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Traffic tickets

driver's license penalties

Most states penalize drivers who violate traffic and criminal laws while operating a motor vehicle by restricting, suspending, or revoking the driver’s license. For example, a state may suspend a driver’s license upon refusal to submit to a blood or breath test when suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or when a driver is convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

And most states have a traffic ticket points system that assigns points to traffic offenses—with more serious offenses receiving more points. The points a driver accumulates become a part of the driver’s record with the state and a specified number of points will lead to greater driver’s license penalties—including suspension of the driver’s license—as well as higher insurance premiums charged by insurance companies.

The use and structure of traffic ticket point systems vary from state to state and are usually located in a state’s statutes.

In Texas, drivers who commit traffic violations or criminal offenses while operating a motor vehicle can face penalties such as license restrictions, suspensions, or revocations. For instance, Texas law mandates the suspension of a driver's license if the driver refuses to take a blood or breath test under suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or if convicted of DWI. Unlike some states, Texas does not use a point system for traffic offenses. Instead, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) operates under the Driver Responsibility Program, which assesses surcharges based on certain traffic offenses. Accumulating too many convictions for traffic violations can lead to surcharges and potentially result in license suspension. Additionally, serious traffic offenses or repeat offenses can lead to immediate suspension or revocation of the driver's license. Insurance premiums may also increase due to traffic violations, as insurers consider a driver's history when determining rates.

Legal articles related to this topic

Driver's License Suspension and Occupational Driver's Licenses: What You Need to Know
In response to a suspended diver's license, some jurisdictions allow for what's known as an "occupational driver's license" (or a similar term) that permits limited driving under certain conditions.