Driver’s License Point System

A DUI is worth two points on your California driver’s license, and can result in having your license revoked.

In California, some crimes like DUI carry license suspension as a penalty. However, you can also have your license revoked simply for getting too many traffic violations in too short a period of time. This is tracked by California’s “point” system, in which every vehicle-related infraction adds points to your license.

Points do two main things:

  • Any amount of points can raise your insurance rates
  • Too many points can cause you to have your license taken away

How does the point system work?

California’s point system is relatively straightforward. It depends on the idea that either too many small infractions, or just a few severe infractions, represent a risk to people on the road. That’s why some types of offenses are worth more points than others. For example:

  • 1 point: Speeding, running a red lights, making an illegal U-turn and most other traffic tickets
  • 2 points: DUI, reckless driving, excessive speeding, hit and run, driving without a license, or evading an officer

Additionally, the offenses are worth 1.5 times as much if you are driving a commercial vehicle.

How many points does it take to lose my license?

It depends. The idea behind the point system is that drivers who get a lot of points in a short period of time are more dangerous than drivers who get points only occasionally. For that reason, California has different thresholds for losing your license. They are:

  • 4 points in 1 year
  • 6 points in 2 years
  • 8 points in 3 years

The years are measured from the date of the offense. So, as an example, if you were convicted of reckless driving for an incident that happened on May 5, and then twelve months later you had a DUI arrest on May 4, you would have 4 points in a year and lose your license. But if the DUI arrest happened two days later, on May 6, it would be more than a year and the points would not cost you your license.

What can I do if I have too many points?

The best thing to do is to fight any new violation you are accused of. If you are not convicted you will not get the points, period. This can help you keep your driver’s license as well as avoid the excessive penalties that DUI and other offenses now carry.

If you already have points on your license, you may be able to get some of them removed by attending defensive driving school. Defensive driving school can remove any points except for:

  • Points from non-moving offenses, such as failure to appear in court
  • Offenses that are classed as misdemeanors or require an appearance in criminal court
  • Alcohol related offenses such as DUI and wet reckless
  • Infractions involving a commercial vehicle

That means you cannot use driving school to get rid of points from a DUI. However, you could use it to get rid of other points, like from an old speeding ticket, so that the DUI points don’t trigger a license revocation.

Otherwise you need to wait until enough time passes that you are out of the thresholds listed above.

Have you been charged with DUI? We can connect you with an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer and get you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your free consultation today.

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