Getting pulled over for any traffic offense is a surefire way to ruin your commute. Not only do you have to worry about how much the ticket will cost you — and how late you are going to be to work — there is also the issue of the points that will be assessed against your driving record.
While it should be something as simple as looking at a chart of traffic violations to see how many points you will receive, you also have to keep in mind other factors. Some of these factors are whether you already have previous points on your record, whether you were speeding in a school or work zone, and whether you will have to pay additional related fees.
New York’s Driver Point System
The State of New York developed a driver point system as a way to identify high-risk drivers and penalize bad drivers. The more total points you have assessed against your record, the more serious the consequences.
Baseline Points for Speeding in New York
As a baseline, speeding ticket points in New York depend on how fast over the speed limit you were driving:
|1 to 10 mph over the speed limit||3 points|
|11 to 20 mph over the speed limit||4 points|
|21 to 30 mph over the speed limit||6 points|
|31 to 40 mph over the speed limit||8 points|
|Over 40 mph over the speed limit||11 points|
These points are calculated based on the date of the violation. Therefore, if the number of points was to change due to a new law, that is the date that would be taken into account; not the date of the conviction. Further, if you fight your ticket and lose, the points run retroactively from the date of the offense for DMV point purposes.
Speeding in a Work Zone
New York’s Vehicle And Traffic Law Section 161 defines the term work area as a part of a highway that is being used or occupied for the conduct of highway work, in which workers, vehicles, equipment, materials, supplies, excavations, and/or other obstructions are present.
It is crucial to note that this definition applies even if you are driving through it during off-hours, late at night, and/or when you do not see any work being done.
If you get pulled over in a work zone, the fine amount is doubled. You may also face jail time. While unusual, New York law allows for a person who was speeding in a work zone by more than 10 mph to be imprisoned for up to 30 days. This is in addition to the imposed fines.
Speeding in a School Zone
Speeding in a school zone also means that your fine is doubled. To make sure you avoid such a scenario, keep in mind that driving in a school zone requires obeying the lower posted speed limits on school days, between 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM.
Traffic signs near a school may also specify alternative times, as long as they are within 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM. There may also be flashing lights to indicate that slower limits are in effect during student days and activities. Those lights can flash up to 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after such student activities.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Driving while under the influence of drugs or while intoxicated is a crime in New York State. Driving while impaired by alcohol (DWAI) is a violation (not a crime) but is still serious. There are different tiers, which are classified according to the circumstances:
|Driving while intoxicated (DWI)||.08 blood alcohol content (BAC) or higher, or other evidence of intoxication. If you are driving a commercial vehicle, then it is .04 BAC.|
|Aggravated DWI||.18 or higher BAC|
|Driving while impaired by alcohol (DWAI)||More than .05 BAC, but less than .07 BAC|
|Chemical Test Refusal||Refusing to be tested by breath, blood, or urine, for signs of intoxication.|
|Zero Tolerance Law||Driver who is younger than 21 years of age and who has .02 BAC.|
|Driving while intoxicated by drugs||No threshold.|
|Driving while impaired by drugs (DWAI/Drug)||No threshold.|
Driver’s Responsibility Assessment
When you get pulled over for speeding, you may have to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment fee in addition to the regular speeding fine. These extra penalties apply if:
- You have received 6 or more points against your driving record within 18 months
- You were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- You refused to take a chemical test for blood alcohol content
- You were convicted of an alcohol or drug driving offense while operating a motor vehicle, boat, or snowmobile
What makes this penalty especially burdensome is the fact that you would have to pay over a period of three years. How much you will have to pay for the Driver’s Responsibility Assessment fee depends on the number of points and the violation you are convicted of:
|Drugs or alcohol driving-related offense||$250 min x 3 years = $700 minimum|
|Refusing to take a chemical test||$250 min x 3 years = $700 minimum|
|Receiving 6 points in 18 months||$100 min x 3 years = $300 minimum|
|Receiving more than 6 points in 18 months||$25 for each additional point x 3 years = $75 for each additional point over 6 points|
If you fail to pay the amounts owed by the deadline in each of the three years, your driver’s license will be suspended.
Driver’s License Suspension
If you receive 11 or more points in an 18-month period, you risk getting your driver’s license suspended — and driving with a suspended license is a crime. This means you would not be able to go to work, take your kids to school, or run errands unless you obtain a restricted license that allows you to drive for work, medical purposes, and school purposes.
A suspension can be definite (which has a specific start and end dates) or indefinite (which will continue until you take a required action). If it is definite, the beginning and end dates will be included on the suspension notice that you receive in the mail. If it is indefinite, the notice will include the actions you will need to take to get it reinstated.
If you are an out-of-state driver who got pulled over for speeding in New York State, you are not off the hook. New York creates an ID number for the out-of-state driver and adds the points to that NY record. Whether these points will be honored in the driver’s home state depends on the driver’s jurisdiction. Some do and some do not. However, all states will honor a New York suspension.
Also, there are interstate agreements called the Driver License Compacts (DLC) and the Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC). Under these agreements, states share information with each other about traffic offenses. Currently, 45 states participate in these agreements.
How Speeding Ticket Points Affect Insurance Premiums
In addition to the ticket penalties and Driver’s Responsibility Assessment fee, getting pulled over for speeding can result in your insurance rates being hiked for 36 months.
To know how your specific circumstances would affect your insurance costs, contact your insurance company. However, generally, a 16+ mph speeding ticket conviction or two moving violation convictions are enough for an insurance company to raise your rates.
How To Lower The Number of Points in Your Driving Record
You can reduce the number of points by either fighting your ticket or by taking a DMV-approved Driver Safety Class aka Point and Insurance Reduction Program (RIRP).
How the process works is that if you have accumulated 11 or more points in your driving record, the DMV will deduct 4 points if you take the class. This allows you to possibly avoid having your driver’s license suspended. However, this deduction is exclusively for the purpose of calculating total points towards a license suspension. The points themselves remain on your record. Therefore, the most effective strategy to minimize your total points is to fight your New York speeding ticket.
A New York Speeding Ticket Attorney Can Help
At Weiss & Associates, PC we can provide the best representation you could receive at your hearing. We also offer an initial free consultation, a flat fee, and experienced traffic lawyers who will show up on your behalf, so you do not have to waste time in court.
Weiss & Associates, PC has extensive experience fighting traffic tickets in New York City and throughout New York State. We have a skilled team of lawyers who are ready to give you free advice on your available options. Call us at 212-683-7373, or fill out our online form today!