What is a Moving Violation, and is a DUI One?

In Georgia, as in other states, a moving violation can not only lead to fines and points on your driving record but can also have broader implications for your driving privileges and insurance rates. In this post, we’ll explore the various types of moving violations — including DUIs. Our goal is to help you stay informed and on the right side of the law. Join us as we navigate the nuances of moving violations and their impact on Georgia drivers.


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What is a Moving Violation?

In Georgia, a moving violation occurs any time a vehicle law is broken by a driver while the vehicle is in motion. This contrasts with non-moving violations, which relate to parking or issues with the vehicle itself, such as expired registration or safety violations like broken taillights.

Common Types of Moving Violations in Georgia

In Georgia, drivers frequently encounter several common types of moving violations. Speeding is among the most prevalent, where drivers exceed the posted speed limit or drive too fast for conditions, with penalties varying by the degree of speed over the limit and specific areas like school zones, which incur higher fines. Another common issue is the failure to stop at a red light or stop sign, which also encompasses failing to yield the right of way when required.

Improper lane changes are also frequent violations, occurring when drivers change lanes without signaling or ensuring the lane is clear, or when they fail to maintain their lane. Reckless driving is a more severe offense, characterized by operating a vehicle in a manner that endangers others’ safety or property.

Additionally, driving without a valid license—whether due to suspension, revocation, or never having obtained one—is a serious violation. Another grave violation is driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, which carries significant legal consequences due to the high risk it poses to public safety.

Consequences of Moving Violations

In Georgia, the repercussions of committing a moving violation can range significantly based on the specific offense and the individual’s driving history. Common consequences include fines and fees, which may escalate for repeat offenses or violations within designated safety-sensitive zones. Additionally, Georgia employs a point system to monitor driving infractions; accruing points can result in higher insurance costs and, potentially, the suspension of driving privileges.

More severe violations, or accumulating excessive points, might lead to the suspension of one’s driver’s license. Another consequence of moving violations is an increase in car insurance premiums. In cases of particularly grave offenses, such as DUI or reckless driving, the driver may face criminal charges, which could include substantial fines, possible incarceration, and other legal repercussions.

Moving violations extend beyond mere nuisances; they pose serious threats to one’s driving rights and financial well-being, especially in the case of severe violations like DUIs. It is vital for drivers to understand these potential consequences and strive to avoid such infractions.


Greg has truly mastered his craft. His preparation is second to none and his confidence helps reduce the nervousness and anxiety his clients face. He is a real life version of Harvey Specter and I highly recommend him.”

- Travis


Greg and his team are absolutely incredible. Greg explained everything to me in detail, as this is the first ever time I have been arrested. Regular updates throughout the process which allowed me to get on with everyday life. 200% I would recommend Greg and his team to anyone with a DUI case."

- James Hellens


Mr Willis is the best in the business. He knows the law inside and out. I was in a serious jam and Greg got my dui reduced to a reckless driving. This man will fight for you every step of the way."

- Anonymous

What is a Non-Moving Violation?

Non-moving violations in Georgia refer to any infraction of traffic laws that does not directly involve the movement of a vehicle. These violations are generally related to parking, vehicle maintenance, or compliance with state regulations concerning vehicle documentation and driver conduct while the vehicle is stationary.

Common Types of Non-Moving Violations in Georgia

In Georgia, non-moving violations are commonly grouped into several categories, each encompassing specific infractions. Parking violations represent a prevalent type, including offenses such as unauthorized parking in no-parking zones, blocking fire hydrants, using handicapped spaces without a permit, and exceeding the allotted time at metered spots.

Another significant category is vehicle equipment violations. These occur when a vehicle does not adhere to state safety standards. Typical examples include faulty headlights, taillights, and turn signals, illegal window tinting, and exhaust system issues that breach environmental regulations.

Registration and documentation violations also constitute a common non-moving offense. These include operating a vehicle with expired registration tags, lacking a valid registration certificate on board, or failing to carry mandatory insurance documentation.

Vehicle compliance violations involve failures to meet state-mandated safety inspection requirements. These inspections are crucial as they ensure all vehicles on the road uphold minimum safety standards.

Consequences of Non-Moving Violations

The repercussions of non-moving violations, while contingent on the specifics of the offense, generally entail a range of penalties. Typically, these violations result in fines, the magnitude of which depends on the nature of the violation and whether the offender has previous infractions. In Georgia, for example, non-moving violations can sometimes lead to points being added to your driving record. Furthermore, certain violations may prompt insurance companies to raise your premiums, particularly if the infraction involves aspects of vehicle safety. In more severe cases, such as repeated parking offenses or significant compliance failures, the vehicle in question may even be impounded.

