Many people have been pulled over for committing a traffic violation. Sometimes the infractions are so common or minor people don’t even realize they’re breaking the law until they see the sirens in their rearview mirror. No matter how innocent some traffic violations may seem, it’s important drivers take responsibility by understanding the traffic laws, how they can avoid breaking them, what the potential punishments are for not paying traffic tickets and how it effects their Problem Driver Pointers System rating.
What is the Problem Driver Pointers System?
The National Driver Registry’s Problem Driver Pointers System (PDPS) is a bank of every driver’s pertinent information used by the courts and DMVs to determine potential punishment for traffic violations. It includes your entire history of license suspensions, revocations and serious traffic offenses, in addition to basic information like your name, date of birth and driver’s license number. The PDPS isn’t Louisiana-based, so infractions are tracked on a national level.
DUI or DWI
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not only a major traffic violation punishable by fines, license suspension, community service and/or jail time, but it’s also extremely dangerous. Louisiana ranks in the top 10 states for frequency of DUI occurrences, which are defined as driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of more than 0.08%.1
The first two DUI offenses are misdemeanors, which may result jail time, fines of $300 to $1,000 and more than 30 hours of driver re-education courses. The third offense may require a much longer jail sentence, up to $2,000 in fines, probation, vehicle seizure, inpatient treatment and more, depending on the case.
Texting and Cell Phone Usage While Driving
With the proliferation of mobile technology in recent years, distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle collisions in America. In Louisiana, using a cell phone in any capacity is prohibited for drivers with a learner’s or intermediate licenses, and it’s illegal for all drivers to write, send or read text-based communications. The fine for first-time offenders is $500 with possible license suspension and fines of $1,000 upon subsequent offenses.
Speeding is one of the most common traffic violations nationwide. Punishments vary by state, and sometimes vary by county or parish. In Louisiana, speeding fines range from about $120 to $250 in addition to possible license suspension for anywhere from 30 to 180 days, depending on the number of offenses listed on the driver’s PDPS and how far over the speed limit the driver was going.
Driving Without a Seatbelt
Louisiana law requires front seat drivers and passengers have their seatbelt fastened at all times. Driving without a seatbelt results in fines starting at $25 for first-time offenders and $50 upon second offense. In addition to legal ramifications, driver and passenger safety is at risk. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 6,500 motor vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle collisions in Louisiana from 2003 to 2012.2 Wearing a seatbelt drastically reduces the chance for serious injury, in addition to pesky fines and court fees.
Do You Need to Fight a Traffic Violation?
Traffic violations, both minor and major, are a common occurrence, but the charges aren’t always fair, and in some instances, they may infringe on your constitutional rights. If you or a family member has been arrested or charged with a DUI or serious traffic violation, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Burgos & Associates by calling (504) 488-3722 or filling out our online form.