Demerit Point System in Columbia

The South Carolina code of laws has a specific statute that establishes the points assigned to particular offenses. That is Title 56-1720, which states what violations earn how many demerits. For example, reckless driving is six points, and failing to yield the right-of-way is four points. For speeding, if a person was going 10 miles or less over the limit, that is two points, for 25 miles an hour over the limit, six points.

A skilled traffic attorney could help individuals understand the demerit point system in Columbia.

Impact on a Driver’s License license

The demerit points last for ten years on a person’s driving record. However, the most significant impact will be in the first three years for insurance purposes. A driver could reduce the demerit points by taking a defensive driving course. Completion of one could take up to four points off their total demerits. A lot depends on the amount of time since the last offense and whether they have taken the driving course.

In South Carolina, when a person accumulates more than 12 points, their license is suspended, and they will have to jump a lot of hurdles to get it back.

Long-Term Impacts

One of the long-term impacts of the point system is that if a person accumulates enough points, their license is suspended and they are unable to drive. The second impact is collateral, what it does to their insurance. For example, if a person is convicted of reckless driving, that will add six points against their license, and the insurer most likely will raise their rate.

Uniform Demerit Point System

The uniform demerit point system is the system put in place by South Carolina Title 56, section 1720 listing all the specific points for each violation.

One way the uniform demerit system can apply to out-of-state licenses beyond informing the other state of a violation in South Carolina, is if they are convicted of a driving under the influence (DUI) offense in South Carolina on a suspended issued by the other state, they would be charged with driving with a suspended license even if South Carolina did not have the authority to suspend their license in the first place.

The Process for Getting Points Removed From A License

If a person wishes to challenge points being assessed on their license, they should do so at the very beginning, and that is at the time they receive a ticket or are charged with an offense. They will have to fight the charge itself, not the points because the points automatically result from the conviction.

The process for getting points removed from a license in Columbia is the passage of time or taking a defensive driving course. If they take the course, they must submit it to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and they should also submit it to their insurance company and see if that will help them avoid an increase in premiums. The only other way is at rare times when the DMV runs a kind of amnesty program, but they are usually extremely specific regarding requirements and when it is done.

How A Traffic Lawyer Could Help

A Columbia traffic lawyer can help if demerit points jeopardize a person’s driving privileges by fighting the ticket or charge that leads to the demerits. If a person drives for a living, such as a truck driver, or even needs a vehicle to commute to and from work, the demerits can have an impact on their livelihood. Getting their license suspended because they accumulated too many points could jeopardize their job. That is why they should hire a traffic lawyer at the very beginning to address the offense itself instead of trying to deal with the points after a conviction.

Speak to a knowledgeable attorney to learn about the demerit point system in Columbia. Schedule a consultation today.