Anne Bishop, P. O. Box 313, Gainesville, GA 30503 (770) 783-5296

A. Bishop Law, LLC

Traffic Violations for Drivers Under 21

A young woman sitting in the driver 's seat of her car.

What may seem like a simple traffic citation can become a lasting, complicated, and confusing battle for drivers under the age of 21. The Traffic Attorney Anne Bishop understands Georgia's graduated licensing program laws, and can help you and your family avoid the costly mistakes that can affect a young driver's future for years to come.

John Breakfield is an experienced Hall County Traffic Ticket Attorney in Northeast Georgia and is dedicated to helping drivers under 21 protect their driving record. Please call Breakfield & Associates, Attorneys 770-783-5296.

Georgia drivers under 21 are at a higher risk for a losing their license and need to legal representation to help protect their driving record.

It used to be that every 16-year-old looked forward to getting their license, but Georgia’s Teenage and Adult Driver Responsibility Act, or TADRA, has made that a lot tougher.  Nowadays, teens really have to get 3 different licenses, and each one has its own set of restrictions and requirements before a young driver can get the next.  Teenagers are still eligible for instructional permits at 15, but now in addition to having an instructional permit with no violations for over 12 months, under Joshua’s Law 16 year olds now must have taken an approved driver’s education course to get their intermediate license, or wait until age 17.  A full license is not granted until a young driver is 18 or older, without any major traffic violations within the last 12 months.

Even worse, TADRA makes it harder for teens to keep their licenses once they have them.  While drivers 21 or over may accumulate up to 15 points in 24 months before their licenses are suspended, drivers under 18 can have their licenses suspended for accumulating four violation points within 12 months.  Also, drivers under 21 can have their licenses suspended for any single four-point violation, or any number of other automatic suspensions.

Examples of violations between one and three points include:

-        Driving while texting or using a wireless device (1 point)

-        Driving between 14 mph and 19 mph over the speed limit (2 points)

-        Driving between 20 mph and 24 mph over the speed limit (3 points)

-        Not obeying a traffic-control device or officer (3 points), and

-        Any other moving traffic violation except speeding (3 points).

Four-point violation examples include:

-        Reckless driving,

-        Improper passing on a hill or curve,

-        Hit and run,

-        Racing,

-        Fleeing or eluding an officer, and

-        Driving between 24 mph and 33 mph over the speed limit.

Six-point violations examples include:

-        Aggressive driving,

-        Unlawful passing of a school bus,

-        Driving 34 mph or more over the speed limit

Automatic Suspensions include:

-        Hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident in violation.

-        Racing on highways or streets.

-        Using a motor vehicle in fleeing or attempting to elude an officer.

-        Reckless driving.

-        Purchasing an alcoholic beverage.

-        Driving under the Influence.

-        Misrepresenting age or identity, or using fake identification to get alcohol.

Georgia also has a number of non-driving violations that can lead to a suspended license for young drivers.  For example, if you are under 18, your license will be suspended if you:

-        Drop out of school,

-        Are expelled from school,

-        Have ten or more unexcused absences from school in the previous academic year, or

-        Have other serious misbehavior at school including fighting, bringing weapons or drugs, or any sexual offense.

Further, like most states, Georgia has a zero tolerance alcohol policy underage driving under the influence.  This means that for drivers under 21, operating motor vehicles with even the slightest hint of alcohol on a driver’s breath could lead to an automatic conviction and license suspension. Georgia will also automatically suspend a driver’s license for refusing to submit to a breath test.  This applies to all drivers, regardless of age.

Similarly, possessing, distributing, or using an illegal controlled substance also affects your driving privileges•even if it took place outside of your car.

The Traffic Attorneys at A. Bishop Law understand that just one mistake can cost young drivers thousands in fines, fees, courses, and surcharges and possibly mean imprisonment.  In addition to the cost of the ticket itself, fines like DUI surcharges, Super Speeder Fines, and Suspension and Revocation Reinstatement fees all add up.  Also having these violations on your record can severely affect a young driver’s auto insurance rates.

Having a good attorney is crucial to avoiding or reducing those hefty costs.  Georgia drivers can only plead traffic tickets in one of three ways:

-        Guilty,

-        Nolo contendere (no contest), or

-        Not guilty.

Pleading guilty or nolo contendere usually means paying the fine and closing the case.  Pleading not guilty, however, means you have to fight your ticket in court.  Especially for young drivers facing serious consequences, arguing your own case to a judge, or negotiating for yourself with prosecutors, can be a hard and stressful task.  Knowing small things, like the fact that Georgia courts treat pleading Nolo Contendere the same as an admission of guilt, and often give the same penalties, can help young drivers make better decisions about what is best for them in the long run.

The Traffic Attorneys at A. Bishop Law can help relieve that stress by preparing the best case possible for you.  Our lawyers are skilled, experienced, professionals that can help you prepare testimony, collect the best evidence to prove your case, navigate the legal system on your behalf to get the best results, or discover the best plea deal options if necessary.  Our goal is to determine the best ways to help a young driver protect their criminal records, and avoid harsh penalties and fines.  We will work hard to have a young driver’s charges reduced, or avoided altogether.  We can help young drivers minimize the chances that they get jail time, or their license is suspended or revoked.  The value of A. Bishop Law is in the money and time we save for you.

Please see our Georgia Speeding & Traffic Law section in our video & Article Library for more information about Georgia driving laws.

For more information on A. Bishop Law Georgia criminal defense services, including speeding tickets, under 21 violations, DUI and Georgia Super Speeder citations, please email us or call us at 770-783-5296 if you have been given a citation for a speeding ticket or traffic violation.  Your initial consultation is free & confidential.

Areas We Serve: In our experience, local knowledge is crucial to a Speeding Ticket or Traffic Violation Defense, so we are up front about the areas where we handle cases. To be effective, a Traffic Ticket Lawyer must be familiar with the court,the judges, and the prosecutors of your case. We believe we can best serve a client with any type of traffic violation in Hall County, Flowery Branch, Oakwood, Jackson County, and Helen. We have been there before and know what we are doing.

Anne Bishop, Attorney at Law
A. Bishop Law, LLC
539 Green Street NW
Phone: (770) 783-5296