February 1, 2015

The difference between having a license revoked or suspended

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Georgia drivers licenseBy Jessica Towne

I blogged earlier about what happens when your Georgia driver's license is cancelled. Now, we'll look at the other two ways Georgia drivers can lose their driving privileges, revocation and suspension.

According to the DDS:

"...Your driving privileges are terminated and withdrawn until the end of the period of time prescribed by DDS. At the expiration of the revocation period, you may apply for a new driver's license once you satisfy the certain requirements."

"...Your driving privilege is temporarily withdrawn for a specific period of time. At the expiration of the suspension period, you may apply for a driver's license once you satisfy the requirements."

Somehow they make revocation and suspension sound nearly identical. There are important differences.

If your license is revoked, it tends to be for five years or longer. If more than 5 years has elapsed and you haven't cleared up a revoked license, it "reverts" to suspended, which usually means a lower fine, etc., in court.

Mandatory Revocation
Your driver's license will be revoked in Georgia, if:
1. You are declared a habitual violator for any third conviction of a mandatory suspended offense within five years. Revocation is for five years from the date of the most recent conviction.
2. You refuse to submit to a re-examination of driving skills or knowledge of driving rules after receiving notice giving reasonable grounds for such a request.
3. There is sufficient evidence of incompetence or unfitness to drive, due to being incapacitated by reason of disease, mental or physical disability, or by alcohol or drug addiction.

If your license is suspended, it tends to be for a limited time, no more than three years, even if the notice says "indefinitely."

Mandatory Suspension
The Department of Driver Services shall suspend a license for a conviction of any of the following offenses in Georgia or any other state:
1. Homicide by vehicle.
2. Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used.
3. Using a motor vehicle in fleeing or attempting to elude an officer.
4. Fraudulent application for a license or fictitious use of a license.
5. Hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident.
6. Racing.
7. Operating a motor vehicle with a revoked, canceled, or suspended registration.
8. Felony forgery relating to an Identification document.

Other Common Suspensions
1. Refusing to take a chemical test in conjunction with an arrest for DUI.
2. Driving without insurance.
3. Driving while license is suspended (causing further suspended for six months).
4. Failing to appear in court or respond to a traffic citation.
5. Possessing any drugs in violation of the Georgia Control Substance Act.
6. Accumulating 15 points within 24 months under the point system, including violations committed out of state.
7. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
8. A person convicted of possession, distribution, sale or use of a controlled substance or marijuana will be subject to the suspension of his or her driver's license or driving privilege even if the offense did not occur in or involve the use of a motor vehicle.

Those under 21 can have their licenses suspended for even more reasons. See the dds site for many, many ways they can lose their licenses.


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The acronyms DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI all refer to the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The most commonly used terms are DUI, an acronym for Driving Under the Influence, and DWI, an acronym for Driving While Impaired.
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