How to Handle Non-Moving Violations

Handling non-moving violations typically involves paying fines or contesting the charges in court. If you choose to contest a non-moving violation, it is crucial to gather all relevant evidence that supports your case, such as photographs, receipts, or witness statements.

If you are dealing with a non-moving violation that involves complex issues, such as disputes over vehicle compliance or repeated documentation issues, seeking legal advice may be beneficial. An experienced attorney can help clarify your legal rights and options and represent you in court if necessary.

Non-moving violations, while not involving the operation of a vehicle, should be taken seriously as they can lead to fines, increased insurance costs, and other complications. Understanding these violations and how to appropriately address them can save you time, money, and potential legal trouble. 

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Definition of DUI Under Georgia Law

Under Georgia law, driving under the influence (DUI) encompasses operating a motor vehicle while impaired by any intoxicants such as alcohol, prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, or illegal substances. This offense is considered a severe moving violation due to the significant safety risks it poses.

A driver may be charged with DUI in Georgia under several specific circumstances. One such instance is “DUI Per Se,” which occurs when a driver operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. However, the threshold varies for different groups: individuals under the age of 21 face charges at a BAC of 0.02%, and commercial drivers at 0.04%.

Another category is “DUI Less Safe,” where impairment by alcohol, drugs, or inhalants renders a driver demonstrably less capable of driving safely, regardless of their BAC level. Lastly, “DUI Drugs” applies to those driving under the influence of drugs to the extent that it significantly impairs their ability to drive safely.

Is DUI a Moving Violation?

Yes, a DUI is considered a moving violation in Georgia. A moving violation occurs when a vehicle law is violated by a driver while the vehicle is in motion. Since DUI involves operating a vehicle while impaired, it naturally falls under the category of moving violations.

Can You Get a Non-Moving DUI?

While the typical DUI is a moving violation, there are scenarios where an individual might be charged with DUI without the vehicle being in motion. For instance, if an individual is in physical control of the vehicle (such as sitting in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition, even if parked) while under the influence, they may still be charged with DUI. This is often referred to as “physical control” or “actual physical control” and can be prosecuted similarly to driving while impaired because the potential for driving is present.

Penalties for DUI in Georgia

The penalties for DUI in Georgia are severe and increase with subsequent offenses. Here’s a brief overview:

First Offense

This can result in a fine of $300 to $1,000, 10 days to 12 months in jail, at least 40 hours of community service, and a driver’s license may also be suspended for up to one year — which will cost you $210 to reinstate.

Second Offense (within ten years)

This carries a fine of $600 to $1,000, 90 days to 12 months in jail — with a mandatory minimum of 48 hours — and at least 30 days of community service. There is also a clinical evaluation and treatment and a three-year license suspension, with a possible limited permit after 12 months.

Third Offense (within ten years)

Known as a “high and aggravated misdemeanor,” this offense results in a fine of $1,000 to $5,000, 120 days to 12 months in jail (with a minimum of 15 days), at least 30 days of community service, and completion of a DUI program. The driver faces a five-year license suspension with a possible limited permit after 24 months, and their name, violation, and photo is published in local media — at their expense.

Greg Willis has been successful at defending DUI cases (over 93% without a conviction)

He's the only lawyer in the State of Georgia to ever be recognized for all three of these accomplishments.

Received the Samurai Lawyer Award for having gone to jail for a total of 4 days in order to save his own client

Received the BadAss Lawyer Award for the biggest impact of all DUI lawyers in DUI defense in the country

Received the vote of Georgia Lawyers as a Superlawyer in DUI Law for 10 straight consecutive years

Understanding the nuances of moving violations in Georgia, especially DUI charges, is essential for anyone who finds themselves facing such allegations. Whether it’s a speeding ticket or a more serious offense like DUI, the consequences of these violations can have lasting impacts on your driving record, personal freedoms, and financial situation. It’s important to approach these matters with a comprehensive understanding and a robust defense strategy.

If you or someone you know is facing a DUI charge, don’t face it alone. The complexities of DUI law require experienced legal guidance to navigate successfully. At Willis Law Firm, we focus solely on DUI defense and provide our clients with the aggressive representation needed to challenge these charges effectively. 

Contact Willis Law Firm today for a consultation. Let us help you understand your rights and options and fight for the best possible outcome in your situation. Don’t let a moving violation DUI charge disrupt your life any more than it has to — get the legal support you need right away.

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