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Chapter 1: TADRA

Placeholder Georgia Other

TADRA is an acronym for Georgia’s Teenage and Adult Driver Responsibility Act, which is a comprehensive set of laws enacted in 1997 with the intent of reducing fatal motor vehicle crashes involving teenage drivers.

TADRA significantly changed the way teens in Georgia earn and maintain driving privileges, most notably through the introduction of a three-step Graduated Driver’s Licensing process for newly licensed drivers 15 to 18 years of age. TADRA also contains important provisions specifically related to driving under the influence (DUI) prevention and enforcement and school enrollment requirements.

In a 2006 study conducted by Emory University, researchers found that in the 5½ years following the enactment of TADRA, the rate of fatal crashes in Georgia involving teenage drivers 16 years of age was 36.8% less than in the 5½ years immediately prior to its enactment. Moreover, researchers found that speed-related fatal crashes involving teenage drivers 16 years of age declined by nearly 50%, and alcohol-related crashes involving teenage drivers 16 years of age declined by 62%.

Georgia’s Graduated Driver’s Licensing Process

STEP ONE:
Instructional Permit (Class CP)

A Georgia Instructional Permit (Class CP) is granted to persons at least 15 years of age upon passing a written knowledge exam.

Once issued an Instructional Permit (Class CP), you may operate any Class C vehicle when accompanied by a person at least 21 years of age who is licensed to drive a Class C vehicle, who is fit and capable of exercising control over the vehicle, and who is occupying a seat beside the driver.

STEP TWO:
Provisional License (Class D)

A Georgia Provisional License (Class D) is granted to persons 16 and 17 years of age that have held an Instructional Permit (Class CP) for 12 months and one day, have had no major traffic violations that resulted in the mandatory suspension of their permit, completed ADAP, and passed a road skills test.

Pursuant to Joshua’s Law (O.C.G.A. §40-5-22), in order to obtain a Provisional License (Class D) at age 16, teens must show proof of having successfully completed an approved driver training course consisting of at least 30 hours of theoretical instruction (classroom or virtual) and 6 hours of practical behind-the-wheel instruction (instructor or parent taught).

Conditions of a Provisional License (Class D)

  • A Class D license Holder may not drive between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. — NO EXCEPTIONS;
  • During the first six months following issuance, only immediate family members may ride in the vehicle. ‘Immediate family member’ includes the driver’s parents and step-parents, grandparents, siblings and step-siblings, children, and any other person who resides at the driver’s residence;
  • During the second six months following issuance, only one passenger under 21 years of age who is not a member of the driver’s immediate family may ride in the vehicle;
  • After the first and second six-month periods, only three passengers under 21 years of age who are not members of the driver’s immediate family may ride in the vehicle;
  • A Class D license Holder must, for the 12 months preceding application for their class C license, be free from any convictions for major traffic violations that result in the mandatory suspension of a driver’s license.

STEP THREE:
The Class C License

Provisional License (Class D) holders may apply for a Class C Georgia driver’s license upon reaching 18 years of age; provided, however, they have not been convicted of any of the following major traffic violations during the 12 months preceding application:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI) (O.C.G.A. §40-6-391)
  • Using a motor vehicle to flee or attempt to elude a police officer (O.C.G.A. §40-6-395)
  • Racing on highways or streets (O.C.G.A. §40-6-186)
  • Reckless driving (O.C.G.A. §40-6-390)
  • Hit and run or leaving the scene of a crash (O.C.G.A. §40-6-270)
  • Any violation that resulted in the assessment of 4 or more points against their driver’s license.

