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Understanding the Nevada DMV Demerit Point System

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For Nevada traffic crimes and other related offenses, the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles implements a demerit system with various grades depending on the severity of the offense. Once a person accumulates a certain amount of points, their license is automatically suspended. The driver will have to wait a set period of time before the license is valid for use again.

Demerits can accumulate quickly if you’re not mindful about traffic violations that you may be committing. Even minor offenses can be a problem in the wrong if you’re not careful. As such, you have to understand how Nevada’s DMV demerit system works.

The Points System

As stated earlier, an offending driver gets demerit points for each traffic-related offense that they commit. The amount of points they receive depends on how severe the violation was. The DMV notifies an offender by mail if they have received three or more demerit points within a short period, also warning them about a possible license restriction or suspension if the points rack up. Once the offender accrues 12 or more points within a 12-month period, their license is automatically suspended.

The points system breakdown is as follows:

  • Reckless driving – 8 points
  • Careless driving – 6 points
  • Failure to provide information or render aid during a road accident – 6 points
  • Tailgating – 4 points
  • Disregarding right-of-way – 4 points
  • Passing a signaling school bus – 4 points
  • Second and subsequent offense of handheld phone usage while driving – 4 points
  • Disobeying traffic signals and signs – 4 points
  • Impeding traffic or driving too slowly – 2 points
  • Failure to dim headlights – 2 points
  • Speed limit violations:
    • 1-10 mph over the limit – 1 point
    • 11-20 mph over the limit – 2 points
    • 21-30 mph over the limit – 3 points
    • 31-40 mph over the limit – 4 points
    • 41 mph and beyond – 5 points
    • prima facie speed violation/driving too fast for the current condition of the road – 2 points

Note that the system does not cover DUI cases, as a DUI conviction automatically warrants a license suspension. Meanwhile, non-moving offenses (like parking illegally or driving without a registration) do not receive demerits.

The Duration

In Nevada, demerit points stay on your license for a period of 12 months before disappearing. There is no need to do anything about these points as they will automatically be reset once the 12-month period is over. This applies no matter how severe the offenses were with regards to the amount of points you received over the period.

A license suspension based on demerits lasts for six months. However, if you do not commit any moving violations during this time, you can partially regain your license, with restrictions, after three months. A second 12-point suspension within three years of the first one equates to a one-year suspension, with restricted access available after six months. A third 12-point suspension within five years equates to another year-long suspension, but without the right to apply for a restricted license.

Note that the offender must personally apply for a restricted license once it becomes available.

How to Deal with Demerits

As stated earlier, DMV demerits go away after a 12-month period expires. However, you can remove three demerit points from your record immediately by attending a DMV-approved traffic safety course. Completing the courses at any of these DMV-approved schools means that you understand what offenses you committed, thus making you eligible for swiping off three points from your current record. There are some things to remember, however:

  • Only three points can be removed from your record per 12-month period, no matter how many times you attend a traffic safety course
  • Court-ordered safety courses related to plea bargains do not erase points
  • You may quickly regain these demerits even if you pay fines for a traffic ticket

Demerit points are an important reminder to drive safely on the road. Keep this in mind so you can be a more responsible driver. Contact your defense lawyer if you still have questions about traffic demerit points in Las Vegas.

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