Georgia's Failure to Maintain lane 101

Georgia’s Failure to Maintain Lane 101

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 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.

Enforcement of Failure to Maintain Lane

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.

The Penalties of a Failure to Maintain Lane Ticket

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. But as we discussed above there are many different ways a failure to maintain lane violation can affect you as a driver. If you have been charged with failure to maintain lane please contact our office for a free consultation.

How much is failure to maintain lane ticket 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.

Failure to Maintain Lane 101: A look at the Georgia law, how officers enforce it and penalties.

Failure to Maintain Lane 101: A look at the Georgia law, how officers enforce it and penalties.

Attorney Michael Greene

26 Years of Criminal Defense Experience

Attorney Michael Greene graduated from Atlanta's John Marshall Law School in 1993 and has 26 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney. He will look for ways to resolve your case as quickly as possible and will seek to reduce or dismiss the charges. Contact us for a free consultation.