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How The Points Systems Work In Every State: Part Two

How The Points Systems Work In Every State: Part Two

In the first installment of this article, we talked about how the points systems worked in the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, and Arkansas, and how you can go about checking the status of your driving record. If you’re new, and you don’t know, each state has it’s own system of record keeping for the points you accrue on your driver’s license, and each infraction counts as a certain number of points. If you get a certain number of points on your license within a certain amount of time, you unfortunately run the risk of losing your driving privileges, and nobody wants that! In this second installment, we’ll be continuing where we left off, starting with the Golden State: California.

California

In the state of California, there are a number of different infractions for which you can receive points on your license, and your driving privileges could potentially be revoked or suspended if you get a certain amount of points within a set number of months. For instance:

  • 4 points or more accrued within 12 months;
  • 6 or more points accrued within 24 months;
  • 8 points or more accrued within 36 months.

Additionally, there are a few different infractions that will result in immediate suspension of your license, including a lack of insurance at the time of an incident, a DUI conviction in which you are found guilty, underage drinking, failure to appear in court (whether for a traffic ticket or a more serious violation), and refusing to submit to a drug or alcohol test. While these are standard for adult drivers in the Golden State, the penalties are more severe for underage drivers – that is, any driver under the age of 18. These penalties include:

  • Suspension of your provisional license if you’ve received 3 points within 12 months, or have been convicted of a traffic infraction and have failed to pay the required fines;
  • Restriction of your provisional license if you’ve received 2 points within 12 months, or;
  • Suspension of your provisional license for a 1 year period for the use of alcohol or drugs – this penalty is in effect for those between the ages of 13 and 21.

The option of taking a defensive driving course is available in California for those wishing to clear some points off of their driving record, or to keep them from being added if you are close to losing your license. These courses are available both online and in a classroom, but it’s important to note that there are a few offenses which will disqualify you from this option. These include:

  • Violations related to non-moving offenses;
  • Violations resulting in a misdemeanor conviction;
  • Infractions which occurred in a commercial vehicle;
  • Offenses which require your appearance in court, and;
  • Offenses related to alcohol.

Colorado

Like each other state on these lists, Colorado has a system in place to keep drivers from committing too many infractions and, as a result, losing their license. This system works for each individual age group as follows:

  • Adults 21 and Older
    • 12 points in 12 months;
    • 18 points in 24 months.
  • Minors 18-20 Years Old
    • 9 points in 12 months;
    • 12 points in 24 months, or;
    • 14 points or more between the ages of 18 and 21.
  • Minors Under 18 Years Of Age
    • 6 points in 12 months, or;
    • 7 points before reaching age 18.

These accumulations will lead to a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license or permit, and it’s important to keep up with your points accumulations to ensure you’re not edging closer to losing your driving privileges. In Colorado, they actually have a pretty in-depth point system, which outlines how many points a particular infraction will get you, such as:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) = 12 points;
  • Driving while drunk = 8 points;
  • Leaving the scene of an accident = 12 points;
  • Racing/Speed contests = 12 points;
  • Evading an officer = 12 points;
  • Reckless driving = 8 points;
  • Careless driving = 4 points;
  • Failure to yield right-of-way = 3 points;
  • Speeding 5-9 mph over the limit = 1 point;
  • Speeding 10-19 mph over = 4 points;
  • Speeding 20-39 mph over = 6 points;
  • Speeding 40+ mph over = 12 points;
  • Failure to provide proof of insurance = 4 points;
  • Improper passing (I.e. Passing on a double yellow line) = 4 points.

Because the points issued in this state are so high, it can only take a couple of infractions within a year to have your license revoked, and regardless of whether you amass the number of points to reach that point, the points accrued stay on your driving record for 7 years before falling off.

Connecticut

In this state, if you find yourself stopped by an officer for a moving violation, you can expect to get hit with both a ticket requiring a fine be paid, as well as new points issued to your driving record. These points are issued every single time you are convicted of any of their list of moving violations, and the receipt of 6 points will earn you a warning from the DMV, and 10 or more will result in suspension of your license for a period of 30 days. Points stay on your record for 24 months (2 years) before they fall off, and you can order a driving record report online to get a clear idea of your driving record if you aren’t sure where you stand.

As stated above, there are a number of moving violations that will earn you points on your Connecticut driving record. These are:

  • Speeding;
  • Failure to drive in the proper lane;
  • Illegal use of limited access highway by bus, commercial vehicle, or a vehicle with a trailer;
  • Improper operation on a multi-lane or divided highway;
  • Driving the wrong way at a rotary or one-way street;
  • Improper or illegal turning, stopping, or failure to signal your intent;
  • Improper backing or starting;
  • Slow speed which impedes traffic;
  • Disobeying an officer;
  • Failure to obey traffic lights, stop and yield signs;
  • Operating a vehicle through a pedestrian safety zone;
  • Driving while impaired;
  • And many more.