Georgia’s Failure to Maintain Lane

man driving car

A citation concerning failure to maintain lane is one of the most common citations in Georgia. Whether you happen to be charged with DUI or a drug-related charge, failure to maintain lane is one of the most seen traffic offenses an officer will cite while writing a ticket. It’s commonly assumed by Georgia citizens that failure to maintain lane is weaving all across the road. But that is not the case as the law is much stricter in its definition. 

What Georgia Law Says About Failure to Maintain Lane

In the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the law says: “a vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.” OCGA 40-6-48. Numerous courts have interpreted a driver simply touching either white or yellow lines as failure to maintain lane. For example, say you’re going down the road, and you’re reaching up on a turn. As you near that turn, your right-side tires brush up upon the solid white line on the right side of the road. In Georgia, that’s enough to constitute a ticket for failure to maintain lane.

On the other hand, assume you’re driving down the road, and a wild animal runs out in front of your vehicle. Typically, you swerve out of the way to dodge hitting the animal. In that circumstance, you would not have violated the failure to maintain lane statute.

How is Failure to Maintain Lane Enforced in Georgia?

Often individuals are pulled over by a DUI task force officer for slightly touching the line. Throughout the night these particular officers patrol places known for having clubs and bars that stay open late. The officers are trained to look for people who are leaving those areas and will follow drivers until they have a cause to pull them over. 

That’s where failure to maintain lane comes into action. Remember, if you merely touch the line, then that can call for the officer to pull you over. Once the officer pulls you over they can then further investigate a DUI, if they feel there is further evidence to explore; such as the smell of alcohol. Numerous drivers who are cited for DUI often have a failure to maintain lane citation too.

What Are the Penalties for Failure to Maintain Lane Ticket in Georgia?

By itself, a ticket for failure to maintain lane is misconduct that will often result in a small fine and three points on your driver’s license record. But as we discussed above there are many different ways a failure to maintain lane violation can affect you as a driver.

How Much Does a Failure to Maintain Lane Ticket Cost in Georgia?

The maximum fine for failure to maintain lane is up to $1,000 and it isn’t uncommon, but most courts in Georgia accept a fine of $300 or below for individuals with clean driving records.

Author: LegalPeak

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