GEORGIA HABITUAL VIOLATOR
What is an
think that Habitual Violator is a crime. In reality, Habitual
Violator, also called HV, is a status. If you have the status of
being an habitual violator, that means you are capable of committing
certain offenses others cannot commit.
commit any of these offenses, it is technically called Violation of
the Georgia Driver's License Act (VGDLA). The shorthand for VGDLA is
'habitual violator' or HV. I'll use the shorthand in this section
How Do You
Become an Habitual Violator
attain the lofty status of habitual violator by committing three
serious driving offenses within a five year period. These serious
driving offenses include DUI and any offense
The five year period is calculated from the date of the offenses,
not the date of conviction.
How Can You be
Charged With HV
you are an Habitual Violator, you cannot 'operate' a motor vehicle
unless you have either an ignition interlock permit or a
probationary driver's license. Now this is tricky. Most people think
that 'operate' means 'drive'. Driving is operating but operating is
not necessarily driving. For example, the Georgia Appellate Courts
have held that someone sitting under the wheel of a car with its
engine running and lights on is operating the vehicle.
for HV - No Probationary License
all, if you are an HV because of three DUIs, and if you get another
DUI while being HV, your vehicle will be forfeited to the state.
are an HV because of three DUI convictions, an HV conviction is a
felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $1000.00.
Otherwise, it is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and
a minimum fine of $750.00.
for HV - With Probationary License
The penalty is different once you have a probationary license (see
How Can I Get
License Reinstated below). If you are
merely 'operating' outside the conditions of your probationary
license, you will be charged with a misdemeanor.
However, if you have a probationary license and are charged with a
or a DUI, you could face double
problems. Not only could you be convicted of the new traffic
offense, you also will be charged with felony HV for which you could
receive up to 5 years in prison and a $1000.00 fine.
happens to your probationary license if you are convicted of a
serious driving offense or DUI? Your probationary license is revoked
and you cannot have your license reinstated either until the end of
the original 5 year revocation or two years from the date of the
conviction, whichever is greater.
If the 5
year suspension is up but you still have not had your license
properly reinstated, you will be guilty of
How Can I Get My Driver's License
revocation works this way. For two years you cannot drive - period.
If the revocation is for three DUI offenses, you will have to go to
DUI School and Alcohol/Drug Counseling. Again, if the HV status is
because of three DUI conviction, at the end of the two years, you
have an ignition interlock device placed on your car. You then go to
the local Department of Driver Services. Take
with you the certificates of completion for the DUI School and
Alcohol Counseling. Also take the contract for the ignition
interlock device. You will then be issued an ignition interlock
ignition interlock limited permit is good for one year. Once one
year term is over you can get a probationary license for the
remaining two. After that you can pay a
reinstatement fee and have your regular license reinstated.
HV status is for offenses other than three DUI conviction, you can
forget about the alcohol counseling and the ignition interlock
device. You can get a probationary license after two years that will
be good for three years.
this is important. At the time of conviction for HV, you either will
have to make sure your license is in possession of the DMVS or you
will have to file a Lost License Affidavit. The reason is this: If
the DMVS doesn't have either your license or the lost license
affidavit, you will not receive any credit for the time your license
is revoked. For example, you could attempt to apply for the ignition
interlock permit after two years only to find out you had to wait
two more years because you didn't turn in your license or the
Probationary License If You Were DUI and Caused A Death
If you were
charge with felony homicide by vehicle because of a DUI, you will
not be entitled to a probationary license. However, considering that
such a conviction will probable result in a substantial prison term,
the lack of a probationary license will be the least of your
OCGA § 40-5-58
Detailed Georgia DUI
If you need detailed information regarding a Georgia DUI, go to our
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