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Traffic violations can accumulate points toward suspensions

Driving in North Carolina is a privilege, not a right. When you have traffic violations, your license is assessed points. These points can lead to your license being suspended if you accumulate 12 points within a three-year period. It is important to understand that the points accumulate when you are convicted, not when the ticket is written. This might spur some people to fight the ticket in court when they are given one.

Each traffic violation in the state is assigned a number of points. Some violations, such as passing a stopped school bus, have higher point values than other violations, such as failing to properly restrain a child.

Additionally, commercial drivers usually face higher point values for violations than other drivers. Passing a stopped school bus is five points for a regular driver and eight points for a commercial driver.

It is possible to have your license revoked even if you don't have 12 points within a three-year period. If you are found to be speeding in excess of 15 mph over the speed limit and you are going at least 55 mph, you can face a revocation of at least 30 days.

There are some instances in which a driver will be assigned to take a driving clinic. When this is successfully completed, three points will be deducted from the points on the person's license. There is a fee associated with the clinic.

If you opt to fight a ticket that you get, you should make sure that you know your rights and options. This can help you to plan your battle.

Source: North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, "North Carolina Driver's Handbook," accessed Nov. 24, 2016

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