Having a poor driving record doesn’t mean you’re a bad driver. Accidents happen, and the average person will have about four car accidents in their lifetime. Still, it’s important to be aware of the penalties drivers face for certain traffic violations. Penalties such as fines, license suspension and even jailtime vary depending on the violation and your location.
Like most states, Georgia works on a point system. Each violation counts as a certain number of points. If you reach 15 points on your driving record within a 24 month period, your license will be suspended.
If you live in a fault state, you will have to pay for the damages after causing a wreck. Typically, police or a court will investigate the accident to decide who was at-fault. If you caused the accident, you not only have to file a claim with your insurance company, but those insurance rates will likely go up. One accident stays on your record for about three years, depending on other circumstances.
Speeding violations are pretty well known. Most of the time, you will receive a ticket and have to pay or contest it. Multiple speeding tickets in a short amount of time, however, can cause problems—even license suspension. This typically only occurs if you were caught driving 15 miles or more over the speed limit. The cost of the speeding ticket varies depending on how fast you were going, where you were speeding (such as in a school zone or construction zone) and other factors. Speeding tickets don’t count as points in Georgia unless you are caught going 15 miles or more over the speed limit.
A DUI is one of the more serious violations concerning penalties in the U.S. In Georgia, you could face any of the following penalties for your first DUI:
• Suspended driver’s license
• Required DUI school
• 40 hours or more of community service
• 1-10 days in jail
• 12 months of probation
• $300 or more fine
For a second DUI, the penalties are higher. You could face 12-36 months of probation, fines of $600-$1,000, 90 days to 12 months in jail and more. You may have your license suspended as well as a red stripe added. This doesn’t even include the hit to your car insurance. Even a single DUI can cause your car insurance to jump by 80% or more. This could be a thousand dollars on top of what you pay yearly.
Driving Without a License
In most states, including Georgia, the first offense of driving without a license is considered a misdemeanor. You can still be required to pay a fine between $500 and $1,000 and/or serve two days to twelve months in jail. Penalties can change depending on the situation and previous violations. Similar repercussions follow those who drive on a suspended license.
Driving Without Car Insurance
In Georgia, you must legally carry a certain amount of car insurance in order to drive. Georgia car insurance requirements are:
• $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person
• $50,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
• $25,000 in property damage liability
If you’re caught driving without the proper insurance, you could receive a fine as much as $1,000 and 12 months of jail time. You will also be unable to drive for 60-90 days. If you cause an accident without carrying car insurance, the penalties could be worse. If you don’t have insurance and cause a wreck, you will be held responsible for paying for the damages out of pocket. The victim of the accident can also sue you for compensation.