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Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyers > Blog > Traffic Tickets > How Do Traffic Ticket “Points” Work in Georgia?

How Do Traffic Ticket “Points” Work in Georgia?


Anytime a driver is convicted of a traffic ticket offense in Georgia, a certain number of “points” can be added to their license. These points are essentially a penalty for the ticket (on top of any fine). If you obtain multiple tickets over time, these points can accumulate and eventually lead to additional sanctions.

Do Your Points Add Up to 15?

The basic rule in Georgia is that if you acquire 15 points on your license over a 24-month (2-year) period, the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) will suspend your driver’s license.

Individual traffic ticket offenses carry between 1 and 6 points apiece. Most violations carry 3 points. For example, if you fail to obey a traffic signal–i.e., you run a red light–that is a 3-point offense. Speeding violations, however, operate on the following sliding scale:

  • 0 points if you were speeding less than 15 miles over the posted limit;
  • 2 points if you were speeding between 15 and 18 miles over the posted limit;
  • 3 points if you were speeding between 19 and 23 miles over the posted limit;
  • 4 points if you were speeding between 24 and 33 miles over the posted limit;
  • 6 points if you were speeding more than 34 miles over the posted limit.

It is possible to remove or “reduce” points from your license. Georgia allows a driver to qualify for a reduction of up to 7 points once every 5 years. The driver must successfully complete a “defensive driving” course offered by a state-certified driving school. The school gives the driver a certificate of completion that the driver must then bring to the DDS.

How Long Does a Points Suspension Last in Georgia?

When a driver reaches the 15-point threshold, the DDS will send out a notice of license suspension. The actual length of the suspension depends on whether or not the driver has any prior points-related suspensions within the past 5 years. If this is the driver’s first suspension, it lasts one year. But the driver may reduce that suspension length by completing the defensive driving course mentioned above and paying a reinstatement fee.

A second points-related suspension lasts up to 3 years. Again, the driver may apply for earlier reinstatement if they complete a defensive driving class. A third suspension within a 5-year period, however, lasts 2 years and the driver cannot seek early reinstatement.

Do I Get Points for a DUI Arrest or Conviction?

Unlike some states, Georgia does not add any points to your driver’s license for a DUI conviction. But this is something of a moot point. Any conviction for drunk driving in Georgia carries its own automatic driver’s license suspension of at least 12 months. Your license can also be suspended if you refuse a request to submit to a chemical test when lawfully arrested on suspicion of DUI. Again, these suspensions operate outside of the points system, although you may be separately assessed points for any traffic infractions that occur in conjunction with the DUI arrest.

Speak with a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Whether you are facing a simple traffic ticket or more serious DUI charges, you always have the right to work with an experienced Georgia traffic ticket defense attorney. Contact Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout Georgia including Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs.



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