In Atlanta, aggressive driving refers to selfish, unsafe and risky driving behavior that shows the deliberate disregard for the safety of other drivers. Aggressive DUI driving behavior includes weaving in and out of traffic, changing lanes without signaling, passing in no-passing zones or emergency lanes, forceful merging, failing to yield, cutting off other drivers at close range, speeding, inappropriate gesturing and hand signals, inappropriate use of horns, flashing headlights, and tailgating.
Aggressive Driving Defined:
Georgia Code § 40-6-397 (a) defines aggressive driving as driving “with the intent to annoy, harass, molest, intimidate, injure, or obstruct another person, including without limitation violating Code Section 40-6-42 [overtaking and passing], 40-6-48 [improper lane change or usage], 40-6-49 [following too closely], 40-6-123 [failing to signal], 40-6-184 [driving too slowly], 40-6-312 [lane usage by motorcycles], or 40-6-390 [reckless driving] with such intent.” As with some Atlanta DUI’s, you can also receive a citation for Aggressive Driving.
Interestingly, aggressive driving does not need to target another driver. Presumably, this is to allow the prosecution of aggressive driving directed at pedestrians and passengers in other vehicles as well as passengers in the vehicle driven by the defendant. Any person convicted of aggressive driving shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. A high and aggravated misdemeanor in Georgia is punishable by a fine up to $5,000 or by incarceration for up to 12 months, or both. Because it is labeled “high and aggravated,” the amount of earned time allowance will be limited to no more than 4 days per month for jail sentences.
Consequences of Aggressive Driving in Atlanta:
An aggressive driving charge can lead to a points suspension of your driver’s license if 15 or more points are accumulated in any consecutive 24-month period. An aggressive driving conviction will add 6 points to your license. The Georgia Department of Driver Services will also assess points for aggressive driving convictions that occurred in other states. A plea of nolo contendere to an aggressive driving charge will prevent the assessment of any points, but the Department of Driver Services will only accept one plea of nolo contendere for a moving traffic violation in any five year period without assigning points to your driving record.If this is your first or second points suspension in five years, you will be eligible for a limited use driving permit during the suspension period.
A limited use driving permit allows you to drive to work, school, medical care and treatment including pharmacies to obtain prescription medications, addiction or abuse counseling, or attend court ordered driver education courses.For a first or second points suspension within five years, you are eligible for immediate reinstatement of your driver’s license once you complete a defensive driving course and pay a reinstatement fee. For a third points suspension within five years, your license will be suspended for two years and you will not be eligible for a limited use driving permit or early reinstatement, but you will still be required to submit a certificate of completion of a defensive driving course and pay a reinstatement fee at the end of the suspension period.
For drivers under the age of 21, any offense for which four or more points are assessed will suspend your license for a six month period. This includes the offense of aggressive driving which applies 6 points to your license. This is a “hard” suspension and you will not be eligible for a limited use driving permit. Further, a plea of nolo contendere will not prevent the assessment of points on your driving record. Any second or subsequent conviction will lead to a 12 month license suspension.
Also, because aggressive driving is at the very least a form of negligence, the victim of an automobile collision caused by an aggressive driver can seek damages in a civil lawsuit for injuries, including compensation for loss of income, pain and suffering, disability, medical expenses, and punitive damages. The same incident may also support civil damages for assault, battery, or intentional infliction of emotional distress.
If you or someone you know has been charged with an Atlanta DUI and Aggressive Driving Charge, you are going to need a Atlanta DUI Attorney. Contact the Howard Law Group ASAP. These type of charges can cost you financial hardship.