How to Lose Your Driver's License

by Scott Grabel

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:

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:

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.

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.

Non-Driving 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.