How to Lose Your Driver's License
Driving is a privilege that most adults in the U.S. take advantage of. In exchange for the freedom of movement that comes from operating a vehicle, one must know and obey certain laws that are set forth by the federal and state governments. Failure to obey these rules can cause a person to lose their driver's license either temporarily or permanently. While it may be possible to get one's driving privileges restored with the help of Michigan driver's license restoration lawyers, one should ideally attempt to avoid a suspension altogether. To prevent the suspension of one's license, drivers should take the time to understand what the laws are and make every effort to comply with them.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Regardless of what state a person lives in, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a dangerous behavior that will likely end in the suspension of a driver's license. For adults who have a DUI conviction, the courts take the following into consideration when determining how long their license suspension should be:
- The driver's blood alcohol content, as it is illegal for adults to drive with a 0.08% BAC or higher
- Whether the driver is under the age of 21. as it is illegal for people in this age range to drive with any amount of alcohol in their system. For this reason, many states have zero-tolerance laws that mandate both a conviction and an automatic suspension of one's license.
- If the driver has multiple DUIs on record
- Whether or not the driver's actions resulted in an injury accident
- If the driver's actions resulted in a loss of life
- Penalties for Drunk-Driving Vehicular Manslaughter (PDF)
- Drugged Driving: Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (PDF)
- Alcohol-Impaired Driving
- Drunk-Driving Laws Vary From State to State
- Impaired Driving: DUI/DWI
Specific Traffic Ticket Violations
Every driver knows that certain things should not be done when driving a vehicle. These actions are ones that not only disregard driving laws but also potentially put lives at risk. Unfortunately, impatience, disregard, and plain recklessness are just a few of the reasons why people find themselves committing these traffic violations. People who do any of the following will, in most cases, have their license suspended if they are convicted and may even find themselves in jail:
- Fleeing an accident that one has caused or been a part of in which there has been property damage, an injury, or a fatality
- Driving recklessly
- Speeding or otherwise driving recklessly in a construction zone
- Causing a police chase in an effort to avoid being caught
- Taking part in a felony that involves a car or other motor vehicle
- Failure to obtain car insurance
- Using a vehicle to cause the death of another person. This is known as vehicular homicide, manslaughter, or assault.
- Leaving a child alone in a running vehicle. Children left in cars are at risk of kidnapping and death due to overheating.
- Reckless Driving
- The Sad Fact About Hit-and-Runs
- Where Is it a Crime to Leave Kids in a Parked Car Alone?
- Penalties for Driving Without Auto Insurance (PDF)
- Michigan Penal Code: Failure to Obey
Too Many DMV Violation Points
In the U.S., most states employ a point system that helps them to rate and tally up drivers' violations of the law. The number of points attached to each type of violation will vary depending on the state. In addition, each state has its own rules in regards to how many points a driver can accumulate within a specific period of time before action is taken. Depending on the number of violation points a driver has accrued, the individual's license may be suspended or even revoked. For example, a California driver is considered to be a negligent operator and faces a suspension of their license if they accumulate four points in 12 months, six points in 24 months, or eight points in a 36-month period.
- Points on Your Record (PDF)
- Point Suspensions
- Young Drivers and Points
- Driver's License Point System in GA
- Ten Things You Need to Know About Driver's License Points
Too Many Traffic Tickets
In some states, people who regularly rack up moving violations for driving through red lights, not stopping at street signs, or speeding may find themselves without the driving privileges that are often take for granted. Individuals who live in Chicago, for example, may receive a suspension notice if they have five or more unpaid automated speed enforcement tickets. In Indiana, a person is considered a habitual traffic violator and will have their license suspended for five years if they have nine speeding tickets and a reckless driving conviction within a decade. The rules regarding traffic tickets and one's driver's license vary and are often harshest in states that do not have a point system in place. The loss of one's driving privileges isn't overnight, however. Depending on the frequency of the tickets, a person may first be put on probation as a warning that any further tickets will cost their license. In some cases, a state may choose to skip probation and simply suspend one's license after they've received a certain number of tickets in a specific period. Additionally, the number of violations that a person is allowed may be fewer if the driver is under the age of 18 or 21.
- Too Many Traffic Tickets (Moving Violations)
- Suspension for Traffic Violation in Maryland
- Suspensions and Revocations
- City of Chicago Driver's License Suspension
- Common Traffic Violations
In some states, failing to pay a fine for non-driving offenses such as parking violations may also result in the loss of one's license. The suspension of one's license for non-driving violations can sometimes be longer than one for moving violations. In states such as Wisconsin, for example, one's license may be suspended for as many as two years. Other offenses, even ones that have little or nothing to do with driving, can also lead to the temporary loss of one's license. An individual who does not pay child support, for example, may find their license suspended. Failure to make student loan payments may also be cause for some states to legally suspend a license. Additional infractions that could potentially cause people to need alternative means of transportation in certain states include bouncing a check, failure to pay court fines, stealing gas, and habitual school truancy. In states such as Massachusetts, littering may even result in the suspension of a driver's license.