Motorists typically receive a specific number of demerit points in Michigan if found responsible for violating set road rules and regulations. Under the state DMV point system, different amounts of points will be assessed depending on the severity of the committed violation. In general, a higher number of MI infraction points are added on driving records for more serious offenses. In addition to driver violation points, convicted drivers may also face other penalties, such as large fines or imprisonment. To avoid any adverse effects on their licensure due to driving points, motorists may enroll into a traffic school course. Learn more about the Michigan point system and the option to contest traffic tickets in the sections below:
- Moving violations and points in Michigan
- Penalties in Michigan
- How to fix a Michigan driving record
- Disputing a Michigan moving violation charge
Moving Violations and Points in Michigan
The amount of MI demerit points assessed for each traffic offense is set by law in the state Vehicle Code. Per the state demerit point system, different infractions will result in a different number of negative points. In general, the number of moving violation points in Michigan ranges from two to six points. For instance, motorists will receive six reckless driving points following a conviction of such offense. The same number of DUI points will be placed against their record, provided they have been convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs or refused to submit to a chemical testing. Three careless driving points will be added on a driving transcript due to bad driving habits. Other moving violations and their corresponding points are included in the following list:
- Failure to stop and provide identification at the scene of a crash - 6 points.
- Fleeing or eluding a law enforcement agent - 6 points.
- Drag racing - 4 points.
- Driving 11 to 15 mph over the speed limit - 3 speeding ticket points.
Note: The penalty points assessed against your report will remain there for two years, after that time, they will be removed.
Drivers who accumulate 12 or more points due to unsafe driving behavior within 24 months may be required to attend a driver assessment re-examination. The outcome of this re-examination will determine whether they will be penalized with a suspended driving license.
Penalties in Michigan
Michigan traffic violation penalties resulting from different infractions within the state may vary depending on the nature of the offense. In general, speeding ticket penalties are less severe as opposed to drunk driving penalties. DUI penalties in MI will not only include negative points on your report, but also large fines and other consequences. The following list outlines different penalties due to alcohol and drug-related misdemeanors in Michigan:
- A first-time offender convicted of operating while intoxicated (OWI) or operating with presence of drugs (OWPD): A 30-day license suspension, a fine between $100 and $500, a 93-day jail sentence and/or community service.
- Driving with a BAC higher than .16: A one-year license suspension, $200 to $700 fine, up to 180 days in jail and/or community service.
MI DUI penalties are even stricter for drivers younger than 21 years of age.
Note: In addition to the aforementioned penalties, you may also be required to attend an alcohol and/or drug rehabilitation program, install an ignition interlock device and more.
In order to regulate motorists' driving habits, the state of Michigan has also enacted the Driver Responsibility Law under which licensees are sanctioned financially if they accumulate a certain number of points on their record. For instance, if you accrue seven demerit points due to a Category 1 offense, you must pay a $100 fine. Note that fines will increase by $50 for each point above seven for Category 1 infractions and they are calculated only once per year.
How to Fix a Michigan Driving Record
Completing a state-accepted defensive driving course is generally the best way to earn a point reduction. Drivers who wish to enroll into a driver improvement course in Michigan, also known as the Basic Driver Improvement Course (BDIC) may not be able to dismiss traffic tickets or remove points from driving records. Participating in an approved MI driving safety course will, however, help motorists avoid license suspensions, as they will not be assigned points following a certain traffic infraction. Before initiating this procedure, check whether you are eligible for the course and inquire about online driving school classes.
Disputing a Michigan Moving Violation Charge
The process of contesting a speeding ticket in MI or other citation may be finalized through the court handling your case. The exact steps to fight a traffic ticket may vary by county. If you wish to contest traffic tickets in Michigan, you will generally need to notify the corresponding court of your decision to plead "not guilty" and wait for a trial date. If you want to avoid the accumulation of MI demerit points on your record, as well as paying large fines, you must present a strong defense in court.