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What does it means to have “points” on my Wisconsin driver record?

On Behalf of | Jun 25, 2016 | Firm News

Demerit points are assessed drivers when they are convicted of a moving violation, beginning on the date of the violation.  The courts send WisDOT Division of Motor Vehicles records of all convictions for moving traffic violations.
Persons who hold a probationary license are assessed double points for the second and all subsequent points.
When 12 or more demerit points are accumulated in one year, a suspension of the driver privilege is required, for a minimum of two months.
Convictions remain on the driver records for five years from the date of conviction. However, alcohol related and some commercial violations remain on the record for 10 years to life.
How points can be reducedThe point total may be reduced by three points for attending an approved traffic safety school.
Only one reduction is allowed in a five year period for points assessed to the A, B, C, D classification.
One reduction of three points is also allowed in a five year period for points assessed for class M (Motorcycle) violations.
No point reduction is permitted if in one year a person accumulates 12 or more points which would require suspension.
How can I reopen a ticket? How would this help me?Specific questions about how a case can be reopened should be addressed by retaining  Attorney Paul A. Ksicinski, 38 South Main Street, #1056, Oconomowoc, WI 53066, 414-404-3393.
If a case is reopened and the final determination of the court results in an accumulation of less than 12 points in any 12-month period, there would be no suspension for demerit points. If a person is already suspended for demerit points, and the court’s determination reduces the point accumulation to less than 12 points in any 12-month period; the suspension would be released.
1. My citation says 4 points; but the DOT letter about my points says 8 points. Why?The point value noted on the citation is an “estimated point value”. The violation for which you are finally convicted, and the license type you hold at the time of conviction, determines the points assessed against the record.
If you hold a probationary license, instruction permit, or no license when the conviction is entered on the record, points will be doubled for any second and subsequent convictions, except for convictions under Chapter 347 of the Wisconsin Statutes, which are primarily vehicle equipment violations.
2. How many points do I have left?If you accumulate 12 or more demerit points in any 12-month period, a suspension will result. Individuals with a clear driving record have 0 points. Points are assessed for moving traffic convictions based on the violation offense date. When determining points, be sure to include any pending citations or convictions which do not yet appear on your record.
3. I have tickets pending. How will this affect my record?The violation date (not conviction date) determines whether you have accumulated 12 or more points in any 12-month period. If you are convicted of any pending violations the points will be counted based on the date of violations. If your conviction(s) result in the accumulation of 12 or more demerit points for violations within any 12-month period, a suspension will result.
4. Can I hold a ticket open so there will be more than one year between convictions?Since the determination of your point total is based on violation date and not conviction date, there is no advantage in doing so.
5. Points “fall off” after one year, but if there is a pending ticket, will the violation date be used?As long as convictions remain on the driver record, the points for those convictions remain available to determine whether 12 or more points have accumulated in any 12-month period. The violation dates, not the conviction dates, are used in that determination.
For example: you receive a traffic citation and do not go to court for two years. When the court does report the conviction, points are counted from the date of the violation. If the conviction causes you to accumulate 12 points in any 12-month period, your operating privilege will be suspended.
6. How will point reduction school help me?If you have completed an approved Traffic Safety course, you can request a 3-point reduction of your demerit point total. The point reduction must be claimed before the accumulation of 12 or more points in any 12-month period. No point reduction is permitted if you have already accumulated 12 or more points, which resulted in a suspension of your driving privilege. You can also request a 3-point reduction upon completion of a motorcycle rider course. (This point reduction only applies to violations and convictions incurred while operating a motorcycle.)
Courses can be taken as often as you wish, however you can receive only one point reduction in points every 5 years.
7. Can I take point reduction school after I’m suspended for accumulating 12 or more points?Yes, but no point reduction would be permitted and the suspension would stand. A reduction of up to 3 points would be applied after reinstatement of the operating privilege if points exist.
8. Is a zero point total good or bad?It helps to remember that these are demerit points. Therefore, you do not want to have points. All drivers with a clear record have zero points. As you accumulate convictions, you accumulate demerit points. If you accumulate 12 or more demerit points in any 12-month period, your driving privilege will be suspended.
9. When do points “fall” off my record?As long as a conviction remains on a driving record, the points associated with that conviction remain available to determine if a person has accumulated 12 or more points in any 12-month period. Remember that the violation dates, not the conviction dates, determine point accumulation.
See the example given in #5 above.
10. When can a ticket be removed from my record?Most convictions on a driving record are eligible to be removed five years after the conviction date. Many alcohol related convictions such as operating while under the influence of intoxicants, with a violation date after 12-31-88, remain on the driving record for 55 years. There are also commercial driver convictions which remain on the record for 55 years.