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One of the few downfalls of being youthful is that traffic violations often carry harsher, sometimes unforgiving, punishments. Traffic infractions are taken quite seriously in Georgia, and even more so for drivers under 21 years of age. This age bracket is somewhat vulnerable, as it tends to be targeted by law enforcement. Under certain circumstances, it only takes one moving violation to yield hefty fines, points on your license, and suspension of driving privileges. When such elevated stakes are involved, it is crucial to seek skilled legal representation.
In Georgia drivers under the age of 21 are put in a more 'probationary' type of situation than those who are over age 21. They can much more easily have their license suspended. It is a harsh suspension (6 months) and they leave no room for a limited driving permit most of the time. This is found within the O.C.G.A. (40-5-57-1).
What Georgia does is to separate drivers under 21 into 2 separate classes:
Drivers who are under 18 will suffer a license suspension if they accumulate four or more points within any consecutive twelve month period. Because most of Georgia's moving violations carry three points, it's exceptionally easy for younger drivers to have four or more points within a year's time.
The younger drivers need to pay special attention to violations like Aggressive or Reckless driving, as well as other violations that carry more the the necessary four points need for a suspension. Hit and run is a severe one. When you compare the penalties for young drivers to the older drivers, you begin to see how restrictive Georgia is with their newer, younger drivers. A driver who is 21 or older will not experience a license suspension until the accumulate 'fifteen' or more points, and that is within a two-year period.
After turning 18, the drivers in Georgia experience a lightening of the laws but with one very harsh exception. After 18 drivers must accumulate the 'over 21' regulation of 15 points or more within a 2-year period before having their license's revoked, however, if they accumulate four points or more stemming from one violation, they can have their licenses revoked. That is why a speeding ticket can be so damaging to younger drivers, even if they are between 18 and 21.
It seems to be that speeding tickets are what most new drivers have the most trouble with. However, there are older drivers who suffer the same trouble, but with consequences that are less severe. Somehow it seems a little unfair, but newer drivers have less experience, so they are considered more of a risk out on the road.
Reckless driving, involvement in a hit and run accident, evading law enforcement, unlawful passing, and racing are examples of violations which can lead to automatic license suspension for drivers under the age of 21. Additionally, refusal to submit to a chemical test following a DUI arrest, driving without insurance or during a license suspension, failure to appear in court for a traffic violation, and infringement under the Georgia Controlled Substance Act all place drivers under 21 years of age at risk of indefinite suspension. What’s more, being charged with driving over 24 mph above the posted limit can result in license suspension, since it is the penalty for any violation carrying a minimum of four points.
Without proper legal representation, it is extremely unlikely that drivers under the age of 21 will receive much, if any, leniency in the courtroom. It is unwise to appear in front of a judge unarmed with an experienced traffic attorney when facing potentially severe consequences. Contact The Young Law Firm today to discuss your options.
Having a good attorney on hand is a young person's best defense against drivers license suspension in Georgia.
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