Actions That Lead to the Loss of Driving Privileges

By: Staff Writer June 10, 2012
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Driving laws are meant to be followed. Break them and you'll face the consequences, which could include having your driver's license suspended, revoked or cancelled.

To help avoid losing your driving privileges, it's best to know what actions could cost you.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

DUI laws and penalties vary by state, but in general you can expect to have your driver license suspended if convicted.

Often, the length of license suspension depends on:

  • Your blood alcohol content (BAC).
  • Your age (see below).
  • Whether an accident involving injury was involved.
  • Whether an accident involving death was involved.
  • Whether you're a repeat offender.

Most states mandate stricter DUI rules for drivers younger than 21, often referred to as Zero Tolerance. This means even the hint of alcohol on a driver's breath could lead to an automatic conviction and subsequent license suspension.

Many states will automatically suspend a driver's license for refusing to submit to a breath test. This applies to all drivers, regardless of age.

Specific Traffic Ticket Violations

In most situations, you will face a suspended license if convicted of any of the following traffic violations:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving you that resulted in injury, death or property damage.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Reckless endangerment in a road construction zone.
  • Eluding a police officer.
  • Driving without car insurance.
  • Committing a felony involving a motor vehicle.
  • Vehicular assault, homicide or manslaughter.
  • Unattended child in a running vehicle.

Too Many DMV Points

States employing a point system suspend and/or revoke driver licenses with too many points. The exact point totals assigned to each traffic violation vary by state, as does the license suspension point amount.

North Carolina, for example, will suspend the license of any driver who accumulates 12 points within a three-year period on his or her driving record. California drivers could face license suspension with four points in 12 months, or six points within 24 months.

As each state varies, find out whether yours offers a way for drivers to reduce points on their driving records.

Too Many Traffic Tickets

You're red-flagged as a habitual offender. This system is more prevalent in states without DMV point systems. An excessive number of speeding tickets, for example, could result in the loss of driving privileges.

Non-Driving Violations

Many states will pull a driver's license for violations unrelated to driving. For instance, failing to pay child support, or getting convicted for stealing motor fuel will result in the loss of license.

This especially applies to teen drivers. Michigan, for example, will suspend or delay the driving privileges of any teen who makes a false bomb threat. And Florida may suspend the driving privileges of any teen who drops out of school.

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