Driving While Suspended: If The Suspension Was A Result Of A DWI
Interviewer: What would happen if you’ve been charged or convicted of a DWI, have your license suspended as a result and are then pulled over? Is that a special circumstance that would lead to more severe penalties?
Carl: Yes, that brings up a very interesting and problematic case. These are cases that I have handled in the past. A potential client may come to me, after being convicted of a DWI that possibly was handled by another attorney. Now, they’ve been pulled over and it was discovered that they were driving with a suspended license as a result of a DWI conviction.
They are actually facing jail time at this point. The minimum sentence is ten days and the maximum sentence is 90 days. That is what I would consider an offense with great magnitude. This is because now you are facing enhancements on the time your diver’s license will be suspended. You are looking at a $1,000.00 fine, and not less than 12 months and up to thirty months of additional time your license will be suspended. Also important, you could be facing nine additional insurance points on your license. In New Jersey, that’s what we call a traditional enhancement.
The Point System in the State of New Jersey
Interviewer: How does the license point system work in New Jersey?
Carl: There are two different types of points. One is the traditional, for example careless driving, 2 points, reckless driving, 5 points, speeding, depending on how fast you were driving is 2 points and so on. There is a list with the offenses and how many points you can incur for each offense. Most people are pretty familiar with this system, such as receiving points for running a red light or going through a stop sign.
Insurance Points Lead To A Higher Insurance Rate
The other type of point accumulation is receiving what is called insurance points. They are not as easy to figure out and they are based on a different system. Insurance points do not lead to suspension of your driving privileges, but they do lead to a higher insurance rate.
Your License Can Be Suspended For Accumulating 12 or More Points
The discussion about the point system segues back to the discussion of driving while suspended, statute 39:3-40. This is because point accumulation is another way to wind up with a suspended driver’s license. When you reach 12 points, the Motor Vehicle Commission will suspend your driving privileges.
That leads us back to getting pulled over while your license is suspended due to too many points. Now, you’ll be facing statute 39:3-40. This is where the point system becomes very relevant to our discussion of driving while your license is suspended.
How Long Do Points Stay On Your Driving Record?
Interviewer: How long does it take for points to come off your driving record?
Carl: I believe you get a two-point reduction every year. There are also driving point reduction classes that you can attend, either in person or participate in online.
These classes can reduce your Motor Vehicle points, not your insurance points, however. I believe you can participate once a year to qualify for a deduction, it’s not something you can take every month to try to eliminate all the points.
Driver Improvement Courses Can Lower Your Insurance Rate
Even if you don’t have any points on your license, you can take a Driver’s Improvement course to lower your insurance rate.
By Carl Spector