By Atlanta DUI Attorney Bubba Head
Yes, all motor vehicle crimes in Georgia are misdemeanors. This is why fighting a Georgia speeding ticket is important to many Georgia residents, as well as no-residents passing through our state. The addition of a “fine” for people convicted of certain high-speed speeding tickets has made Georgia law even worse, and justifies hiring a traffic ticket lawyer for those being categorized as super speeders.
Georgia was the first state in the USA to have a “super speeder” law. In 2009, then-Gov. Sonny Perdue pitched this revenue-generation idea to the Legislature, claiming that the additional proceeds from speeding ticket offenders who ignore posted speed limits could help trauma care in rural areas. The Georgia Code section is OCGA 40-6-189.
Because no “mandate” exists to dedicate these funds from high-speed drivers’ speeding tickets for use in funding rural health care, the money is mostly used to pay costs of state government in Georgia. The super speeder ticket GA law is just another example of saddling an undesirable category of citizens, with the costs of running the Government.
The effective date for HB 160 (Act 135, §11) was January 1, 2010. See the initial story posted by GOHS to laud the supposed rural hospital benefits. http://www.gahighwaysafety.org/campaigns/super-speeder-law/
Any driver who gets convicted of speeding at high speeds will be in violation of the super speeder ticket in Georgia. Specifically, traveling at 75 mph or more on any two-lane road in GA, or at 85 mph or higher on ANY roadway, such as I-85, I-75, I-20, GA Highway 400, or similar limited access roads.
Simply stated, the new law tacks on an additional state assessment of $200 for any traffic ticket conviction or nolo contendere plea where the speed reported to Georgia DDS (the GA DMV) on the traffic citation, on a 2-lane highway or road was 75 miles per hour or more. For multi-lane highways, the speed that triggers Georgia super speeder law is 85 miles per hour or more.
The trap for the unwary lead-footed motorist is that he or she will either go to traffic court and resolve the speeding ticket, or possibly pay the ticket online or by mail, and waive his or her court appearance. But, this court procedure merely settles the misdemeanor traffic ticket offense.
That speeding ticket case disposition, however, is what authorizes Georgia to NOW add on the tax designed to make super speeders help pay for Georgia’s government functions.
Yes, if you are going very fast in Georgia, you can. Since reckless driving GA under OCGA 40-6-390 is categorized as a serious driving offense, if this is also charged, and arrest is possible. Plus, committing multiple dangerous driving acts (e.g., following too closely, changing lanes without signaling) can possibly trigger an aggressive driving charge, under OCGA 40-6-397.
The new speeding tax law does not (in and of itself) cause license suspension, or add speeding ticket points, or send you to jail. The super speeder law in Georgia a straightforward “strong arm” law for collecting more tax money.
At risk, if the tax is not timely paid, is your right to drive, plus any additional fine (late fee) of $50, if you don’t pay the GA super speeder tax on time. Indirectly, the failure to pay the tax can do more than cause license suspension, since a failure to pay triggers Georgia DDS to suspend your right to drive, and if caught driving while suspended, you go immediately to jail.
This method of “veiled taxation” allows the Legislators to “not raise taxes” on all citizens, and to thereby curry favor with voters. However, the strategy of collecting millions of dollars, by virtue of the power of BEING the government does not seem to be flawed, since the people who passed the Legislation get re-elected each new election.
Super speeder law is a pure money grab, and has irritated every driver who (after paying fines and surcharges at traffic court on their traffic ticket criminal case, under Georgia speeding laws) receives another bill from Georgia, in the U S Mail. The State of Georgia demand another payment of $200 to DDS Georgia.
The Georgia Department of Driver Safety (Georgia DDS) mails out a super speeder notification requesting the driver to pay another $200 or lose driving privileges. It is not sent by certified mail, or with a tracking method, to prove delivery. So, make sure that any address given to police, after you get a high mph speeding ticket is you correct address.
Unlike any other state, Georgia has over 1,000 different traffic courts that process GA traffic offense cases. No single speeding ticket law firm in GA can cover 1,000 different traffic ticket courts in Georgia.
Our Atlanta ticket attorneys cover traffic courts within about a 50-mile radius of Atlanta, but refer out super speeder GA cases and speeding cases, which occur outside our market area to other traffic ticket lawyers in every corner of Georgia.
