Point System

Many states utilize a point system to monitor the driving records of their citizens. Under a point system, traffic violations are assigned point values and the driving privileges of individuals who accumulate a certain number of points in a specified time period will be suspended or revoked. Points also can lead to increased auto insurance rates. Contact Weiland Upton in Richmond to speak with an attorney experienced in handling Virginia traffic violations who can explain the point values of specific traffic violations and what impact they may have on your driving future.

How the Point System Works

There is no uniform point system used across all states. Rather, each state determines how many points are assigned to each offense and how many points a driver must accumulate before action is taken against him or her. Generally, points increase with the severity of the violation. For example, drunk driving, hit and runs, reckless driving and speeding 20 or more miles over the posted speed limit have higher point totals than other traffic violations.

Once a driver has accumulated a certain number of points during a certain time frame — usually between 12 and 36 months — his or her license may be suspended or revoked. Some states also require attendance in driver improvement programs once a driver has accrued a set number of points. In determining whether offenses occurred within the applicable time period, some states use the date of the violation, some use the date of the conviction and others use either the date of the violation or the date of the conviction.

In some situations, out-of-state violations occurring during the applicable time period may be used as a basis for ordering suspension or revocation of a license in the driver’s home state. Generally for this to happen, the out-of-state offense also must be an offense punishable by license suspension or revocation in the driver’s home state.

Driving privileges can be suspended or revoked even if a driver has not accumulated the requisite number of points. Conviction of certain violations, such as driving under the influence, can result in a loss of driving privileges. In some states, if a traffic hearing officer determines that the driver acted in flagrant disregard for the safety of others, the driver’s license can be suspended.

Conclusion

Traffic offenses range from the minor, like failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, to the serious, such as leaving the scene of an accident. States often rate the various traffic offenses on a point system, assigning point values to each violation based on its severity. State departments of motor vehicles and insurance companies regularly monitor the number of points accumulated by individual drivers. Drivers with too many points in a given period of time may see increased insurance rates, may lose their insurance coverage altogether or may even lose their driving privileges. Accordingly, it is essential that drivers charged with traffic violations seek legal representation from an experienced traffic law attorney at Weiland Upton in Richmond, Virginia, who can help them keep their driving records as clean as possible.

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