How Many Points Do I Have On My License? and How Many Points Can I Have on My License?
Most States (but not all States) have what we call a “point system” used to track traffic offenses and ultimately drivers who accumulate to many points in a certain period of time can lose their license. One question that I’m commonly asked by an individual looking for an attorney to handle a traffic matter is “how many points do I have on my license”. The short answer is I don’t know, but there are ways of finding out. Because I’m an attorney licensed in Colorado, this article will deal mainly with the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles; however, most states will be similar to Colorado. Its best you check with an attorney who deals with traffic issues in your state for more information.
First, what is a “point”, for the purposes of DMV? A point is an assigned number given to certain offenses. The more severe the offense, the more “points” that will be assigned to that offense. The accumulation of to many points in a certain period of time will normally result in the driver’s license being revoked for some time. Sound fairly vague? Well it’s meant to be, there are a lot of grey areas in the whole “points” issue. In Colorado, a driver between the ages of 16 and 18 can accumulate 6 points in any 12 consecutive months, or 7 points for the period of the license, so really a driver can only accumulate 7 points between the ages of 16 and 18. Once a driver reaches age 18 but before they turn 21, they can accumulate 9 points in 12 consecutive months, 12 points in a 24 month period of time, or 14 points for the duration of the license. Finally, when a driver reaches age 21, they can accumulate 12 points in 12 months, or 18 points in a 24 month period of time.
Now, I mentioned that different offenses are assigned different points based on the severity of the offense. For instance in Colorado, a DUI is a 12 point offense, meaning that if you went to court and pled guilty to DUI, 12 points would automatically be entered against your license and you would get a “point suspension”. Offenses like speeding are assigned points based on the speed over the posted speed limit you are cited for. So for instance if you are cited for traveling 1-4 miles over the speed limit, you would not receive any points, 5-9 over is a 3 point offense, 10-19 miles per hour over is a 4 point offense and so on. Once a driver receives a “point suspension” its important that they contact an attorney who deals with these types of cases, because there are things that can be done to preserve your privilege to drive. For instance, we can request a “points hearing”, where we appear in front of a DMV hearings officer and they consider certain aggravating and mitigating evidence to determine the length of the suspension, as well as whether or not they will grant a restricted license during the suspension.
Finally, as to the question “how many points do I have on my license”, the only way to determine that is either keep track of the convictions you have received and their corresponding points, or request a certified copy of your driving record from your states DMV. If you live in Colorado, the easiest way to do this is to send a letter requesting a copy of your drivers license to Department of Revenue Division of Motor Vehicles Driver Control Section Denver, CO 80261-0016, along with a check or money order for $2.20 if you are requesting a non-certified copy or $2.70 if you are requesting a certified copy. Unfortunately, this is the only way a driver can truly find out how many points they have on their license.
Steven Rodemer is a criminal defense attorney in Colorado Springs at The Law Office of Steven Rodemer, LLC. Steve has been named for three years as on of the “Top 40 Attorneys Under 40” by the National Trial Lawyers, a “Top 100” DUI Attorney by the National Advocacy for DUI Defense and was named as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers in 2014.
Steve can be reached at 90 South Cascade Avenue, Suite 1420, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, (719) 635-7886. www.coloradospringscriminaldefense.net