West Virginia DMV Point System
The driver point system in West Virginia assigns demerit points to drivers who commit traffic offenses while operating motor vehicles on public roads. Different amounts of traffic violation points are added to your driving record for different offenses. The number of driving points depends on the type and severity of the traffic violation committed. Accumulating too many WV infraction points on your driving transcript will bring you harsh penalties such as driver’s license suspensions or revocations, high traffic fines and jail time. Therefore, you are encouraged to clear your driving record in order to avoid such penalties. Find out more about the West Virginia DMV point system and about the process of disputing a traffic ticket by reviewing the following sections:
- Moving violations and points in West Virginia
- Penalties in West Virginia
- How to fix a driving record in West Virginia
- Disputing a moving violation charge in West Virginia
Moving Violations and Points in West Virginia
West Virginia drivers accrue moving violation points on their driving records when they commit certain traffic offenses. A varying number of WV demerit points will be assessed for different traffic violations depending on their type, severity and the number of previous convictions. The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has developed a driver point system which enables the department to assess different traffic offenses and their corresponding penalty points:
- Eluding a police officer – 8 points.
- Speeding in a school zone – 6 points.
- Careless/Reckless driving – 6 points.
- Speeding over the limit – 3 to 6 points.
- Failing to obey traffic sign or signal – 3 points.
- Improper turning – 2 points.
Demerit points for speeding in West Virginia may vary depending on the velocity that was used in operation of the motor vehicle. For instance, operating a vehicle 11 to 14 mph over the speed limit will bring you three speeding ticket points on your driving record. Motorists will accumulate five points for speeding from speeding 15 to 19 mph over the limit or six points for driving more than 20 mph over the set speed limit.
Note: Drivers who commit several offenses will only be assessed the infraction points of the most serious violation.
Penalties in West Virginia
Accumulating a large number of WV demerit points may bring you additional penalties such as driver’s license suspensions, high traffic fines or imprisonment. Traffic violation penalties may lead to a suspension of your driving privileges for 30 to 90 days if you accrue 12 or more demerit points on your driving record. Accumulating 20 or more penalty points will keep your license suspended until the total point count is reduced to 11 or less.
DUI penalties in West Virginia may prove to be even harsher than other penalties because they may result from a simple refusal to take an alcohol test. The impaired driving penalties include a driver’s license revocation that may range from one year to a lifetime. Moreover, drivers who face drunk driving penalties may receive a jail sentence from 24 hours to six months and may have to pay a driving fine of $500 for a first conviction.
Note: Drivers who deal with traffic violation penalties and driver’s license revocations will receive warning letters as soon as they accumulate six demerit points or more on their driving transcript.
How to Fix a Driving Record in West Virginia
Drivers can enroll in a West Virginia defensive driving course in order to remove points from driving records, to dismiss traffic tickets or for other reasons such as lowering the car insurance premiums or becoming a better motorist. Motorists can register for an in-person traffic school program to reduce points once in a period of 12 months. However, online driving school is not offered for point reduction.
Disputing a Moving Violation Charge in West Virginia
When fighting a speeding ticket in West Virginia, drivers are expected to appear in court and plead “not guilty” of the charge. Note that you may be able to enter your plea on or before the due date of your ticket. The process of contesting a traffic ticket will once again depend on the court handling your case. Motorists can easily dispute a speeding ticket by gathering evidence and hiring a traffic attorney who specializes in citation laws and regulations. Drivers who successfully contest traffic tickets in WV may have to pay large fines and additional penalties. However, remember that before appealing a traffic ticket, you must not pay the driving fine because that will be considered an admission of guilt and you will not be able to continue with the procedure.