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The California Point System and the Negligent Operator

California Points System: Negligent Operator

California has a point system in force which is supposed to deter the negligent operator. This point system is known as the Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS). The point system was designed by the California Motor Vehicle Department (DMV) to contribute to safety on the roads. The system is administered by law enforcement (LE) officials and the DMV. This system applies points for moving violations, sends warning letters, and applies sanctions such as a license suspension to the licensed drivers who are eighteen years of age and above.

Teenage Drivers Below 18

Teenage drivers have more restrictions, as their license is “provisional.” Therefore, if a teen accumulates three points in a 12-month period or fails to pay a fine, their license will be suspended. If they are convicted of any drug or alcohol use, their license will be suspended for one year, this applies to all below the legal drinking age of 21. Further, once a teen receives two points or more, their license will be restricted for 30 days.

Drivers under the age of 18 are restricted from carrying passengers under 20 years of age without a parent, guardian, person over 25, or an instructor in the vehicle and may not drive between 11 pm and 5 am for a period of one year.

There are exceptions to the restrictions placed on teen drivers:

· Medical necessity requires a note from your doctor

· School necessities or school activities requires a note from your principal

· Work necessity, you work between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am, requires a note from your employer

· Family member necessity requires a note from your parents or legal guardian

· Emancipation, you are required to show proof of emancipation when asked by law enforcement

Additional information is available from the DMV in their Parent-Teen Handbook.

Moving Violations, Points, & Suspension

In California, the NOTS point system is administered under California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 12810.5. Each time a motor vehicle operator is found guilty of a moving violation, they are assessed points against their license. A driver with a commercial driver’s license (CDL), who is found guilty of a moving violation while driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is assessed an additional 50%-point penalty, for instance what a regular driver would be assessed a one-point penalty for, say a “driving in a bicycle lane” or other “improper lane use,” the driver of a CMV will be assessed a 1.5 penalty.

Avoiding Suspension

· Do not acquire 4 or more point in a one-year period

· Do not acquire 6 or more point in a two-year period

· Do not acquire 8 or more point in a three-year period

One point violations are usually, traffic signals, right of way violations, improper or illegal U-turns, drug and alcohol, child restraints, passing a stopped bus, speeding and others.

Two point violations are usually more severe, reckless driving, speeding over 100 mph, evading an LE officer, hit-and-run with injury or property damage, or operating with a suspended or revoked driver’s license and others.

Several moving violations will lead to immediate suspension of your driver’s license:

· DUI

· Evading LE officers

· Failure to pay child support

· Failure to appear in court

· Failure to pay assessed fines

· Failure to carry the minimum required insurance

· Too many points

When you are nearing suspension and have received a traffic ticket, to avoid suspension it may be essential to fight the current ticket. Call Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300 who are experienced and professional traffic ticket attorneys practicing nothing but traffic ticket defense in Los Angeles, Kern, Tulare, and throughout SOCAL counties. Or, just email attorney@markbigger.com a scanned copy of your ticket and a detailed synopsis of the event, and we will reply with our recommended defense. Keep in mind, there are DMV procedures and technicalities that might permit a commercial driver to keep their license, by pleading to a lesser penalty, get probation of their suspension, or get the ticket dismissed entirely.

En español, llame al 661-349-9755.