By having a criminal defense attorney challenge the speeding ticket evidence, and trying to negotiate speeding tickets prior to a final disposition, our traffic ticket attorneys have been able to save many out-of-state licenses for residents of tough states like North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and other jurisdictions.
Plus, where integrated car insurance premiums can be boosted (like South Carolina), a favorable disposition to a speeding ticket can save thousands in auto insurance premiums.
One of the major areas of confusion for drivers facing the GA super speeder law is that the hefty fine you paid in traffic court is not credited toward the super speeder “surcharge” that will be tacked on AFTER the traffic court case is closed out. The GA super speeder fee is extra, and is — purely and simply — a tax.
Once the Department of Driver Services in Georgia gets the electronic record of your speeding conviction, the super speeding notification is generated, and will be mailed out by regular U S Mail. From then until the 120-day deadline, the super speeder must pay the $200 extra assessment to Georgia DDS, or face suspension.
Several states are known for their Draconian traffic laws for reckless driving and excessive speeds. Both Virginia and North Carolina come to mind, us being states that will totally suspend one of their licensed drivers for exceeding the speeding laws in ANY state by a certain amount. This will take away that speeding driver’s ability to DRIVE for any purpose.
So, for out of state licensed drivers who speed in Georgia, not hiring the best Georgia lawyer for their case can be the end of driving for them. The super speeder fee of another $200 will be the least of their problems.
From the time traffic court ends, and you pay a ticket, which allows the conviction to be entered, the Georgia DDS will send out the super speeder GA notification within 10 days. After that, the super speeding in GA driver will have 120 days (4 months) to pay up. Even if the letter gets mishandled, and never arrives, expect to be suspended if the super speeder ticket additional “fine” is not paid within the 120 days.
If payment is not received in a timely manner, by GA DDS, either through online payment, credit card payment, or by check or money order, the non-paying driver will have his or her driver’s license, driver permit, or privilege to drive in Georgia suspended. Like a tumor sitting quietly in your body, when your non-payment is discovered, the problems begin.
Most states track how many “points” are accumulated on a driver’s license over a fixed period of time. The GA super speeder law has no provisions for adding points on license to any driver’s record. This function already occurs at the criminal case disposition, which can be where the traffic lawyer can be most valuable.
Assessment of points on license, for a speeding ticket, is just one place that points get added to your Georgia driver’s license, or out-of-state license. Many other types of Georgia traffic tickets carry points.
That time frame, in Georgia, is during and 12-month period (for youthful drivers) to looking at the previous 24 months (for all other drivers). Other states legislate how many points and over what time frame a points suspension is imposed on their license drivers. Once too many points are put on the driving history of a speeding ticket driver, that driver will suffer a “points suspension.”
In GA, the super speeder law does not ADD points, but (under GA laws) points will follow any speeding conviction of 15 mph or more over the limit. Again, the ticketed driver must deal with super speeder law Georgia on two fronts, to assure being able to drive.
Paying Georgia DDS Online – Your Options for Payment of Fines
If the use of a credit card online is unappealing or too daunting, a person can download a PDF credit card form, and fill that out to make payment of the super speeder fee in GA. To make certain that your payment gets matched to your driving record, enclose a copy of your final criminal court disposition paperwork or your name, address, and birth date. For out of state drivers, include your state of licensure, and the state of issuance.
Go to the DDS Georgia website: www.dds.ga.gov.
Their mailing address is:
Georgia Dept of Driver Services
P.O. Box 80447
Conyers, GA 30013
Speeding in Georgia? Speeding is a misdemeanor, NOT a traffic infraction. Learn your legal rights, your options to fight or negotiate and your potential penalties. Don’t just to Court alone, and expect the case to be continued. In almost all Georgia traffic courts, we can get a Power of Attorney from you and keep you from having to appear at all.
Our traffic ticket lawyers, William C. Head, Larry Kohn and Cory Yager, have a statewide network of expert traffic ticket lawyers, and can refer you to a specialist, if your case is outside the metro Atlanta area. Our 24-hour Georgia lawyers for a FREE lawyer consultation. 404-567-5515.
Call 41-year veteran lawyer in Atlanta, William C. “Bubba” Head today and get honest answers to all your questions. Tell our Atlanta attorneys everything that happened and everything you remember about your DUI arrest.