What Is The Uniform Demerit Point System?
Separate and apart from any penalties that may be imposed by the Loudoun County General District Court, there is also something called the uniform demerit point system in Virginia. The uniform demerit point system, which was created by the Code of Virginia and is enforced by the Department of Motor Vehicles, assigns certain points to certain traffic offenses.
The judge or the prosecutor at the Loudoun County General District Court does not have the discretion to adjust the points within the demerit point system. For example, if you’re charged with a speeding offense, the judge does not have the discretion to raise or lower the points, only to change the offense that may in turn impact points. There are no “less points for more fine” bargaining with the Court, but you may have other options, so you should consult with a Loudoun County traffic lawyer to discuss your case before you simply accept the points.
How Long Do Demerit Points Last?
Just as the amount of points assigned to various offenses, the duration in which the points remain in your record is determined by the demerit point system. Some violations, such as improper driving under Virginia Code Section 46.2-869, only stay on your record for three years. Other violations, such as reckless driving or DUI, stay on your record for up to 11 years. The range is from three years all the way to 11. The most common demerit points activities—such as simple speeding, failing to obey a sign, or not coming to a complete stop—typically stand on your DMV record for five years.
What Happens When You Get Too Many Demerit Points?
If you incur too many points over a specified period of time, you’ll receive notification from the DMV that you are treading towards a potential suspension or restriction on your driving privileges. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles keeps track of the points for every driver in the Commonwealth of Virginia. When drivers accumulate too many points, the DMV sends them notice that they require certain actions to retain their driving privileges.
Long-Term Impact of Demerit Points on Your Driving Record
If you accumulate too many points over a certain period of time, then you may be required to take certain actions or lose your privilege to drive in Virginia. The Virginia DMV may require you to take a driver improvement course. The DMV may require that you undergo a road driving test again or they may require that you go a certain period of time without accumulating any further tickets under penalty of suspension.
Does Loudoun County Include Points For Infractions In Other Jurisdictions?
Loudoun County does not have any discretion over the uniform point system. The point system is handled completely by the Virginia DMV, and it views offenses within the Commonwealth of Virginia as a whole. For a Virginia driver who incurs violations in other states, which they would have received points for if that offense had occurred in Virginia, they should expect that the Virginia DMV will assign demerit points to those violations as well.
Will the Demerit Point System Apply to Out of State Drivers?
The procedure for an out-of-state license is a little bit different and sometimes difficult to understand. For an out-of-state driver who receives a ticket in Virginia, the record of that ticket will be sent from the local court to the Virginia DMV if they are convicted of a traffic offense. The Virginia DMV will assign Virginia demerit points and keep a record of that. The Virginia DMV will then send the record of their conviction, not the record of the amount of points that were assessed, to that driver’s home state. The home state will then have the discretion of whether to apply their own point system.
The simple answer is that there is no apples-to-apples comparison between Virginia and other states pertaining to the Virginia point demerit system. For example, a three-point violation in Virginia does not mean that a Maryland driver will receive negative three points on their license.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law
Leesburg, VA 20175
Warrenton, VA 20186