Traffic Violations in Montana
Driving is a privilege that can be suspended and revoked if you fail to operate your motor vehicle safely. Several offenses in Montana will cause your driver’s license to be suspended even if you have no other violations. The state also has a point system, and your license can be revoked for being a habitual offender. A habitual offender has more than 30 points of violations within a three-year period.
Montana Points System
The Montana Department of Justice Motor Vehicle Division will assign demerit points against your driver’s license for infractions. The point value varies depending upon the seriousness of the infraction. Most speeding offenses carry a three-point penalty, and failure to stop at a sign or light have a two-point penalty. More serious offenses have higher point values. Reckless driving carries a five-point penalty; for example, failure to stop when involved in an accident with an injury carries an eight-point penalty.
How Long Do Points Stay On Your Record?
In Montana, points affect your driving record for three years but stay on your record for life.
License Suspension and Reinstatement in
Under Montana law, your license can be suspended for several offenses. These include:
- Driving under the influence – first offense – six months, second offense within five years — one year
- Failure to submit to an alcohol test — first offense – six months, second offense – one year
- Operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol count of 0.02 percent and being younger than 21 – first offense – 90 days, second offense – six months, third offense — one year
- Failure to pay traffic fines or child support — indefinite suspension until paid
Other violations require suspension periods of from 30 days to a year or longer. These include:
- Drivers convicted of three reckless driving offenses committed within a period of 12 months
- Drivers who use a motor vehicle in the theft of motor vehicle fuel
- Failure to obtain the required medical evaluation or submit to testing
- Fraudulent application for a license to drive
- Falsifying a date of birth on a driver’s license application
- Altering a driver’s license or identification card to obtain alcohol
- Authorizing another person to use your license or identification card to obtain alcohol
- Any unlawful use of a driver license
Your license can be revoked for other offenses. When a license is revoked, you’ll have to pass all the driver’s tests again before it can be reinstated, even after the revocation period has elapsed. These offenses are:
- Negligent homicide or assault when operating a car — 1 year
- Any felony that results from operating a motor vehicle – 1 year
- Failure to stop and render aid when someone is injured or killed in an accident – 1 year
- Habitual offender — 3 years
If you get a ticket, you can plead guilty and pay the fine, or you can request a hearing to challenge the ticket. Fines are based on the seriousness of the offense. If you are convicted and fail to pay the fines, you can lose your privilege to drive until they are paid.
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