By: Pauline Onkware & Cheryl D. Kelly, Esquire
In Georgia, the Department of Driver Services follows a point system to monitor traffic infractions committed by Georgia licensed drivers. In addition to having criminal charges, convictions, and fines, Georgia licensed drivers can also receive points on their license if they are found guilty of certain traffic infractions. The goal of the point system generally is to encourage safe driving, penalize unsafe driving, and to remove persistently dangerous drivers from the roadways. Typically, the more traffic citations a licensed driver receives, the more points accrue on his or her license. This can result in license suspension or even revocation. Living in Georgia, knowing how points add up and how they impact drivers is important.
The driver point system can be confusing, but here is a simple way to remember it:
Receiving points on your license also frequently lead to higher insurance premiums. Drivers that rack up 15 or more points within a 2-year period will face license suspension.
Here in Georgia, the number of points that can be applied to a driver’s license for each infraction ranges from 1 to 6 points depending on the type of violation committed. Here are some common violations and the number of points they will add to your license:
|Aggressive Drinking||6 points|
|Reckless Driving||4 points|
|Unlawful passing of School Bus||6 points|
|Improper Pass on Hill or Curve||4 points|
|Failure to Obey Traffic Control Device||6 points|
|Operating a Vehicle while Text Messaging||1 point|
|Violation of usage of wireless communicatio device||1 point|
|Open Container (alcohol)||2 points|
|Improper use of designated travel lane (2 or more people lane) 4th offense or more||1 point|
|Under 15 miles over the speed limit||0 points|
|15-18 miles over the speed limit||2 points|
|19-23 miles over the speed limit||3 points|
|24-33 miles over the speed limit||4 points|
|34 miles or more over speed limit||6 points|
|All other moving violations||3 points|
The full schedule can be found on the Georgia Department Of Driver Services website. Be sure to read over the list carefully in order to understand the points you may be issued for moving and non-moving violations.
Don’t worry! Points may not stay on your driving record forever. Georgia drivers may petition the Department of Driver Service (“DDS”) for a point reduction of up to 7 points. However, such requests for point reduction can be made only once every 5 years. In order to receive a point reduction, a Georgia licensed driver must complete a certified Driver Improvement class and submit an original certificate of completion to DDS for point removal. Drivers with less than 7 points on their license cannot apply points to future traffic infractions. Therefore, only the points that are present on your driver’s license at the time of your request may be removed. A list of certified Driver Improvement (defensive driving) Schools that Georgia accepts for point reduction can be found here: Driver Improvement (defensive driving) Schools.
If a driver’s license is suspended because a driver gained more than 15 points in a 24-month period, the driver will be ordered to complete a defensive driving course and may be limited as to where and when they can legally drive. Once the course is complete, the driver will have to pay DDS a fine of $200+ for reinstatement of their driver’s license for the first offense, and even more money for subsequent offenses. Losing a driver’s license can lead to higher insurance policy rates and make it harder to find an insurance company willing to provide insurance coverage to a risky driver.
Contact our Georgia injury attorney and our elite injury legal team to discuss your case if you are injured by a careless driver in Atlanta or around the State of Georgia. We offer free personal injury consultations.