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The Difference Between Reckless Driving and Aggressive Driving in Georgia

Posted by Richard Lawson | Apr 30, 2018 | 0 Comments

Both Reckless Driving and Aggressive Driving are related offenses to DUI in Georgia. The two charges are similar, but have some differences that I would like to outline in today's post.

As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I'd like to start by looking at the law behind each offense.

Reckless Driving in Georgia

Reckless Driving in Georgia is considered a serious traffic violation. Examples of reckless driving include: weaving, driving at high speeds, tailgating, forceful merging, or cutting other drivers off.

Reckless driving is defined by Georgia law 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. The punishment can include a fine up to $1,000.00, jail time for up to 12 months, or both.

A reckless driving conviction will also add four points to your license. This has the potential of leading to a points suspension of your Georgia driver's license. A points suspension occurs if you have accumulated fifteen or more points in a consecutive 24-month period. However, if you are a driver under 21 years old, any offense that is four points or more will suspend your Georgia driver's license for a six-month period. 

Aggressive Driving in Georgia 

Aggressive Driving in Georgia is also considered a serious traffic violation. Examples of aggressive driving include: changing lanes without a blinker or signal, weaving in and out of lanes of traffic, passing in no-passing zones or shoulder lanes or emergency lanes, forceful merging, failing to yield, cutting other drivers off, speeding, offensive or inappropriate gesturing or hand signals, flashing headlights or high beams, tailgating or blaring horns inappropriately.

Aggressive driving is defined by Georgia law 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 misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. 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. This has the potential of leading to a points suspension of your Georgia driver's license. A points suspension occurs if you have accumulated fifteen or more points in a consecutive 24-month period. However, if you are a driver under 21 years old, any offense that is four points or more will suspend your Georgia driver's license for a six-month period. 

But the examples look the same... What is the difference?

The simplest way to explain the difference is the intent of the driver.

Reckless driving is when a person drives in a manner that is both dangerous to himself and others. Aggressive driving is when a person drives in a manner that is aggressive and has 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. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI and your charges include aggressive or reckless driving, contact a Georgia DUI Lawyer today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense. He exclusively handles DUI Cases. As a former DUI Prosecutor he knows both sides of your case. Put his experience to work for you. You only have 30 days to protect your right to drive. Call now for immediate attention. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

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