Monday, January 25, 2010

Georgia Super Speed Laws \ Georgia Super Speeder Laws

Georgia's legislature has decided to implement a Super Speeder Law (which means nothing but increased fines) and decided to launch this website for the occasion.  According to the simple terms of the website, any individual convicted of going more than 75 mph on a two lane road (regular highway) will see an increase of $200.00 over the local counties fines.  Any individual convicted of going more than 85 mph on an interstate will see an increase of $200.00 as well.

The odd language of the statute ( O.C.G.A. section 40-6-189) also states that "Such a driver, upon conviction, shall be classified as a "super speeder.""  What the purpose of this "classification" is at the moment is somewhat of a mystery, but perhaps it can cause increased insurance rates or special classifications at the Georgia Department of Driver Services, especially for drivers from other states. Without any sort of desire to punish this classification by including this language, the inclusion of the term "super speeder" would be similar to a murder statute ending with "And if a person is convicted under this statute, this person shall be classified as a MURDERER."

Georgia, unlike a number of other states, has lower rates than other surrounding states (such as my home state of Florida).  And Florida's $1000.00 speeding tickets (fees of which actually approach $1500.00) are still going strong.  However, 85 in a 70 mile per hour zone is only 15 mph over.  Our $1000.00 fines are for 50 mph over.  Oh, and also for having a wiggly license plate.

I have not heard horror stories of people convicted under the Super Speeder law yet, but from what I read, they will give you a citation which you will pay in a Georgia county.  If you decide to pay such ticket without hiring a lawyer or challenging it yourself in court, they will then send you a bill for $200.00.   If they truly implement this method of collecting a fee, it could be subject to constitutional challenge, as it may be considered to be Double Jeopardy.  (Conviction, Paid a Fine, and then Subjected to Another Fine) 

Here is the language of the new law:

§ 40-6-189.  (Effective January 1, 2010) Classification as super speeder; fees; funding for trauma care system.

   (a) As used in this Code section, the term "department" means the Department of Driver Services.

(b) In addition to any other fines or penalties imposed by any local jurisdiction or the department, the department shall administer and collect a fee of $200.00 from any driver who is convicted of driving at a speed of 85 miles per hour or more on any road or highway or 75 miles per hour or more on any two-lane road or highway, as defined in Code Section 40-6-187. Such a driver, upon conviction, shall be classified as a "super speeder."

(c) The department shall notify offenders of the imposition of a fee under this Code section within 30 days after receipt of a qualifying ticket and notice of conviction. Failure to pay the fee imposed by this Code section within 90 days after receipt of the notice shall result in the suspension of the driver's license or driving privileges of the offender, and, in addition to the existing fees and penalties, a fee of $50.00 shall be assessed, payable upon the application for reinstatement of the driver's license or driving privileges. Notice shall be provided by the department to the offender by first-class mail to the address shown on the records of the department. Such mailed notice shall be adequate notification of the fee imposed by this Code section and of the offender's ability to avoid a driver's license suspension by paying the fee prior to the effective date of the suspension. No other notice shall be required to make the driver's license suspension effective.

(d) The department shall be authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this Code section.

(e) All fees collected under the provisions of this Code section shall be deposited in the general fund of this state with the intent that these moneys be used to fund a trauma care system in Georgia and the direct and indirect costs associated with the administration of this Code section. The Office of Treasury and Fiscal Services shall separately account for all of the moneys received under the provisions of this Code section.

10 comments:

  1. Un Constitional.. Double Fined for same offence This law should be aborted. I feel as if I got jacked at gun point by the police, and the only way out is to hire an attorney that wants more than the police. What a scam!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I received this "Super Speeder" additional fine of $200.00. How do I challenge the ticket on the grounds that it is "Double Jeopardy"? It is a "Since you admitted you are guilty, pay this as well." fine. I am more than frustrated with the system that Georgia has in place.

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  3. How is this NOT double Jeopardy? By paying the municipality (pleading guilty) I've made restitution for my crime. How can the state tack on an additional fee, after the fact, without notice? Where will it stop? Can I expect to receive more threatening notices for money? Had I known, I may have taken a different course of action.

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