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Legislation Changes Point System for Traffic Violations

Q: I know that I can get points for speeding. How does the state determine how many points I get?
A:
Before January 2004, when major changes in the traffic law became effective, some points were assessed based on a complicated formula. Now, points for speeding are based on how fast you were traveling.

Q: What is the maximum number of points I can get for speeding?
A:
Under current law, if you are driving 30 MPH or more over the speed limit, you will be assessed four points, and you may also get your license suspended.

Q: Do you always get points for speeding?
A:
No. In order to get two points for speeding under current law, you must be going more than 10 MPH over the speed limit in a 55 MPH zone and more than five MPH in any other speed zone. For example, going 65 in a 55 MPH zone is speeding, and you may receive a ticket, but no points will be assessed against you.

Q: What other offenses result in points?
A:
There are other moving violations, such as failing to stop at a stop sign, going through a red light or making an illegal turn, that will result in two points being assessed against you. Offenses such as willful fleeing or eluding of a law enforcement officer, failing to stop and disclose identity at the scene of an accident, drag racing, driving under license suspension and driving under the influence of alcohol and or drugs are among the violations that will result in six points being assessed against you. There are other offenses in which four points may be assessed, such as underage drinking and driving, and operating a motor vehicle with willful or wanton disregard of property or person (reckless operation). A conviction for "physical control" is a "0" point violation.

Q: How long do the points stay on my record?
A:
Any points assessed will stay on your record for a period of two years. If you accumulate a total of 12 points in a two-year period beginning on the date of the first conviction, your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of six months. You do have a right to appeal this suspension, but you will need to file the appeal before the suspension date listed on the letter of suspension that you got from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Q: When I went to court for a speeding ticket once, the judge told me that I could take a course and have two points taken off my record, but that I could only do that once in my life. Is that true under current law?
A:
Under current law, you can enroll in a remedial driving instruction course and have two points removed from your driving record, and you may take the course as many as five times in your life (although not more than once in any three-year period).

Q: When can I take the remedial driving course to get two points off my record?
A: You may enroll in the course as soon as you get two points, and you must enroll before you have accumulated 12 points. If you wait until you get 12 points, you will be ineligible to take the remedial course.

12/15/2013

Law You Can Use is a weekly consumer legal information column provided by the Ohio State Bar Association. This article was prepared by Kenneth A. Bossin, a frequent lecturer on traffic and DUI law throughout Ohio.

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Articles appearing in this column are intended to provide broad, general information about the law. Before applying this information to a specific legal problem, readers are urged to seek advice from an attorney.

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