Receiving a ticket for a traffic violation may just seem like an inconvenience, but there are consequences beyond dollars out of your pocket. A traffic violation constitutes a wide variety of offenses, including improper turns, driving over a fire hose, failing to obey a traffic signal and speeding.
Virginia uses a point system, and you receive a certain number of demerit points for each violation conviction. These points stay on your record for a set number of years, and if you have too many, you face additional consequences.
Examples of violations and associated demerit points
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, each violation results in three, four or six points. Just a few examples of what constitutes three points include driving on the sidewalk, driving too slow and drinking while driving. Some of the four-point violations include failure to stop for an emergency vehicle, improper signaling and passing a stopped school bus. Examples of six-point violations include racing, driving while intoxicated and operating an unsafe vehicle.
Consequences for excess number of points
Once a driver accumulates eight demerit points, he or she will typically receive a warning from the DMV. If a driver earns 12 points in 12 months, or 18 points in 24 months, he or she will need to attend a driver improvement class. For six months after completing the clinic, the person is on probation. If convicted of any traffic violation during this time, the driver faces driver’s license suspension. There is also an automatic suspension for drivers who accumulate 18 points within 12 months or 24 points within 24 months.