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    Richmond, VA 23230
  • Phone: 804.673.5600
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VA DMV Demerit Points Can Lead to Probation or License Suspension

Each time you commit a traffic offense, DMV adds additional demerit points to your record. This can add up to big trouble for some drivers.

Drivers Under 18

If you are convicted of a demerit-point traffic violation committed when you were under age 18, you will be required to satisfactorily complete a driver improvement clinic. If you do not satisfactorily complete the clinic within 90 days, DMV will suspend your permit or license until the clinic is completed. After your second demerit point conviction if the violation was committed when you were under age 18, DMV will suspend your permit or license for 90 days. After a third demerit point conviction if the violation was committed when you were under age 18, DMV will revoke your permit or license for one year or until you reach age 18, whichever is longer. You will be required to attend a driver improvement clinic for safety belt and child restraint violations as well as demerit-point convictions. You will receive five safe driving points if you volunteer for a clinic. Safe driving points will not be awarded if clinic attendance was required by DMV or a court. A computer-based driver improvement clinic will not satisfy a driver improvement clinic requirement. You must satisfactorily complete a clinic that provides classroom instruction.

Drivers Age 18 and Over

If you are age 18 or 19, you will be required to complete a driver improvement clinic after your first demerit point conviction if the violation was committed while you were under age 20 (including safety belt and child restraint violations). If you are 18 and older and you accumulate eight demerit points in 12 months (or 12 points in 24 months), you will receive an advisory letter that cautions you about the consequences of violating the law. If you accumulate 12 demerit points in 12 months (or 18 points in 24 months), you will be required to complete a driver improvement clinic. You must enroll in and satisfactorily complete the driver improvement clinic within 90 days. If you accumulate 18 demerit points in 12 months (or 24 points in 24 months), your driving privilege will be suspended for 90 days. Additionally, you must complete a driver improvement clinic before your privilege will be restored. Once your privilege is restored, you will be placed on a six-month probation. If you are under age 20, a computer-based driver improvement clinic will not satisfy a driver improvement clinic requirement. You must satisfactorily complete a clinic that provides classroom instruction. A driver improvement clinic will put you back on the road to safe driving When you satisfactorily complete a driver improvement clinic, you'll learn defensive driving techniques that can help you avoid and prevent crashes. These eight-hour classroom sessions cost no more than $75 and are offered at sites around the state and as a computer-based course on the Internet. Contact the court to be sure it will accept a computer-based course. Also, if you are under age 20, you must enroll in a clinic that provides classroom instruction. If DMV requires you to attend a clinic, you must complete the entire eight-hour course. If you fail to satisfactorily complete the clinic within 90 days, your driving privilege will be suspended until you meet this requirement. If you are attending college outside of Virginia or you are a member of the military or a military dependent and stationed outside of Virginia, you may be eligible for an extension of the 90-day requirement. The extension will be granted only if you are in an area where no approved clinics are offered. The extension will last until a break in your schedule. If you hold a commercial driver's license (CDL) or committed an offense while operating a commercial motor vehicle, and you are required to attend a driver improvement clinic, you must satisfactorily complete a commercial driver improvement clinic designed specifically for commercial drivers. If you are 18 or over, you may be awarded five safe driving points after you successfully complete a driver improvement clinic. If a court requires you to complete a clinic, the court determines whether you will be awarded safe driving points. Insurance companies may offer premium discounts to policyholders under 55 years of age who complete a DMV-approved driver improvement clinic. Check with your agent to see if your insurance company offers this benefit. If you take a driver improvement clinic to reduce your insurance premium, you will not be eligible to receive safe driving points. If a court assigns you to complete a clinic, you will not be eligible to receive the insurance premium reduction.

 

Drivers on Probation

If you are convicted of a traffic offense that was committed while you were on probation, your driving privilege will be suspended. The suspension period depends on the number of demerit points assigned for the violation.

• 3 point violation = 45 day suspension

• 4 point violation = 60 day suspension

• 6 point violation = 90 day suspension

Once you complete the suspension period, you will be placed on probation for another six months.

If you are convicted of a traffic offense that occurred while you were on probation for the first time, you may request DMV to grant you restricted driving privileges. If you violate a second or subsequent probation, DMV will grant you restricted privileges only if the probationary period during which the violation occurred was immediately preceded by a control period (an 18-month time period during which your driving record is monitored).

Restricted driving privileges granted by DMV allow you to drive only

• to and from your place of employment,

• during employment hours only if driving is a required part of your job,

• to and from school if you are a student,

• for medical treatment, including necessary transportation of an elderly parent,

• to transport your minor child to and from school, day care or for medical treatment; or

• to and from a court-ordered visitation with your child.

Restricted driving privileges are not available to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

Drivers Under Control Period

If you receive demerit points for a violation during the 18-month control period, you will be placed on six months probation. Once you successfully complete the control period, you will exit the Driver Improvement Program.

Bob Battle
100% of my practice is devoted to serious traffic defense and criminal litigation in state and federal courts