Traffic violations impact your life, what you pay for insurance and your ability to get to and from work. Know the law in order to steer clear of traffic court and other legal action.
There are many violation infractions possible in Georgia. You must know them even if you are from out of state. Some of the most common are:
- Reckless driving, like speeding
- Failure to yield
- Careless or distracted driving
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Not having liability insurance, a valid registration and license
- Hit and run
Seat belt and child restraint violations
This is not a complete list. There are many more possible violations. It is a good idea to learn about Georgia state laws if driving through or to the state.
Driving Under the Influence
Anyone 21 years and older found to be driving under the influence is subject to a license suspension of 120 days to up to five years. A full license revocation is also possible.
The Department of Drivers Services issues licenses and will use its administrative power to revoke or suspend your license.
As DUI is a criminal offense, you could face arrest, arraignment and a trial. You are considered DUI if your blood alcohol level is .08 percent.
Penalties for DUI increase with repeat offenses.
If a police officer pulls you over, get to the right and stop the car safely.
- You may be given a citation, and your car may be inspected. Anything illegal will be seized. If you are taken to jail, your car will be towed.
- The Fourth Amendment guarantees officers with reasonable suspicion of illegal activity or items the right to search you and your car.
- Unlawful vehicle modifications can cause you to be pulled over by the police. If you have an obstructed view from a modification made and not intended for the original purpose of the vehicle, your car may be towed and you may be subject to fine or further action.
- Thirteen counties in state require emissions testing annually. The three most recent year car models do not need to be tested, nor do cars older than 25 years. Cost to test is from $10 to $25.
Be polite during traffic stops. Be prepared to show valid driver's license and vehicle registration. Proof of insurance will be required.
If you have committed a driving infraction, you may get a warning from the police officer. In more serious cases, you will likely get a citation. The citation will include why you were pulled over and the details, the officer's information and contact information to dispute the ticket.
If you decide to pay the ticket, you are admitting guilt. If you feel you are not guilty and wish to fight the ticket, go to the court at the appointed time. Plead not guilty. You may come to an agreement with the prosecution prior to trial. If you go to trial, you may need legal help. A lawyer can help you manage this process. If you lose your case, you may appeal the judgment.
Getting Your License Back
If your license has been suspended, you will need to follow the process to get it back. You must wait for the suspension period to lapse. Not all motor vehicle department offices in state offer full reinstatement. You can also request reinstatement by mail. The specific steps for reinstatement depend upon the violation. You can apply for limited driving privileges if you are unable to apply for reinstatement for personal reasons.
An Attorney Can Assist
The vehicle codes are both state and federal. These laws are always in the process of modification. Check with an attorney if you have any questions about traffic violations and for best representation.