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What Are DMV Demerit Points?

The following is information on demerit points used by the department of motor vehicles in DC as explained by a DC DUI lawyer. If you are unsure about what a traffic offense will mean for your driving privledges, call today and schedule a free consultation.

What Are Demerit Points?

“Demerit points” or just “points” generally are a system established by the DMV to designate how good or bad of a driver somebody is, usually based on the safety risk.

So for example, everybody starts with zero points on their license. And as they accrue moving violations or serious violations, like a DUI or aggravated reckless driving or somebody is injured by somebody’s reckless driving, all of those types of offenses carry with them a certain number of points.

So for example, a low end offense might be failure to signal before a turn, and that’s a two point offense. At the high end, a DUI and other serious infractions are 12 point offenses. And the way it works is as you accrue points, you get closer and closer to an automatic suspension or revocation of your license.

All of these points stay on your license for two years from the date that you’re adjudicated guilty or liable. And within any two year period, if you accrue 12 points or more, your license is automatically revoked.

And the thing that’s tough about that for a lot of DUI clients is if they’re held liable for the DUI at the DMV, then they are revoked for six months and they have 12 points on their license for that offense for the next two years. If, once they can drive again, they get additional points, then they will be revoked again for accumulating more than 12 points in a two-year period.

The process will start over and over and over until they drop below 12 points.

Are There Any Alternatives That An Individual Might Get Other Than Receiving Points?

Well, receiving points isn’t an alternative outcome. If a person is held liable for operating while intoxicated or driving under the influence or whatever offense it is, the sentence is automatic. There is no discretion for the hearing examiners here.

Meaning, if the person is held liable for their first offense, with no aggravating factors, they’re going to be revoked for six months and they are going to get 12 points on their license and there is going to be absolutely no variation whatsoever. It’s like a formula.

Is There Any Way For Someone to Accrue Good Points?

Yes. For each calendar year that you do not have a moving violation you accrue one good point that can be used to offset bad points for traffic infractions.