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Understanding North Carolina’s points system for drivers

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2022 | Traffic Offenses |

Most drivers in North Carolina know that penalties for drunk driving offenses are more severe for repeat offenders. The idea behind this policy is not just to punish drivers, but also to keep the public safe from potentially dangerous drivers.

What many drivers don’t understand is that the state of North Carolina also has a system that penalizes drivers for repeated convictions on charges of traffic offenses that are not related to drunk driving.

The points system

North Carolina’s points system assesses points against your record every time you are convicted of traffic violations. If you get 12 points within 36 months, your license will be suspended.

If you get your license reinstated, the points system becomes more strict. After your reinstatement, if you collect 8 points within 36 months, your license will be suspended again.

It may be easier than you think to accumulate these points. Here are some common traffic-related violations and the points they place against a driver’s record:

  • Littering from a vehicle: 1 point
  • Speeding over 55 mph: 3 points
  • Running a stop sign or red light:  3 points
  • Failure to yield the right of way to pedestrian, bicyclist or motorcyclist: 4 points
  • Following too closely behind another vehicle: 4 points
  • Reckless driving: 4 points
  • Aggressive driving: 5 points
  • Passing a school bus that has stopped: 5 points

These are just some of the violations that can result in points being marked against your license. You could have multiple violations noted in the same incident, meaning that it wouldn’t take much to accumulate 12 points in three years.

It’s also important to note that North Carolina’s points system is different from the systems used by insurers, but insurance companies can find out when you have been racking up the points on the state system and raise your rates accordingly.

Defending against traffic violations

When your points add up quickly, your driver’s license is on the line. Attorneys with experience in traffic violation defense help people defend their driving privileges and protect their futures.