What You Need to Know About Georgia Headlight Laws
An police officer must have a reasonable suspicion of a crime to stop your vehicle. A headlight violation can be the basis of the beginning of a DUI investigation. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to commit an unsafe driving act to be pulled-over for DUI. In fact, most DUI Investigations in Georgia begin with a minor traffic violation such as violating the headlight requirements.
Georgia's Headlights Requirements Law Explained:
Under O.C.G.A. § 40-8-20, drivers in Georgia must display their headlights at any time from half-hour after sunset to a half-hour before sunrise, when it is raining in the driving zone, and at any other time when there is not sufficient visibility to render clearly discernible persons or vehicles on the highway at a distance of 500 feet ahead. It does not matter if streetlights provide enough illumination for the driver to see. The headlight requirements apply even in a fully lite area or parking lot.
Many headlight violations occur in downtown areas, which usually offer sufficient lighting. Drivers can clearly see, and thus, do not switch on the car headlights. Automatic headlight features also lead to O.C.G.A. § 40-8-20 violations. Drivers assume that the lights will automatically turn on when necessary, but this is not always the case.
This particularly happens in rental cars because most rental car agencies supply drivers base model vehicles without options such as automatic headlights. Even where the rental car has the feature, it may not be turned on because of a driver's unfamiliarity with the vehicle.
Penalties For Violating The Headlight Laws in Georgia:
If you have been charged with either of these headlight offenses, you can be subject to a fine and 3 points on your driver's license. The Georgia Point System ranges from 2 to 6 points. A driver with 15 points in a 24-month period will be suspended. For drivers under 18-years-old, 4 points in a 12-month period will lead to a license suspension. The three points assessed for this offense almost assures that any other traffic offense will suspend a driver under the age of 18.
As you can see from the Georgia Traffic Ticket Points System, points can quickly accumulate. This is especially the case for young drivers. Do not simply pay the fine and plead guilty to a charge. Contact an experienced Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyer from our office to protect yourself and your driving privileges. Our Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyers are here to help protect your privilege to drive.
What Can be Done if Charged With DUI as a Result of Violating the Georgia Headlight Laws:
If charged with DUI as the result of being pulled-over for violating Georgia's laws insofar as to when lighted headlights and other lights are required, call the Georgia DUI Attorneys at our office. We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are here on nights, weekends, and holidays because your problems need to be addressed when you need a lawyer. You only have 30 days to appeal the automatic suspension of your driver's license. If that appeal is not filed, you will lose your license for up to 12 months.