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The Point System for Traffic Violations in Texas

Kim Hamilton Attorney at Law April 25, 2023

Women sitting in car being pulled over by police officerTraffic violations can quickly add up, leading to potentially serious legal consequences. Texas takes traffic violations seriously. In 2020, the state of Texas recorded a total of 16,265 arrests due to traffic law violations.   

However, you do not have to face the challenges of a traffic violation alone. A reliable traffic law attorney at Kim Hamilton Attorney at Law focuses on helping clients protect their right to a fair defense and catering to their best possible outcome. Attorney Kim Hamilton proudly serves communities throughout Texas, including Fort Worth, Johnson County, and Tarrant County. 

The Point System in Texas

In Texas, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) uses the Traffic Point System to track and penalize drivers for traffic violations. The system assigns points to a driver’s license for each traffic violation committed. The number of points assigned depends on the severity of the offense.  

Some examples of traffic violations and the corresponding point values in Texas include:  

  • speeding (10-29 mph over the limit) - 2 points  

  • running a red light or stop sign - 2 points  

  • driving without a valid license or insurance - 2 points  

  • failure to yield right-of-way - 3 points  

  • reckless driving - 4 points  

  • DWI or DUI conviction - 6 points  

If a driver accumulates six or more points on their license within a three-year period, they may be subject to additional penalties, such as increased insurance rates or license suspension. The DPS may also require drivers to complete a defensive driving course to remove points from their records.  

It’s important to note that the point system only applies to moving violations and not to non-moving violations, such as parking tickets. Additionally, the point system may vary depending on the state, so it’s important to check with the relevant state agencies for specific information. 

Common Point Violations in Texas

The following violations determine how many points you will receive on your driver's license. 

One-Point Violations

  • Driving between lanes 

  • Following too closely 

  • Failing to signal a lane change or turn 

  • Failure to stop at a yield sign 

  • Driving with an expired license plate 

Two-Point Violations

  • Driving over the posted speed limit 

  • Running a red light or stop sign 

  • Driving without a license or insurance  

  • Failure to yield the right-of-way 

  • Reckless driving 

Three-Point Violations

  • Failure to stop and render aid 

  • Driving on the wrong side of the road 

  • Passing a school bus 

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a BAC of .08 or higher 

  • Failure to maintain financial responsibility 

Four-Point Violations

  • Racing public roads 

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a BAC of .15 or higher 

  • Leaving the scene of an accident 

  • Driving with a suspended or revoked license 

  • Reckless driving causing bodily injury 

Five-Point Violations

  • Manslaughter with a vehicle 

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a BAC of .16 or higher 

  • Evading arrest with a vehicle 

  • Reckless driving causing serious bodily injury 

  • Intoxication assault with a vehicle  

Six-Point Violations

  • Intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle  

  • Hit and run with serious bodily injury 

  • Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle 

  • Racing resulting in serious bodily injury 

  • Reckless driving resulting in death 

How Traffic School Can Affect Traffic Points in Texas

In Texas, completing a state-approved defensive driving course (also known as “traffic school”) can help drivers reduce the number of points on their driver’s license. If a driver receives a traffic ticket and is eligible, they can take a defensive driving course to dismiss the ticket and prevent the violation from appearing on their driving record. Additionally, taking a defensive driving course can help reduce the total points if the driver has accumulated points on your license.  

However, it’s important to note that defensive driving courses can only be used to dismiss one traffic ticket per year. Certain violations are not eligible for dismissal through defensive driving. Additionally, taking a defensive driving course does not prevent the ticket from appearing on your driving record unless you successfully complete the course and submit proof of completion to the court. 

Possible Penalties for Point Accumulation in Texas

In Texas, point accumulation on a driver’s license can result in various penalties, including: 

Driver Responsibility Program (DRP) Surcharges

If a driver accumulates six or more points on their driving record within a three-year period, they may be required to pay annual surcharges through the DRP. The surcharges range from $100 to $2,000 per year for three years, depending on the number of points accumulated. 

License Suspension

If drivers accumulate too many points on their driving record within a certain period, their license may be suspended. In Texas, a driver’s license can be suspended if the accumulate:  

  • four or more points within a 12-month period  

  • seven or more points within a 24-month period  

  • ten or more points at any time 

Increased Insurance Rates

Insurance companies may increase rates for drivers who accumulate points on their driving record, as they are considered a higher risk. 

Mandatory Defensive Driving Courses

Drivers who accumulate points may be required to complete a defensive driving course to maintain their driving privileges. 

Criminal Penalties

If a driver’s actions result in a traffic violation that causes injury or death, criminal charges may be filed, and penalties may include fines, license revocation, and even imprisonment. 

Turn to Strong and Reliable Legal Help

There are many consequences associated with any traffic violation. It is vital to take matters seriously and get a knowledgeable traffic law attorney on your side. Attorney Kim Hamilton is ready to help you defend your right to a fair defense.   

Contact Attorney Kim Hamilton Attorney at Law, today. Get the right legal guidance on your side.