How Do Violations Affect You?
Violations have a big impact on you and on your auto insurance rates. Violations are categorized in three categories. There are major, minor, and non-moving violations. Depending on which one, can have different effects on you and your rates. For instance, some of the major violations can last on your record and stay impacting you for 10 years. So, when receiving an auto quote, you will be asked if you know of any violations within the past 3-5 years. There is an MVR or known as a Motor Vehicle Report will be ran. That information will be things such as your driving history, your drivers license information and any violations or convictions you have on your driving record. Now, I am going to break down some of the most common violations and have how long they can stay on your record.
Types of Violations
DUI– (Driving under the Influence) This can be driving under the influence of alcohol which is what it is most commonly used for, but it is driving while impaired. So, that can even be under the influence of drugs as well. This is a profoundly serious and is a major violation. This can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Most of the time, the driver will lose his license for an amount of time and are of course charged with fines and court fees. Multiple offenses will result in jail time. A DUI charge is different for each state, so you would need to check on your state’s information. But for most of the time the DUI will stay on your record for 10 years and can impact your insurance and point length for 2-3 years. That is when you will need to get an SR22 for insurance and in some states other things are required to be able to drive again.
Driving without a License or insurance – This is another major violation. This one will stay on your record for about 3 years. In this case an SR22 will also be issued. Like I said, each state is different but some of the penalties for getting caught driving without insurance can be fines, community service and even jail time. Your vehicle will most likely also be towed and you will have those fees as well. The price of a fine can vary from $100- $1,000. You can get 3-6 points on your license for driving without one. That can affect your auto insurance rates by 50% or more.
Speeding– Legal definition of speeding is “the act or instance of operating a vehicle faster than allowed by law. Driving a motor vehicle at a higher speed than what is safe or legal. There are so many reasons why speeding is dangerous. If you are speeding at an extremely high speed and get into an accident, the seat belts do not work as well to keep everyone safe. A lot of people think that if you are only going 5 miles over the speed limit, you are good. That is NOT true. You must obey the speed limit exactly and not go over it at all. While speeding is serious, it is considered a minor offense or violation. You will get a ticket and must pay for that. Rarely is a speeding ticket a felony unless your act of speeding causes death or serious injury. This violation can stay on your record for 3 years.
Expired Tags– Driving with expired tags is considered a non-moving violation. If they are not fixed within a certain amount of time, then you can get a ticket. If you drive with the expired tags for 6 months or over, you can look for your car to get impounded and then you will need to pay those fees and possibly fines along with that.
At Fault Accident– This is a major violation. This can also be called reckless driving or careless. This does add points on your license and if you get enough of those points then you are at risk of getting your license suspended. Some states can offer you traffic or driving school courses you can take and that can remove some points off your record. Just because you are in an at fault accident, does not necessarily mean you will get a ticket. There are cases like inclement weather or things out of your control that you could be the cause of the accident and you would not get a ticket. So, it just depends on the circumstances. An at fault accident can stay on your record 5 years.
Failure to maintain clear distance- This is also commonly known as “tailgating”. This is a minor violation and can impact your rates for 3 years. Every state has made tailgating a traffic violation. It is when you are following another vehicle too closely. This violation can get you a ticket and 5 points on your license.
These are just a few of the many violations that you as a motorist can get. Everyone should just try your best to drive safely and keep these violations in mind and know that some of them can really impact you in many ways than just your auto insurance rates. If you keep a great record, your auto insurance company will reward you for it!