TADRA Suspensions (non-DUI)

The State of Georgia applies strict penalties to teens who fail to obey the laws regarding the operation of a motor vehicle. The driver’s license of any person under 21 years of age convicted of any of the following offenses shall be suspended for a period of 6 months for a first conviction, or for a period of 12 months for a second or subsequent suspension:

  • Hit and run or leaving the scene of a crash (O.C.G.A. §40-6-270)
  • Racing on highways or streets (O.C.G.A. §40-6-186)
  • Using a motor vehicle to flee or attempt to elude a police officer (O.C.G.A. §40-6-395)
  • Reckless driving (O.C.G.A. §40-6-390)
  • Aggressive driving (O.C.G.A. §40-6-397)
  • Underage possession of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle (O.C.G.A. §3-3-23(a)(2))
  • Any other offense for which 4 or more points are assessed against the driver’s license
  • The accumulation of four or more points in any 12-month period while under 18 years of age

TADRA Suspensions (DUI)

In Georgia, persons under 21 years of age are presumed to be DUI, in violation of O.C.G.A. §40-6-391(k)(1), if they are operating a motor vehicle and their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .02 or greater.

First Suspension

  • If your BAC was .02 or greater but less than .08, your license will be suspended for a minimum period of 6 months. However, if you have a previous conviction for an offense in the above list, your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum period of 12 months. You will not be eligible for any type of limited driving permit.
  • If your BAC was .08 or greater or you refused implied consent testing, your license will be suspended for a minimum period of 12 months. You will not be eligible for any type of limited driving permit.

Second Suspension

Pursuant to House Bill 407 (2013), the driver’s license of any person convicted of a second offense of driving under the influence, in violation of O.C.G.A. §40-6-391, within a 5-year period shall be suspended for a minimum of 18 months. During the first 120 days of the suspension, you will have no driving privileges whatsoever. Following the 120-day “hard suspension”, you may be eligible to have a certified and functioning ignition interlock device installed and maintained in any vehicle you intend to operate for a period of 12 months. During the final two months of suspension, you may be eligible for a limited permit without the interlock restriction.

Third Suspension

You will be declared a habitual violator and your driver’s license will be revoked for a period of 5 years. You will also be subject to the 12-month ignition interlock requirement once you become eligible for reinstatement of your driving privileges.

NOTE: A fourth violation of DUI within a 10-year period is considered a felony in Georgia and, upon conviction, may result in a fine of up to $5,000 and 5 years imprisonment. See O.C.G.A. §40-6-391(c)(4).

TADRA School Enrollment Requirements

O.C.G.A. §40-5-22

Anyone younger than 18 years of age must be enrolled in and not under expulsion from a public or private school to obtain a driver’s license or instructional permit. A Georgia DDS Certificate of School Enrollment (DS-1) must be signed and notarized by the school. If you are under 18 and not enrolled in school, you must provide a high school diploma, GED, special diploma, certification of high school completion, or proof of enrollment in a GED program or a postsecondary school.

Georgia’s Implied Consent Law

Georgia’s Implied Consent law, O.C.G.A. §40-5-67.1, requires you to submit to state-administered chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for the purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse this testing, your Georgia driver’s license or privilege to drive on the highways of this state will be suspended for a minimum period of 1 year for each refusal. In addition, there is no limited driving permit available for suspensions related to implied consent refusals.

Your refusal to submit to the required testing may be offered as evidence against you in a court of law. If you submit to testing and the test results indicate a blood alcohol concentration at or above the legal limit (.02 for persons under age 21), your Georgia driver’s license or privilege to drive on the highways of this state may be suspended for a minimum period of 1 year.

TADRA Responsible Adult Requirements

All applicants under 18 years of age must have a responsible adult present to sign the application and complete the Responsible Adult Affidavit. A responsible adult is a person who is eighteen (18) years of age or older, competent to verify the application, and has personal knowledge of the applicant. He or she may be:

  • A parent or legal guardian of the applicant (must provide school or military documents, tax information or a driver’s license/permit/ID card to show relationship to applicant),
  • A social worker who has worked with the applicant (must provide an employee ID or a letter from the state agency),
  • An employee of a homeless shelter where the applicant resides (must provide an employee ID or a letter from the shelter),
  • A step-parent of the applicant (must provide a valid marriage license or document reflecting marriage to the biological parent of the applicant),
  • Other persons who can be identified by a state agency or official, school official or certified school records, or documentation from a federal agency or entity.