Like every other state in the country, Georgia’s Department of Driver Services (DDS) operates a points system which is used to control the behavior of drivers and penalize them if they violate traffic regulations. It is wise to know what these points are and how they can affect you if you get a traffic violation citation at any point when you drive on a highway around Atlanta. Gaining points on your license can ultimately result in having your license suspended for a defined period, which can have a major effect on your income as well as convenience. It may be worthwhile hiring an Atlanta traffic ticket attorney to help you fight a traffic violation rather than just accepting the consequences as inevitable.
Points are Based on the Severity of Your Offense
The points system is based on how serious the traffic violation is viewed. The points system does change now and again as violations and their penalties are debated in the state. For example, aggressive driving, driving 34 mph over the speed limit and unlawfully passing a school bus are all violations which can get you 6 points on your license. You can drive up to 14 mph over the speed limit and pay a fine if caught, but have no points added. If you use a cell phone to text a message while driving, it only counts for 1 point.
Points are Accumulative
The points stay on your license and accumulate over time if you commit multiple or repeat offenses. If you are caught running a red light, for example, then you will get 3 points on your license if found guilty and if three months later you are caught speeding 20 mph over the limit you will get an extra 3 points, making a total of 6 points if your license was clean beforehand.
Too Many Points May Mean You Lose Your License
The points system may mean that your license is suspended. It all depends on whether you accumulate 15 points or more in any 24 month period. If you do, then you stand to lose your license for 12 months. You might be able to get a “limited license” if you can prove that a vehicle is essential to your job or education or if you have a sick relative that you must transport around. The limited license is exactly what it says it is. You can only use it to go to certain places on certain days. If you are under 21, then your license may be suspended if you get a single 4 point citation.
Reduction of Points
Georgia’s DDS allows you to apply for a reduction of 7 points on your license every 5 years if you are a Georgia license holder.
Interstate Licenses and Georgia Points
Points are not transferable interstate, so if you receive a citation while driving in Georgia, you will be fined, but will not get points on your home state license. Note that you must still obey any instructions if you get a Georgia traffic ticket. If you drive home and ignore your Georgia ticket, then that is an offense in itself and you risk having your home license suspended when information from Georgia is shared with the DDS equivalent in your own state.