The Texas Department of Public Safety has a point system used to record traffic violations to keep track of driver behavior. A certain number of points are added to their driving record whenever a driver has committed a traffic offense.
More points are added depending on the severity of the case, and rightfully so. The driver can have their driver's license suspended when a specific number of points accumulate. However, not all traffic violations lead to license points. If someone receives a ticket for traveling 10 miles per hour or less of the required speed limit or encounters seat belt safety violations, they are not subject to obtaining any points.
Penalties Included in the Point System
It's relatively straightforward to understand the points system in Texas. Moving violations resulting in an accident are three points, and non-destructive moving violations are two points. Drivers will have to start paying penalties if they accumulate six or more points in a three-year period, according to the Texas Driver Responsibility Law.
With the number of points accumulated on their license, the driver's penalty increases. The driver will have their license suspended if they are convicted of seven moving violations in a 24 month period or four moving violations in a 12 month period.
However, there is a particular surcharge category known as "conviction-based surcharges."
Conviction Based Surcharges
Some traffic violations require paying a surcharge every year for three years and don't lead to points on their driver record. An example is that a driver will have to pay a $1,000 surcharge every year for a three-year assessment period if convicted of driving while intoxicated.
A $1,500 surcharge is required for subsequent convictions. People convicted of driving with an invalid driver's license or driving without proper insurance coverage will lead to a three-year tax of $250 per year.
Various charge fees, including a credit card/debit card fee of $2.25 of the payment plus $0.25, an installment fee of $2.50 for every partial payment, and a service fee of $5 of the original surcharge amount is permitted to the vendor who collects the fees.
How to Remove Points from a Driving Record
Teen drivers may not be familiar with the point system when learning how to drive in Texas. Driving infractions are assessed by how many demerit points remain on a person's driving record during a one and two-year timeframe. The severity and type of violation determine how many points are added to the driver's license points.
People must familiarize themselves with the point system as early as possible to avoid running into trouble with the law. The above prevents some harsh penalty points and avoids violations that impact a person's driving record.
How a Texas Defensive Driving Course Can Advance an Individuals Driving Record
Once an individual gets a moving violation, two points are now on their driving record. In order for the Texas DPS to remove one point, it will take a motorist 12 straight months of driving without a violation.
If drivers want to get points removed from their license, they can take a TDLR approved defensive driving course. The idea is to prevent reckless driving by giving the driver the education to improve their skills and reduce the likelihood of committing a traffic violation again.
A Texas defensive driving course helps motorists avoid dangerous drivers and enables focusing on obstructions at a distance, preventing potential accidents.
Violation Points on A Texas Driver Record Is Never a Good Thing
Too many points on a driver's license can lead to a plethora of issues, especially when going past a certain point threshold. Even a few moving violations or more severe violations on the point system can quickly add up and adversely impact the driver's license.
Below is listed some of the ways driving privileges can be affected when someone receives multiple moving violations points.
Auto Insurance Increases
Even though teen drivers do not pay insurance, parents will not be happy when insurance rates increase due to poor driving habits. In the state of Texas, drivers who are deemed high-risk drivers or dangerous are often subject to increased premiums.
Penalties, Fines, and Surcharges
If the person's insurance premium doesn't take a hit, their wallet might take one in some way or another. Drivers will pay fines from $100 to over $1,000 for some other moving violation; more points and moving violations result in a higher penalty.
An individual will have to pay an annual points system surcharge if they have six-plus points on their record.
Suspension of Driving Privileges
Someone with multiplied moving violation cases on their name will be subject to having their license suspended. An example of this is if a driver has four moving violations (8 points), their license suspension could be as long as a 12 month period.
If someone has seven-plus violations, their license can be suspended for up to 24 months.
What About More Serious Violations?
Most moving violations are issues points that could affect auto insurance rates. However, there are some cases that the Texas Department of Public Safety does not issue points for. Instead, more severe consequences in the form of a DUI conviction are in place.
Below is a list of the moving violations that do not incur points:
DWI or driving while intoxicated
Hit and run incident
Driving without contacting the insurance services office
Operating a vehicle without a license
Driving with an invalid license
Driving with a suspended license
Individuals are likely to get their license revoked if convicted of any of the above violations. Plus, they will have to pay a point surcharge annually for three years in addition to the initial driver's license fines.
Contact an Attorney for Assistance
Too many demerit points on an individual's license can be a pain in the butt, especially during at-fault accidents. A defensive driving class may help the motorist acquire fewer violation points but does not always guarantee results. Suppose someone is in a challenging situation when dealing with point systems in Texas; it is recommended to contact an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer from a good DWI law firm in Fort Worth TX such as the Sparks Law Firm for assistance in their case. For starters, they can help you understand what happens when you get a DWI in Texas and how to navigate the legal system.