2018 DDS Legislative Update

HB 673

  • The “Hands-Free Georgia Act”
  • Failure to Exercise Due Care should now be reported as § 40-6-241(b)
    • No longer should be reported as § 40-6-241
  • Unlawful Use of Wireless Device should now be reported as § 40-6-241(c)
    • No longer reported as § 40-6-241.1 or § 40-6-241.2
    • Applies to drivers of any age in a non-CMV vehicle
  • Unlawful Use of Wireless Device in CMV should now be reported as § 40-6-241(d)
    • No longer reported as § 40-6-241.2
  • First conviction/nolo plea for any conviction of § 40-6-241 within 24 months as measured by date of convictions:
    • $50 fine, no surcharges
  • Second conviction/nolo plea for any conviction of § 40-6-241 within 24 months as measured by date of convictions:
    • $100 fine, no surcharges
  • Third or subsequent conviction/nolo plea for any conviction of § 40-6-241 within 24 months as measured by date of convictions:
    • $150 fine, no surcharges
  • The DDS will assess points for any conviction of § 40-6-241 as follows:
    • First conviction – 1 point
    • Second conviction – 2 points
    • Third or subsequent conviction – 3 points
  • Nolo rules and the zero points order provision would apply regarding the assessment of points
  • Exception: a person appearing in court for a first charge of physically holding or supporting a wireless device with any part of the body who produces in court a device or proof of purchase of such device that would allow such person to comply in the future shall not be guilty of the offense
    • The court shall require the person to affirm that they have not previously utilized this privilege
  • For more info, go to http://www.headsupgeorgia.com/handsfree-law/
  • Effective July 1, 2018 for offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2018

HB 978

  • Provides for automated traffic enforcement safety devices in school zones
  • Civil enforcement of violations – not reported to the DDS
  • Enforcement penalties through the Dept of Revenue (vehicle tag and title)
  • Effective July 1, 2018

SB 407

  • Criminal Justice reform bill
  • 40-5-76(a), an accountability court judge may order the DDS to:
    • Reinstate the suspension for any offense that was adjudicated in that judge’s accountability court,
    • Issue a limited permit, with or without an interlock requirement, for one year, or
    • Suspend the license or permit while the customer is a participant in the accountability court program.
  • 40-5-76(b), a superior court judge or administrative law judge (OSAH) having subject matter jurisdiction over a child support case can order the DDS to:
    • Reinstate a child support suspension,
    • Issue a limited permit, with or without an interlock requirement, or
    • Suspend the license or permit.
  • For both options:
    • Does not apply if the customer is revoked, cancelled, or not a GA licensee.
    • Reinstatement and permit fees must be either the fee normally required or no fee.  Court cannot set the fee.
    • New court order required to renew the permit one time after one year.
  • Effective July 1, 2018

SB 409

  • Changes in the legal codes for railroad grade crossing violations
    • 40-6-140(a) should no longer be used
    • The following should now be used:
      • 40-6-140(b) – Failure to obey RR grade crossing restrictions
      • 40-6-140(c) – Failure to obey RR grade crossing restrictions (driving around or over a RR barrier)
      • 40-6-140(d) – Failure to slow for RR grade crossing
      • 40-6-140(e) – Driving over RR grade crossing when train approaching
      • 40-6-140(f) – Driving over RR grade crossing without sufficient space
      • 40-6-140(g) – Driving over RR grade crossing without sufficient clearance
  • Effective July 1, 2018 for offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2018