While many people view traffic violations as minor inconveniences, these infractions can have significant consequences. The state of Virginia uses a demerit point system to monitor the violations of state-registered drivers and will assess penalties if a driver accumulates too many points over a period of time. Here, learn more about the point system and how it works.
What Is the Virginia Demerit Points System?
To track the performance and safety of drivers, Virginia employs a point system. Different infractions have a set number of points assigned to them, and when a driver is cited for a violation, those points are put on his license. The points range from zero for very minor issues to six for serious offenses. Points remain on a license for a number of years, depending on the severity of the violation. When a driver reaches a certain number of points, the state will impose penalties. These penalties can include fines, license suspension, and license revocation, in addition to criminal charges that can be filed for the most serious offenses.
What Types of Violations Carry Points?
The state has a set list of violations and the points they carry. Even seemingly minor violations can put points on a license, and the points can add up quickly. We share some of the most common infractions and associated points. Three point violations include the following:
- Speeding up to 9 mph over limit
- No license plate
- Passing on the right
- No headlights/excessive lighting
- Improper U-turn
The following violations will result in four points on your license:
- Speeding 10-19 mph over limit
- Failure to stop for emergency vehicle
- Following too closely
- Improper signaling
- Aggressive driving
The most serious violations result in six points on your license and include the following:
- Speeding more than 20 mph over limit
- Speeding in excess of 80 mph
- Driving under the influence
- Driving on a suspended or revoked license
- Failure to stop at the scene of a crash
The Virginia Department of Transportation offers a guide with a more detailed list of offenses and the accompanying points. Additionally, there are many offenses that are similar, and the unique circumstances of each case will determine how many points are assessed.
Points can add up quickly over the course of a year or two. If a person gets two speeding tickets over 10 mph and rolls through a stop sign, he may accumulate 12 points in a short time. An experienced traffic attorney can help those charged with a traffic violation prepare and present a case to minimize the negative points assigned.
Positive Points Can Be Assigned for Safe Driving in Virginia
Drivers in Virginia can also reap the benefits of safe driving. For every year that a driver goes without any violations, he can earn one safe driving point, up to five points. A driver who avoids infractions for five straight years would have five positive points, which can be used to offset the negative points of violations. In some cases, positive points can also be earned for completing a driver improvement clinic.
While the state has a clear schedule of points for different traffic infractions, there are ways to mitigate the negative consequences for your driving. At Tavss Fletcher, our experienced traffic attorneys can help you understand your rights and find ways to reduce the impact of negative points on your license. Take a moment to fill out our online contact form, and you’ll receive a prompt response from a member of our team who can get started protecting your license today.