Traffic Violations and Driver's License Points

Charlotte Traffic TicketFor North Carolina drivers, there are two separate point systems that are equally important to understand when charged with a speeding offense or other traffic violation. These include (1) driver’s license points and (2) insurance points. This article will specifically address driver’s license points.

North Carolina Driver’s License Points

Suspensions Based on the Point System

If a North Carolina driver is convicted of certain motor vehicle violations, points may be assigned against their driving record. Based on an accumulation of these points, North Carolina General Statute § 20-16(a)(5) gives the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) the authority to suspend a driver’s license. A driver who accumulates twelve or more points in a three-year period may have their license suspended. Additionally, a driver who accumulates eight or more points in the three-year period immediately following reinstatement of their license may also have their license suspended.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of various traffic violations and the corresponding point value the DMV assigns to a conviction for such offenses. A driver convicted of multiple traffic violations from the same occurrence is typically only assessed points for the more serious violation.

Conviction

North Carolina DMV Points

Passing a stopped school bus

Aggressive driving

5

Reckless driving

Hit and run, property damage only

Following too close

Driving on wrong side of road

Illegal passing

Failure to yield right-of-way to pedestrian pursuant to G.S. 20-158(b)(2)b

Failure to yield right-of-way to bicycle, motor scooter, or motorcycle

4

Running through stop sign

Speeding in excess of 55 miles per hour

Failing to yield right-of-way

Running through red light

No driver’s license or license expired more than one year

Failure to stop for siren

Driving through safety zone

No liability insurance

Failure to report accident where such report is required

Speeding in a school zone in excess of the posted school zone speed limit

3

Failure to properly restrain a child in a restraint or seat belt

All other moving violations

2

Littering pursuant to G.S. 14-399 when the littering involves the use of a motor vehicle

1

Note: The schedule of point values for violations while operating a commercial motor vehicle differ.

When a North Carolina driver has their license suspended based on the DMV’s point system, their license will generally be suspended for the following length of time:

  • First suspension = 60 days
  • Second suspension = 6 months
  • Third suspension = 12 months

Suspensions NOT Based on the Point System

The North Carolina General Statutes also authorize the DMV to suspend a driver’s license in scenarios other than the accumulation of points as described above. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Driving While Impaired (DWI) [.08 BAC or more]
  2. Driver under 21 driving after consuming alcohol/drugs
  3. Speeding in excess of 15 mph over the speed limit, when the ticketed speed is over 55 mph
  4. Speeding in excess of 75 mph when the speed limit is less than 70 mph
  5. Speeding in excess of 80 mph when the speed limit is 70 mph or higher
  6. Within a twelve-month period being convicted of:
    • Two or more convictions of speeding in excess of 55 mph and not more than 80 mph;
    • One or more convictions of reckless driving and one or more convictions of speeding in excess of 55 mph and not more than 80 mph; or
    • One or more convictions of aggressive driving and one or more convictions of speeding in excess of 55 mph and not more than 80 mph
  7. Speeding to elude arrest
  8. Highway racing
  9. Hit and run (injury/death)
  10. At-fault accident (injury/death > $1,800 OR property damage > $3,000)
  11. Transporting illegal liquor for sale

From reading this post it should be clear that driver’s license points in North Carolina are complicated. Not only is the points systems complex, it can also be extremely costly to you if your violation is handled incorrectly. Don’t make a mistake in how you handle your speeding ticket or other traffic violation. Contact Todd Browning or Howard Long at Browning & Long, PLLC, two attorneys who are experienced in handling speeding tickets and other traffic violations.

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