The Points Add Up
Among the many consequences of a DUI conviction, you will become involved with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which oversees your driving privileges. The DMV will handle your Administrative Per Se license suspension, which is an automatic license suspension that takes effect 30 days after a DUI arrest. This suspension is separate from the suspension the court will hand down. The DMV will also add two points to your driving record. These two points mean the DMV has its eyes on you and can take swift action against you if you slip up again.
Driving points remain on your record and act as a tally of your driving violations. The more violations you accumulate, the more points you get, and the more likely it is you will lose your license. One too many could result in additional consequences for your driving privileges above and beyond what you will get for your DUI.
The DMV adds points for many vehicle code violations and some criminal convictions as well. Not surprisingly, a criminal conviction can result in more points being added than a minor traffic ticket for something like failing to signal. The results of two points on your record will depend on your current driving record as it stands. To better understand how two points for a DUI will affect your driving record, let's take a look at the California DMV driving points system and how it works.
The Negligent Operator Program
The California DMV Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) keeps track of the driving records of Californians. The NOTS program will add points to your driving record for certain violations and sends drivers through a system of warnings before taking adverse action against their driver's licenses.
At Level I, the DMV will send you a computer-generated warning letter. You will receive a warning letter if you acquire:
- Two points within a 12 month period
- Four points within a 24 month period
- Six points within a 36 month period, or if
- A major conviction is added to your record (e.g., a DUI)
At Level II, the DMV will send you a Notice of Intent to Suspend. You will receive a notice if you acquire:
- Three points within a 12 month period
- Five points within a 24 month period
- Seven points within a 36 month period, or if
- A major conviction is added to your record
At Level III, the DMV will send you an Order of Probation/Suspension and will suspend your license. You will reach Level III if you acquire:
- Four points within a 12 month period
- Six points within a 24 month period
- Eight points within a 36 month period
The DMV will suspend your license for six months and put you on probation for 12 months, which will run concurrently.
Level IV is reserved for those who've reached Level III and are on probation. At Level IV, the DMV will extend your license suspension six months and your probation 12 months from the date of your violation. You will reach Level IV if you violate the terms of your probation by accumulating any additional violations, get in an accident, fail to appear at a hearing (FTA), or fail to pay your fine (FTP.)
The Aftermath of a DUI
Having driving points added to your record isn't the most serious consequence of a DUI, but it doesn't help. And, once you have those points added, you could face another license suspension down the road if you accumulate more points or a collision occurs.
A DUI conviction will result in both short-term and long-term consequences. If the DMV adds two points to your record for a DUI, you will be tracked in the NOTS, and the stakes will be higher if you get a traffic ticket or get in an accident down the road after you are driving again. Keep those long-term consequences in mind when facing DUI charges and ask yourself if it is worth it.
Speak with an experienced California DUI and driving crime defense attorney if you are facing DUI charges. The sooner you take action, the better your chance of defending all your rights. An attorney can advise you of those rights, explain how they can help you in your case, and assist you with your proceedings.
Are you facing DUI charges? Visalia area DUI and driving crime defense attorney Christopher Martens can help you fight your charges and defend your rights. With over ten years of criminal defense experience, Mr. Martens has handled thousands of cases and has taken over 50 to trial. Attorney Christopher Martens has the skills and knowledge needed to defend your rights. Serving the Visalia and Fresno areas, The Law Offices of Christopher Martens can provide expert criminal defense counsel. Call our office at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.