Drivers generally receive a certain amount of Connecticut demerit points on their driving records whenever they are convicted of a traffic violation within the state. Per the rules of the CT point system, the number of assigned points on license varies based on the severity of the infraction. In addition to infraction points and potential license suspensions, drivers will also be penalized with a court-set fine penalty. More serious offenses may also lead to jail sentences. Read more about driving license penalty points and how to fight a traffic ticket in Connecticut in the following sections:
- Moving violations and points in Connecticut
- Penalties in Connecticut
- How to fix a driving record in Connecticut
- Disputing a moving violation charge in Connecticut
Moving Violations and Points in Connecticut
When assessing demerit points for speeding in Connecticut or points for different types of violations, the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) follows the guidelines of its official CT demerit point schedule. The amount of moving violation points that you can receive ranges from one to five, and it varies based on the severity of the offense. Review several types of offenses punishable under the CT driver point system in the following list:
- Speeding over the posted limit: 1 speeding ticket point.
- Failure to obey a stop sign: 2 points.
- Driving while impaired by drugs and/or alcohol: 3 DWI points.
- Passing a stopped school bus: 4 points.
- Committing homicide with a motor vehicle: 5 points.
Drivers who accumulate car accident points, careless driving points and other types of points that amount to six or more are warned by the DMV of an upcoming driving license suspension. If your total CT moving violation point count surpasses 10 points, the department will penalize you with a 30-day license suspension. If you accumulate more than 10 points for the second time within five years of the first occurrence, your license will remain suspended until your total point count is reduced below 10.
Penalties in Connecticut
Traffic violation penalties in Connecticut generally vary based on the type of infraction that was committed. DUI penalties are typically much harsher than speeding ticket penalties, for example, due to the serious nature of the offense. When issuing drunk driving penalties in CT, state courts and the DMV take into consideration the motorist's driving history. However, even if you are a first-time operating under the influence (OUI) offender, the DMV will still suspend your license for a certain time period. As part of your administrative DWI penalties, you will also be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. In addition to the penalties issued by the department, you will also be punished by the court that convicted you. The criminal DUI penalties may include a jail sentence, a steep fine and/or a community service sentence.
Another offense that may result in serious traffic violation penalties in CT is reckless driving. If you are convicted of this type of infraction for the first time, the resulting reckless driving penalties may include a six-month license suspension, certain court-set fines and 30 days of imprisonment.
Note: Repeat offenders are subject to harsher penalties, regardless of the type of violation they have committed.
How to Fix a Driving Record in Connecticut
Drivers wondering how to remove violations from driving record reports may be able to do so by completing a CT defensive driving course. However, the option to enroll in traffic school online or in person for purposes of avoiding a conviction on your driving transcript is offered on a case-by-case basis by different courts within the state. Also, note that the state DMV does not currently allow motorists to reduce license points in CT by completing a traffic school program. Drivers who are at risk of a license suspension, however, will be mandated to attend the DMV Operator Retraining Program in order to avoid the impending administrative action against their driving privileges.
Note: Moving violation points lose their value after 24 months of accumulation.
Disputing a Moving Violation Charge in Connecticut
Fighting a speeding ticket in Connecticut and other types of traffic citations is a procedure that can be completed through the state court that is processing your ticket. In order to initiate the procedure to fight a traffic ticket in CT, drivers will first have to contact the state Centralized Infractions Bureau (CIB) and submit a plea of "not guilty". After the CIB transfers your case to the corresponding court, it will mail you a Notice of Transfer. Prior to appealing a traffic ticket in front of a judge, ensure to collect any supporting evidence and contact any witnesses that may assist you. Note that the CT traffic violation penalties and the total payment amount that results from a guilty verdict are generally more severe than the original fine amount. In such cases, you will also accumulate a certain amount of moving violation points on your driving transcript.
Note: You can hire a traffic ticket attorney to increase your chances of winning the case.