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Florida’s Traffic Ticket Point System and What It Means to You

by Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, posted in Florida Auto Accident
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If you have ever received a ticket for speeding, causing a wreck or committing another traffic violation, you know that you have to pay a fine if convicted and may face higher auto insurance premiums as well. What is easy to overlook is that a traffic ticket also means points on your driving record.

Perhaps one ticket for a minor infraction and a few points on your driving record may be chalked up as a lesson learned. But Florida’s driver’s license point system is cumulative. If you commit multiple infractions within a certain period of time, then you may lose some or all of your driving privileges.

For example, if you are responsible for a collision caused by running a red light or failure to yield the right of way at an intersection, you will be assessed several points on your Florida driving record. If you caused a collision as a result of a traffic violation, you may also be held liable in civil court for injuries caused to others in the accident. At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, we help accident victims who have been injured in crashes in North Tampa and Brooksville pursue personal injury claims and seek compensation from at-fault drivers.

Points on Your Driving Record Add Up to Loss of Privileges

Let’s review some common driving violations and the points assessed under Florida law for each of them. Any points you incur as a result of traffic violations will remain on your driving record. A driver in Florida may choose in some cases to attend driver improvement school in lieu of receiving points. If you are assessed 12 points within 12 months, you will lose your driver’s license for 30 days. In addition:

  • 18 points in 18 months = 3 months loss of license.
  • 24 points within 36 months (3 years) = 1 year loss of license.

In computing total points, the State of Florida uses the date of the offense.

In each period, points previously assessed still count. In other words, if you accumulate 12 points within one year and lose driving privileges for 30 days, and then pick up 6 more points in the five months following restoration of your driving privileges, that adds up to 18 points in 18 months and another loss of your driving privileges.

Florida is stricter with teenage drivers. Under Florida’s Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program, if a minor-age driver receives 6 points on their driving record within 12 months, the young driver’s driving privileges are automatically restricted to driving back and forth to a job for 12 months or until the driver turns 18, whichever happens first. If the driver receives additional points during the restricted period, the restriction is extended 90 days for each additional point.

Teenage drivers can also lose driving privileges for:

  • Any moving violation within 1 year of obtaining a Learner’s License
  • Driving with a blood-alcohol level of .02 percent or more (up to 21 years old)
  • Not attending school
  • Possessing tobacco or nicotine products.

Adults can automatically lose driving privileges for certain infractions. They include:

  • Fraudulently obtaining a driver’s license
  • Failure to pay child support
  • Drug or alcohol-related offenses
  • Failure to pay traffic violation fines.

Florida Driving Violations and Driver’s License Points

In addition to the causes listed above, a Florida driver can lose driving privileges automatically for three months to 1 year if they are at fault for a traffic accident (not DUI related) resulting in death or serious bodily injury.

Once a driver has accumulated enough points on their license, as outlined above, they are judged to be “incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely” and taken off of Florida roads. If you receive a traffic ticket in another state for a traffic violation, the out-of-state ticket may add points on your Florida driving record if the same violation in Florida would have resulted in points.

How Many Points Per Ticket?

There are hundreds of possible traffic violations in Florida, not all of which result in points. Here are some common Florida traffic violations and points assessed on the violator’s driving record upon a conviction:

  • Speeding:
    • Up to 15 mph over limit: 3 points
    • Over 15 mph above limit: 4 points
  • Collisionresulting from a moving violation: 4 points
  • Driving with an open alcohol container: 3 points
  • Child safety restraintviolation: 3 points
  • Fleeing the scene of an accidentwith property damage over $50: 6 points
  • Not providing information (name, driver’s license number, insurance, etc.) at scene of an accident with property damage over $50: 6 points
  • Not leaving information after hitting an unattended vehicle: 6 points
  • Reckless driving: 4 points
  • Careless driving: 3 points
  • Passing a stopped school bus: 4 points
  • Failure to stop at a red light (including before lawfully turning): 4 points
  • Failing to yield right-of-way: 3 points
  • Failure to obey traffic control device/signs: 3 points
  • Improper passing (on the right, a hill, a curve, a “no passing” zone, etc.): 3 points
  • Improper right or left turn: 3 points
  • Driving without headlights at night or in rain/fog/smoke: 3 points
  • Failing to dim headlights: 3 points
  • No brake or turn signals: 3 points
  • Littering from a motor vehicle: 3 points
  • Failure to surrender driver’s license when lawfully required to do so: 3 points
  • Operating vehicle in violation of driving restrictions: 3 points

You will be better off if you keep your driving record clean by avoiding the kinds of driving violations that cause accidents and result in the loss of driving privileges.

At the Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, we represent victims of car accidents who have been harmed by at-fault drivers. If you have been injured in a car accident in Lutz, Brooksville or surrounding areas of Florida, you should contact the Brooksville car accident attorneys at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm as soon as possible for experienced and aggressive legal assistance.

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