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When might traffic tickets result in a driver license suspension?

On Behalf of | May 15, 2020 | Traffic Tickets |

A driver license is a general necessity for most North Carolina residents. They need it for work, to take children to school, to get out and purchase necessities, and for leisure activities. Many drive commercially and need a commercial driver license. If there is an alleged traffic violation that leads to traffic tickets and may result in the driver license being suspended, it is imperative to think about the consequences of losing driving privileges and take the fundamental steps to combat the charges to the furthest extent possible.

Understanding the law for a driver license suspension and the points system attached to it is a vital aspect of that defense. There can be a license suspension if the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles finds that certain violations have been committed. Accruing points on a driver license is problematic. Examples of actions behind the wheel that can warrant points include:

  • Passing a stopped school bus (5 points)
  • Driving aggressively (5 points)
  • Hit-and-run with property damage (4 points)
  • Following too closely (4 points)
  • Not yielding to a pedestrian who has right-of-way (4 points)
  • Violating a stop sign (3 points)
  • Running a red light (3 points)
  • Driving without a license or a license that has been expired for more than a year (3 points)
  • Driving without insurance (3 points)
  • Speeding beyond 55-mph (3 points)

If a driver accrues at least 12 points within three years or eight points in the three years after the driver license has been reinstated after a suspension or revocation for a traffic offense or more than one traffic offense, there can be a license suspension. Drivers who let another person use their driver license or learner’s permit can also have the license suspended. Driving while impaired, committing offenses in another state that would result in a suspension had it happened in North Carolina, and speeding violations all fall into this category of warranting an immediate suspension.

Commercial drivers are especially susceptible to a suspension of their commercial driver license as more points are assessed based on the violation. If, for example, the commercial driver passes a stopped school bus, it is eight points; aggressive driving is six points. A commercial driver accumulating points can lead to a suspension and that can have a major impact on that driver’s ability to earn a living.

A challenge for many of these allegations and the traffic tickets and points that accompany them is that it is often based on the judgment of the law enforcement officer to give the citation. Examples are aggressive driving or following too closely. Fortunately, with incidents that are subjective, there may be effective strategies to lodge a defense and perhaps have the ticket dismissed, thereby avoiding the points being placed on the driver’s record and a suspension of driving privileges. Any violation can be defended against. For many, it is important to do so.

Those under the impression that simply giving a guilty plea to a traffic ticket will be the easiest and wisest course of action may make the mistake of getting their driver license suspended. It can also result in higher insurance rates, problems with getting certain jobs and cost money in fines. Before accepting a driver license suspension or paying a ticket, it may be beneficial to consider the available legal options to fight the charge. Consulting with a law firm with experience in helping clients with traffic tickets may be a useful strategy.