(a) The decision to accept a plea of nolo contendere to a charge of violating Code Section 40-6-391 shall be at the sole discretion of the judge but, if such plea is accepted, the penalties provided for in subsection (c) of Code Section 40-6-391 shall be imposed; provided, however, that no such plea of nolo contendere shall be accepted if the person charged with violating Code Section 40-6-391 had an alcohol concentration of more than 0.15 at any time within three hours after driving or being in control of any moving vehicle from alcohol consumed before such driving or being in control ended.
(b) If the defendant has not been convicted of or had a plea of nolo contendere accepted to a charge of violating Code Section 40-6-391 within the previous five years and if the plea of nolo contendere shall be used as provided in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-5-63 , no such plea shall be accepted unless, at a minimum, the following conditions are met:
(1) The defendant has filed a verified petition with the court requesting that such plea be accepted and setting forth the facts and special circumstances necessary to enable the judge to determine that accepting such plea is in the best interest of justice; and
(2) The judge has reviewed the defendant's driving records that are on file with the Department of Driver Services.
(c) The judge, as part of the record of the disposition of the charge, shall set forth, under seal of the court, his or her reasons for accepting the plea of nolo contendere.
(d) The record of the disposition of the case, including the ruling required in subsection (c) of this Code section, shall be forwarded to the Department of Driver Services within ten days after disposition.
(e) If a plea of nolo contendere is accepted under the conditions set forth in subsection (b) of this Code section, the defendant's driver's license shall be forwarded to the Department of Driver Services as provided in subsection (c) of Code Section 40-5-67 .
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