Traffic violations have serious consequences. Unsafe driving poses a danger to everyone on the road and surrounding property. These are the consequences that some don’t think will happen to them. People also don’t realize the impact numerous traffic violations in a short time can have on your driving record.
Virginia uses a points-based system for assessing driving records. Racking up 18 points in one year or 24 points in two years can lead to a 90-day suspension of their license. Many people would have a hard time getting to work, the grocery store or taking their kids to soccer practice without their license.
Eighteen points seems like a lot but that isn’t always the case. Demerit points are worth three, four or six points. Speeding even less than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit counts as a three-point violation against a license. Infractions like failing to use a turn signal or failing to stop for a pedestrian carry four-point penalties. Acts such as reckless driving, DUIs, or driving on a suspended license count as six.
Reinstating a suspended license requires a certain process. Violators must complete a driver improvement course and a six-month probationary period after the state reinstates their license.
All it takes for someone to lose their license is to have three six-point violations in a year. Of course, a suspended license isn’t the only consequence of the most serious violations. DUI, reckless driving and manslaughter charges leave the driver subject to greater fines and even jail time.
Violations remain on your record for years
These violations remain on someone’s driving record for years. Even a minor speeding violation remains on a record for three years, but other violations can remain for five or 11 years.
There are rewards for being a good driver. Drivers can earn one point for each year without a traffic violation and bank up to five total. These points offset future violations because, let’s face it, they do happen from time-to-time. For example, a driver with three points saved up who receives a three-point traffic violation would have zero points count against their license due to the incident.
An occasional minor traffic violation may not have a significant effect on someone’s driving record. It’s when those violations pile up that they begin to carry greater consequences. Sometimes that means a suspended license and even jail time. Taking each violation seriously is a good way to avoid jeopardizing your license.