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Understanding Virginia’s Points System 

You may have heard that traffic violations can add points to your license, but what does that mean? What is the Virginia’s points system, and what can it do to your driving record?

At Shannon & Associates, P.C., we want to help you understand how the Virginia points system works. We also want you to know how certain traffic violations can impact your driving record and what you can do to protect your record.

How Does Virginia’s Points System Work?

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles employs a demerit points system to penalize unsafe drivers who are caught violating traffic laws. Demerit points are added to a driving record after a traffic violation conviction. The length of time that the points from a conviction will remain on a person’s driving record will depend on the severity of the offense. Generally, demerit points will stay on a motorist’s record for two years from the date of the violation.

Traffic Violations and Demerit Points

The number of demerit points added to your driving record will depend on the traffic violation. The breakdown is as follows:

Three-Point Violations

  • Speeding between one and nine miles per hour over the posted speed limit
  • Impeding traffic by traveling slower than the posted speed limit
  • Improper passing
  • Driving on the sidewalk
  • Failure to yield when overtaking a vehicle
  • Improper turn
  • Improper U-turn
  • Failure to obey highway signs

Four-Point Violations

  • Speeding 10 to 19 miles per hour over the posted speed limit
  • Passing when it is unsafe
  • Failure to move to the right and stop for emergency vehicles
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Failure to yield to a funeral procession
  • Failing to stop before entering a highway

Six-Point Violations

  • Speeding in excess of 85 mph
  • Speeding 20 mph or more over the posted speed limit
  • Racing
  • Passing or overtaking an emergency vehicle
  • Passing a school bus
  • Passing at a railroad crossing
  • Driving too fast for present conditions
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Refusing a blood or breath test
  • Driving with a suspended or revoked license for driving while intoxicated
  • Manslaughter
  • Involuntary manslaughter
  • Aggravated involuntary manslaughter

Virginia drivers should also be aware that traffic convictions in other states may result in demerit points being added to their Virginia driving record.

Demerit Point Penalties

Motorists who accumulate a certain number of points may find themselves in hot water with the Virginia DMV. Drivers who acquire 12 demerit points in 12 months will be required to complete a driver improvement course. Drivers who accrue 18 demerit points in 12 months will have their driver’s license suspended for 90 days and may also be required to complete a driving improvement clinic.

Points for Safe Drivers

Did you know that not all points are bad? Virginia’s points system also offers safe points to drivers who avoid moving violations. One safe driving point is awarded to motorists each calendar year who hold a valid Virginia driver’s license and operate their vehicle without any traffic violations or suspensions. A +5-point balance is the highest a Virginia driver can achieve. Safe driving points are awarded to drivers in April of each year for the previous calendar year of safe driving.

Contact an Experienced Traffic Ticket Lawyer

You may think a traffic violation is minor and not something an attorney needs to get involved in. You’d be wrong. Traffic violations can add up quickly. Your ability to get to your job, visit friends, and shop for yourself could be in jeopardy.

Could the Virginia points system be working against you? Contact a knowledgeable traffic ticket lawyer from Shannon & Associates, P.C. to discuss your situation. We want to help you take constructive action on your traffic violation. Call us at 757-228-5529 today.

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