After a Hectic Week on Georgia Roadways, an Analysis of Both Reckless and Aggressive Driving Laws

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jul 15, 2018 | 0 Comments

I wrote yesterday about a man who was charged with both reckless driving and speeding in Georgia. Today, I'd like to focus on another offense known as aggressive driving, which is similar to reckless driving. The two are very similar offenses, however aggressive driving looks to the intent of the alleged offender. Some examples include:

  • Weaving in and out of lanes of traffic
  • Driving at high speeds
  • Tailgating
  • Forceful merging
  • Cutting other drivers off
  • Passing in shoulder lanes or no-passing zones

As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I see both of these offenses regularly as they are frequently charged with DUI in Georgia. Let's start with the law and penalties for reckless driving.

Reckless Driving in Georgia

Reckless Driving in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code as:

Any person who drives any vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property commits the offense of reckless driving. O.C.G.A. §40-6-390

If convicted of reckless driving, a person is guilty of a misdemeanor offense in Georgia. The punishment can include a fine up to $1,000.00, jail time for up to 12 months, or even both. A reckless driving conviction can also add four points to your license. This has the potential of leading to a suspended Georgia Driver's License.

Aggressive Driving in Georgia 

Aggressive Driving in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code 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. O.C.G.A. §40-6-397.

If convicted of aggressive driving, a person is guilty of a Georgia high and aggravated misdemeanor. This means that the punishment could include a fine up to $5,000, jail time of up to 12 months, or both. An aggressive driving conviction will also add six points to your license, which has an even greater potential of leading to a driver's license suspension.

Practice Note

Like I said, the two offenses are very similar. Aggressive driving is a newer offense and is more difficult for the state of Georgia to prove beyond a reasonable doubt because, as I mentioned above, the intent has to be proven. There must be a demonstration through evidence that the driver had the intent of harassing, annoying, molesting, intimidating, injuring, or obstructing another driver. As you can see from the law, the offense of aggressive driving is taken more seriously and therefore punished more harshly in Georgia. 

Both of these offenses put others at risk which is why Georgia is so strict about enforcing safe and reasonable driving. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI and your charges include aggressive or reckless driving, contact a Georgia DUI Attorney today. We will examine the specifics of your case and provide the best defense. Call us now.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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