The Demerit Point System

With every traffic violation you incur, you are racking up invisible points with the Texas Department of Public Safety. It’s called the “Driver Responsibility Program”, and it could cost you a lot if you remain ignorant of the rules.

What’s the Demerit Point System?

The basic principle of a demerit point system for drivers is to keep track of the type and frequency of traffic violations and even certain criminal charges like a DWI. Each type of offense has a number of points associated with it, and when a driver exceeds a certain number of points, he or she must face additional fines (they would be added on to, for example, paying a traffic ticket) or even a suspended license. After three years have passed, demerit points will expire.

  • In Texas, one moving violation results in two demerit points, and a moving violation that results in an accident results in three points. If you reach six points in one year, you must pay applicable surcharges every year until the offense expires.

  • In addition to the Driver Responsibility Program, 4 moving violations in a year or 7 in two years will result in a suspended license, despite the points you’ve accumulated.

Surcharges

  • If you reached the six point maximum, you will be billed a $100 surcharge each year until expires. For each additional point above 6, you’ll pay an additional $25.

  • If you are convicted of a criminal traffic offense, you’ll also be charged separate, conviction-based surcharges each year until the charge expires. For example, a first-offense DWI can cost $1,000 initially, but by the time it expires off of your record, you’ll have paid $3,000.

Carroll Troberman, PLLC is home to Austin’s DWI attorneys. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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