LICENSE RESTORED AFTER 20 YEARS
This case began nearly twenty years ago, long before I was hired. My client had been convicted for two DUIs down in Dooly County, Georgia. The second of those two DUIs was in the tiny town of Pinehurst, Georgia - also in Dooly County. But, Pinehurst City Court, where our client pled to his second DUI, no longer exists. Once our client received his second DUI, he completed most of his sentence. And that is the key word here - most. He never did actually get his license back with an Ignition Interlock Device placed on his car as required prior to his full driving privileges being restored.
Years later, our client moved to Nevada. He still didn't have a driver's license. But getting one to drive to work, and to run errands to care for his aging mom, would sure be nice. Problem was, when he went to the Nevada DMV, he learned that Georgia had a suspension on his license from back in 2002 since he'd never had that Ignition Interlock Device put on his car. Nevada told him until the Georgia issue was cleared up, they wouldn't give him a driver's license.
My client had been beating his head against a wall for months and months. He was told he just needed to get a court to issue a Hardship Waiver to forgive his inadvertence for not getting the Ignition Interlock Device on his car back in 2002. But only the judge in the Pinehurst City Court could issue this waiver, and Pinehurst City Court no longer exists. And no one our client had spoken with thus far seemed to know how to rectify the situation.
Once he hired me, I contacted the Chief Judge of the Cordele Circuit which oversees Superior Courts in Ben Hill, Crisp, Wilcox and Dooly Counties. I explained the situation and asked if the Chief Judge if he'd please issue my client a Hardship Waiver for the Ignition Interlock Device. The Chief Judge agreed. This should have taken care of things immediately. But in the process of getting people to send and accept the Hardship Waiver along to finally be processed, we encountered court officials and personnel in the Georgia Department of Driver Services who, though they wanted to help, just weren't sure about things. After all, Pinehurst City Court no longer exist.
Hoping to avoid a lawsuit to force the issue, we explained to numerous people, numerous times, that if Pinehurst City Court no longer existed, then if the next highest court in the county agreed to issue the Hardship Waiver – in this case, Dooly County Superior Court – then it was the non-discretionary duty of the Georgia Department of Driver Services to accept and process the waiver. Eventually, after several weeks and many, many emails and phone conversations – without filing a lawsuit – my client finally got his driver's license. Some twenty years after losing it.
Practice area(s): DUI / DWI
Court: Dooly County Superior Court