Michigan has traffic laws that motorists must abide to retain their driving privileges. Too many violations or driving in a criminal manner will trigger a loss of driving privileges, fines and possible imprisonment. The following information will help motorists to better understand how Michigan traffic tickets and violations work.
Traffic Violations Overview
When ticketed for a moving violation, the state of Michigan provides the accused with the opportunity to dispute the ticket, admit guilt and pay the fine, or pay the fine without admitting guilt. When disputing a traffic ticket, a local magistrate handles the case and rules right away based on the merits presented. When a motorist is ticketed and either found guilty or admits guilt.
Michigan Points System
The Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) uses a points system that punishes habitual offenders, drunk drivers and others. Accruing too many points could trigger a loss of driving privileges. Any driver who accrues at least 12 points must appear for a driver reexamination hearing that might result in suspension of driving privileges.
Upon conviction of a traffic violation, the state assesses the following points:
- 6 points for driving under the influence, reckless driving, felony use of a vehicle and other serious violations.
- 4 points for impaired driving, exceeding the speed limit by 16 mph, drag racing and similar violations.
- 3 points for exceeding the speed limit by 11 to 15 mph, careless driving, disobeying a traffic signal and similar violations.
- 2 points for open intoxicants, refusing a breathalyzer test by a driver under 21 years of age, and all other moving violations.
The SOS also applies convictions for operating snowmobiles and off-road vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to residential driving records. A DUI conviction while snowmobiling off-roading carries the same penalties as a DUI conviction while driving on public roads.
How Long Points Last
Points accrued for moving violations in Michigan last for two years following the date of the conviction. The state does not provide offenders with a way to remove points via driver training and will not negate a ticket unless you challenge it and win the initial case.
License Suspension and Reinstatement
If you accrue 12 or more points for moving violations, the SOS will require a driver reexamination that could result in a suspension or restriction of driving privileges. A suspension means a motorists cannot drive at all. A restriction means the motorist can drive only for certain reasons, like going to and from work.
Anyone who has legitimate concerns about a motorist’s ability to drive safely also can submit a Request for Driver Evaluation form that outlines the concerns about a particular driver. A motorist who suffers from dementia or otherwise is incapable of driving safely might have one or more family members request a review of that person’s ability to drive safely.
If your driving privileges are suspended or restricted, you can appeal the decision. If the decision is upheld, you will need to wait for the period of suspension or driving restriction to conclude.
You can pay fines or fees to reinstate your license in person at an SOS service center, online or by mailing it to the address indicated by the Michigan SOS. The SOS does not accept cash payments but does accept person checks, money orders, cashier’s checks, debit cards or credit cards.
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