Q: O.C.G.A. 40-6-395 Is this a conviction of this crime and is this right?
I had an incident where I was speeding, I got scared when i saw the police lights, and ran from the officer in my vehicle, then calmed down and left my car in park to walk back to where the officer had stopped to turn myself in. In court, the judge ruled it as a traffic infraction with no points against my license and a fine of around 400 dollars. The Georgia DDS then suspended my license for failing to complete a defensive driver course for the incident which was never court ordered and which i was never informed of. With the charges being lowered and the fine being less than the minimum $500, is this still a fleeing and attempting to elude conviction? And did the DDS have the right to mandate the course and issue a suspension?
A: DDS is an executive agency with its own policies and rules, which the Georgia Legislature delegated the legislative authority to DDS to make. An answer explaining separation of powers, the non-delegation doctrine, and that it is a privilege, not a right, to drive in Georgia would require a lengthy answer. Simply put, regardless of the Court order and pursuant DDS's own executive authority, the agency has mandated that upon conviction (including guilty pleas) of certain traffic violations a motorist's license will be suspended. Further, pursuant to the same authority, DDS can require the motorist to complete a driver's safety course, among other penalties, to reinstate the motorist's driving privileges. This is true regardless of the penalties a judge or jury may impose pursuant to a legislative statute.
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