Even a New York traffic attorney can get confused as to how to calculate how many points a motorist has on his/her driver license. The rule is easy. A motorist is permitted up to 10 points within any 18-month period. Applying this rule to a driver’s record who has a NY traffic ticket problem presents the challenge, however.
For DMV purposes, the first issue is when do the points begin to run and when do they end. Points commence running from the date of offense and no longer count 18 months thereafter. For example, let us assume a motorist is convicted on March 1, 2008 of a New York speeding ticket 71/50 (6 points) occurring on January 15, 2007. On March 1st, 2008 (the date of conviction), the Department of Motor Vehicles will assign 6 points to that driver’s license. Those 6 points will count retroactively back to January 15, 2007 (the date of offense) and will remain on that driver’s license until July 15, 2008, 18 months later.
The part that an experienced New York traffic lawyer knows to do next is often missed by motorists. In particular, for the above example, to determine how many points the driver with the January 15, 2007 New York speeding conviction now has, he or she will have to add up the total points from 18 months before the date of offense and 18 months after the date of offense. The trick is that there are two 18-month periods which must be examined. That is, using the January 15, 2007 date of offense in the above example, you need to count how many points were assigned to the driver between July 15, 2005 and January 15, 2007 (the first 18-month period) and how many points were assigned between January 15, 2007 and July 15, 2008 (the second 18-month period).
If, during either 18-month period, the driver has more than 10 points, he or she is in jeopardy of being suspended for having too many points. Note, in this example, the second 18-month period has yet to be completed (i.e., it ends July 15, 2008) and any future tickets received on or before July 15, 2008 will be added to the total.
Another note, a driver with a NY traffic ticket point problem can take a driver safety class and consequently receive 4 points off his or her record. The points will only be deducted for points already assigned to the motorists record or for subsequent convictions for tickets which were issued prior to the date the motorist took the class.
Finally, the point calculation rules for insurance purposes are very different. For insurance purposes, points are measured from the date of conviction (not the date of offense) and will be used to determine whether to raise a motorist’s insurance rates for 36 months from the date of conviction.
For a complete list of New York traffic violations and matching points, visit New York DMV Point System.