Georgia Distracted Driving (Update)

Your Grace Period is Over

Get your hands-free devices connected… the “grace period” for using your phone on I-285 is (unofficially) over. In Georgia distracted driving will earn get you a ticket.

According to the AJC, Georgia State Patrol handed out more than eight thousand citations to motorists violating the Hands-Free Georgia Act last year, beginning in July. Nearly half of those citations were handed out in the month of December. In other words, officers may have let people off with a warning for the first few months of the law, but now tickets are on the rise.

The Law May be Working

So, is the law working? Is it making people safer on the road? Preliminary statistics do indicate a slight decline in traffic fatalities in 2018. But they also declined slightly in 2017 before the law was passed, so it is really hard to know if the decline is a result of the law. If you want a refresher of what you can or cannot do behind the wheel in Georgia now, take a look at our blog from back in July of 2018, when the law came into effect. One important thing to note – anything prohibited while driving is also a no-no when you are at a stoplight or stop sign. Your car must be parked to be considered safe to use a mobile phone.

But Don’t Touch Your Phone in the Car

The biggest change for officers is that it is now easier to cite people. In the past, when texting was illegal, but phone calls were okay, it was difficult for officers to tell if the driver violated the law. Now, if an officer views you touching your phone, you are in danger of getting a ticket and points on your license:

  • 1st Conviction: One point on license and $50 fine
  • 2nd Conviction: Two points on license and $100 fine
  • 3rd Conviction: Three points on license and $150 fine.

In some cases, you may be able to bring proof of purchase of a hands-free device to court to avoid the points on your license.

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In Georgia distracted driving can get you arrested. If you’ve been arrested, call a seasoned attorney who understands the legal system in Georgia. Ashley Schiavone can take a look at your case and see if there are ways your charges can be reduced or if it is a case that can be tried in court.