When law enforcement cites you for a traffic violation, you may want to do the fastest, easiest thing and pay the ticket online. However, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles explains that the demerit points on your driving record from the conviction do not go away so easily, and they could affect your driving privileges.
If you exceed 12 points in one year or 18 points in two years, you must complete a clinic. A total of 18 points in one year results in a 90-day license suspension and a six-month probation. Here are just a few of the ways that points could add up.
Improperly stopping on the highway, failing to obey a highway sign or making an improper U-turn are convictions with three points, as are some driver’s license violations and license plate violations. Citations for driver distractions such as eating and drinking, wearing earphones and using handheld communications devices result in three points.
A number of violations in this category relate to commercial drivers, such as driving a school bus without a license or without the proper endorsements.
Reckless or aggressive driving and exceeding the speed limit by up to 19 mph are four points, as well as failing to stop or yield in situations where someone else has the right of way, such as an emergency vehicle, a funeral procession or a pedestrian.
Railroad crossing violations and failures to obey signals from traffic lights, crossing guards and law enforcement are in this category.
Most traffic violations that garner six points are serious charges, such as felony or misdemeanor reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and manslaughter. If you face a charge with a value of six points, you may not have the option to pay the ticket online and go on with your life.
Challenging a citation in court may help you to avoid the points, fines, insurance rate hikes and threats to your license.