Being a safe driver has its benefits. As we discussed in an earlier article, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles uses a point system that awards good drivers so that minor violations such as driving without turning off your brights or missing a stop sign do not penalize your driver’s license for years to come.

You earn up to five of these safe driving points—one at a time each year. But particular offenses can wipe away that safe driving karma in a single infraction. Though the sentencing and fines may vary depending on the charge, the points system punishments generally remain consistent: a six-point demerit and a mark on your record that lasts for no less than 11 years.

Reckless driving
The category is broad as there are lots of ways a driver can be reckless on the road. From speeding over 80mph to passing a school bus improperly, the Virginia DMV lists more than 15 examples.

DUIs
Driving drunk can get you into a lot more trouble and like reckless driving, it may risk the lives of others. Virginia combines drugs and alcohol under the DUI umbrella but there are other outlier charges that carry the same point-weight like refusing to take a blood/breath test at a traffic stop.

These charges may worsen if you are a repeat offender or if manslaughter resulted from the incident.

Solutions

A driver’s license suspension has huge ramifications toward your ability to travel—which in turn impacts your capacity of employment and other facets of your life. Do not settle for a ticket without defending yourself. If you do not need to cash in those safe driver points, you should not have to.