A punitive counting system known as points is used by some states such as California to keep track of the number of traffic violations a driver has been convicted of over a specific period of time per state law.
Upon conviction, the court is required to send a record to the state’s department of motor vehicles. Depending on the violation, the person will receive a certain number of points on his or her driving record. The number of points assessed for moving violations varies. For example, a speeding ticket may carry a penalty of two points, while driving with a suspended license could result in a penalty of three points, and a drunk driving conviction can result in five points. The number of points for any particular driving conviction varies from state to state.
If a person accumulates a certain number of points, he or she may lose the right to drive or have their drivers license suspended or revoked. Insurance companies also check the number of points on an individual’s driving record and will raise the drivers insurance premium rates with each point received.
You may wish to consult with a traffic ticket attorney about your states point system and whether it is worth fighting the ticket. In cases of drunk driving, it is always appropriate to consult with a criminal defense attorney on whether you should proceed with an aggressive defense. Sometimes a criminal defense lawyer can negotiate your plea down from drunk driving to reckless driving, which carries less points and is less significant (but not much) to how much your insurance rates will go up.
Finally, you should know that non-moving violations and minor driving offenses will not result in points. This means parking tickets and fix-it tickets for things like broken tail-light will not add points to your DMV record, though you will still have to pay the fine.