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How The Points Systems Work In Every State: Part One

How The Points Systems Work In Every State: Part One

In all fifty states, there is a point system in place for drivers to keep track of unsafe driving incidents, and to ensure that reckless or unsafe drivers are held accountable for the actions committed. Knowing how the points system works in your state can really help you get an idea of how close you are to losing your license, or just knowing how many points you will acquire if you’re stopped for any particular reason. In this series of articles, we’ll be discussing how the points systems work in each individual state, including how many points are accrued for certain violations, and how long they stay on your license.

Alabama

If you’ve recently received a traffic ticket in Alabama, the points for that particular violation is added to your driving record, and will remain there for a pre-determined amount of time. For instance:

  • Reckless driving – 6 points;
  • Speeding (26 miles per hour or over) – 5 points;
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road – 4 points;
  • Illegal passing – 4 points;
  • Following too closely/tailgating – 3 points.

Too many points on your license can lead to a suspended, revoked, or cancelled driver’s license; community service; fines; Alabama reinstatement fees when you go to get a new license; or mandatory completion of traffic school or defensive driving courses. In each state, your license will be suspended if you meet a certain requirement of points within a certain amount of time, and will remain there until they time out. This system for Alabama works as follows:

  • 12 to 14 points in 2 years: 60 days;
  • 15 to 17 points in 2 years: 90 days;
  • 18 to 20 points in 2 years: 120 days;
  • 21 to 23 points in 2 years: 180 days;
  • 24 or more in 2 years: 365 days.

Alaska

In the state of Alaska, if you’ve received a traffic ticket for any of the following violations, the points are accrued on your license in the following way:

  • Driving on a suspended or revoked license: 10 points;
  • Driving while intoxicated/under the influence: 10 points;
  • Reckless driving: 10 points;
  • Refusing a breathalyzer test: 10 points;
  • Fleeing or attempting to elude an officer: 10 points;
  • Speeding or racing: 10 points;
  • Negligent vehicular homicide: 10 points;
  • Assault with a motor vehicle: 10 points;
  • Leaving the scene of an accident: 9 points;
  • Driving without insurance: 6 points;
  • Negligent driving: 6 points;
  • Failure to yield to emergency vehicles: 6 points;
  • Failure to stop for a school bus: 6 points;
  • Failure to obey traffic control in school zones, playgrounds, or parks: 6 points;
  • Careless driving: 4 points;
  • Following too closely/tailgating: 4 points;
  • Failure to stop or yield: 4 points;
  • All other moving violations: 2 points

Separate from those points are speeding points, which in Alaska get their own points system. Speeding in a school zone and going 20 mph or more over the limit will get you 6 points, going 3-9 mph over will get you 2 points, and going 10-19 mph over will earn you 4 points on your license. As you accumulate points on your license, the Alaska DMV will issue you a warning letter to let you know where you’re standing with them. Next will come an interview with a driving examiner at the DMV office, usually where they will suggest you take a defensive driving course to reduce your point total, and you may only do this once in each 12 month period. Finally, receiving 12 months or more in a year, or 18 or more points in 2 years will end in the revocation or suspension of your driving privileges for a predetermined amount of time.

Arizona

In the state of Arizona, getting a traffic ticket for the following violations will get you the amount of points on your driving record:

  • Driving while intoxicated (BAC of .08% or higher): 8 points;
  • Extreme DUI: 8 points;
  • Reckless driving: 8 points;
  • Aggressive driving: 8 points;
  • Leaving the scene of an accident: 6 points;
  • Running a stop sign or traffic signal: 6 points;
  • Failing to yield: 6 points;
  • Accident causing death: 6 points;
  • Running a stop sign/traffic signal, failing to yield, accident causing serious injury: 4 points;
  • Speeding: 3 points;
  • Driving or parking over an area where one or more lanes diverge to go in different directions: 3 points;
  • All other violations: 2 points.

Additionally, you can lose your license immediately if you are found guilty of operating a vehicle under the influence of a drug, committing vehicular homicide or assault, committing a felony for which a vehicle is used, lying to the MVD under oath, failing to stop if you are involved in a traffic accident, or participating in a drive-by shooting.

Arkansas

In Arkansas, the driving points system is used to control dangerous and overall bad driving behavior, and like other states, receiving too many points on your license can result in suspension of your license, higher insurance rates, mandatory completion of defensive driving or traffic school, or community service and fines. Traffic violations in Arkansas are considered as:

  • Drinking and driving/driving under the influence;
  • Following too closely/tailgating;
  • Speeding;
  • Excessive speeding;
  • Leaving the scene of an accident;
  • Driving the wrong way on a one-way street.

The amount of points given depends on the severity of the violation; for example, you will receive less points on your license for minor speeding than you will for drinking and driving, and so on.