Traffic Violations

License Suspension

In most states, you can lose your driver’s license for multiple infractions within a short period of time. For serious moving violations like drunk driving or a hit-and-run incident, it only has to happen once to be in serious risk of losing your license.

While exact rules vary from state to state, most Departments of Motor Vehicles have a point system, with a certain number of points given for each type of infraction. After you get so many points, you lose your license.

You’ll be allowed a chance to explain yourself at a revocation hearing before a Department of Motor Vehicles hearings examiner suspends your license. This is your opportunity to explain any actions you’ve taken – such as alcohol evaluation and treatment- to make sure you don’t repeat your driving mistakes in the future.

If you need to be able to drive yourself to and from work, school or activities for your children, let the hearings examiner know. In many instances, you can work out a restricted license arrangement that still lets you drive in limited circumstances.

Vehicle Insurance Increases

Your car insurance can go up dramatically as a result of more than one traffic infraction. Depending on your age and your previous driving history, you may want to fight a traffic infraction regardless of your chances of success in order to avoid a large insurance hike.

How do you find out what the effect of your ticket may be on your insurance rates? The last thing you want to do is alert your insurance company directly that you’ve been ticketed, especially if you’re considering fighting the ticket. You can have a friend call anonymously and ask for rate information based on the number of tickets you have and your age. That way, your insurance company doesn’t have to know about your ticket until you’ve decided how to handle it.

If you find your insurance rates are going up as a result of your ticket, you’ll want to shop around and see if you can get a better rate from another insurance company.

Traffic School

In many states, you can go to a one- or two-day traffic school instead of having a ticket end up on your record. Of course, you have to pay for traffic school and put energy and time into attending. But it’s a sure way to avoid paying higher insurance rates. Rules as to whom is eligible for traffic school vary by state.

Usually, you won’t be able to use traffic school to avoid a ticket if you’ve received another ticket recently or if your infraction was for a serious offense such as drunk driving or hit-and-run.


Even if you go to traffic school, you’ll most likely still have to pay the fine listed on the face of the ticket, often disguised as “administrative court costs” or “processing fees.”

If you decide to plead guilty to a traffic infraction, be ready to pay the fine on the spot or make arrangements for regular payments over time. Otherwise, the judge could issue a bench warrant for your arrest.