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When Can the Authorities Suspend Your Driver’s License

Having the license to drive is very important because this allows you the freedom to go anywhere you want. It’s a privilege that you should value because without it, you’d become highly dependent on public transport, which, at times, isn’t reliable. Also, you’d be a hassle to your friends and family if you keep asking them to take you to places where you need to be. Thus, you should safeguard your driving privileges; and so, make sure that you keep to your state’s road rules and regulations.

When can authorities suspend your driver's license?

Reasons for License Suspension

Each state has its own driving laws. In some states, driving with a suspended license could lead to hefty fines and jail time. But there are also other states wherein the same offense would only be treated as a minor violation. So, it’s best to know what the driving regulations are in your state so that you’ll remain up-to-date about the latest directives.

There are several reasons why a license can get suspended. Here are some incidents that could lead to suspension.

1. DUI or DWI

Driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated can lead to license suspension. A first-time offender could be punished with both fines and jail time, but the severity of punishments could be reduced if there are mitigating factors. More severe punishments await second or regular offenders, as well as drivers who commit more serious violations. For instance, someone who is charged with DUI that also led to 2nd degree manslaughter could face years in prison and heftier fines. In addition to this, his license could be suspended or revoked for many years.

2. Not stopping at the scene of an accident

Drivers must be responsible for their actions. When a driver becomes involved in a road accident, he must face the consequences of his actions, whether his actions were intended or not. Take for instance a hit-and-run accident. A number of hit-and-run accidents occur not because the driver in question was being careless, but because the pedestrian or the other vehicle operator was not cautious. However, because of their fear of getting involved in such types of events, drivers who really aren’t at fault could choose to flee the scene of the crime; and this decision negatively reflects on them. Instead of getting absolved, drivers could find themselves in more serious predicaments, and they could face graver penalties which could’ve been avoided if only they were brave enough to face the consequences of their actions.

3. Failure to settle fines and other surcharges

A driver could get his license suspended if he forgets or fails to settle previous traffic violation charges. When a driver collects 12 or more points in his driver record, his driver’s license could get suspended. He should also make sure that he settles all financial obligations, including payments for penalties, in order to avoid suspension.

4. Failure to get insurance or failure to keep insurance up-to-date

Traffic enforcers usually give tickets to those who fail to keep their automobile insurance up-to-date. People can also get their licenses suspended if they forget or fail to get insurance.

5. Inability to maintain child support payouts

In some states, the license of a driver who forgets or fails to keep up with payments for child support could also get suspended.

So, these are just 5 common examples of incidents that could get your license suspended. You should check with the DMV about which regulations apply to you and to your area.

  • Photo courtesy of razvan ionut at

Claire Duvall writes for quite a number of legal websites. She blogs for Savitz Law, and she contributes articles about DUI/DWI, reckless driving, and other road traffic issues to different sites.

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