Per the rules of the Maine point system, drivers who commit traffic violations within the state will also accrue a certain amount of demerit points on their driving records. The amount of ME penalty points you accumulate varies based on the seriousness of the committed offense. The traffic violation penalties for certain more serious infractions may also include an immediate license suspension or revocations, as well as a court-issued sentence. Find out more about the Maine driver point system and learn how to initiate the process of fighting a speeding ticket and other types of citations within the state by reading the following sections:
- Moving violations and points in Maine
- Penalties in Maine
- How to fix a driving record in Maine
- Disputing a moving violation charge in Maine
Moving Violations and Points in Maine
When assessing moving violation points in Maine, the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) follows the guidelines of its official penalty point schedule. The number of assigned drivers license points generally varies based on the severity of the violation. Also, note that the BMV does not assign infraction points for certain more serious offenses. For example, instead of accumulating DUI points in ME for operating under the influence (OUI) offenses, motorists are penalized with an immediate license suspension.
Review the ME demerit point penalties for several types of offenses in the following list:
- Speeding under the posted minimum limit: 2 speeding ticket points.
- Failure to use a signal light: 2 points.
- Operating without a valid license: 4 points.
- Failure to obey a stop sign or a red light: 4 points.
- Leaving the scene of an accident that involves property damages: 6 car accident points.
- Driving while under suspension: 8 points.
The rules of the Maine DMV point system mandate that drivers who accumulate a certain amount of demerit points for speeding or other types of violations are to be penalized with a driving license suspension. Once your total infraction point count reaches six points, the bureau will warn you of a potential license suspension. If you accumulate 12 or more moving violation points in ME, on the other hand, your license will be suspended.
Note: Drivers at risk of a point-related suspension have the right to request a hearing with the BMV for purposes of reducing or rescinding the administrative penalty.
Penalties in Maine
In addition to the Maine traffic violation penalty issued by the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles, drivers who violate the state motor vehicle laws will also be subject to certain court-imposed sentences. Both the administrative traffic ticket penalty and the court-set punishments will vary based on the severity of the committed violation. The DUI penalties issued to drivers who commit an OUI offense, for example, are much harsher than the penalties issued for minor infractions.
You may be subject to any combination of the following drunk driving penalties in ME if you are apprehended for driving under the influence of alcohol:
- A steep traffic ticket fine as well as additional court costs.
- A court-ordered suspension.
- A jail sentence.
- A mandatory participation in an alcohol treatment program.
Note: The DWI penalties in ME vary based on your circumstances. Repeat offenders, for example, are treated more harshly. Certain factors, such as the speed at which you were traveling and your BAC level may also affect the severity of the administered penalties.
How to Fix a Driving Record in Maine
The state BMV reduces the amount of Maine demerit points from a driver's record after a certain time period. Motorists, however, can also utilize the option to reduce license points by enrolling in a point reduction course in ME. One of the defensive driving courses that grant you eligibility for point reduction is known as the Driving Dynamics Course (DDC) within the state. With a certificate of completion of a state-accepted driving safety course, drivers can reduce up to three points from their records. Even if you have not already accumulated any infraction points, you will still earn a three-point credit, which will be applied once you commit a traffic violation.
Note: You can clear your driving record in ME in the manner outlined above only once within a 12-month period.
Disputing a Moving Violation Charge in Maine
To initiate the process of fighting a speeding ticket in Maine or another type of citation, drivers must first fill out and mail their ticket to the state Violations Bureau within 20 days of receiving it. After scheduling a date to fight a traffic ticket with the corresponding court, the Violations Bureau will inform you of the details of the arraignment. If you fail to appear at court on the scheduled date, your attempt to dispute a speeding ticket in ME will be unsuccessful, and the judge will render a decision of "guilty" by default. In such cases, you will be required to pay the corresponding traffic ticket penalty fine and the conviction will be reported on your driver's record. When the court records your decision to contest traffic tickets in ME, it proceeds with the official hearing. During the hearing, both the defendant and the officer who issued the ticket will be granted an opportunity to present their testimonies. You will know whether or not your attempt at appealing a traffic ticket was successful once the judge hears both sides. If you are found guilty to the offense, you have the right to appeal the verdict.