you are not eligible for reinstatement.
These mandates, coupled with new court appearances and getting relief from the DDS, can be daunting. This process can also take a lot of time. However, the purpose is to sufficiently punish DUI offenders while at the same time allowing people to get their driver’s licenses and get back to work. Working DUI offenders provide for their families, purchase goods in Georgia, and pay state and federal income taxes.