Articles Posted in Traffic Violations

Beginning in November of 2004, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV) instituted a fine for motorists who are convicted or plead guilty to New York DWI charges or traffic infractions which result in 6 or more points within an 18 month period. This fine is known as the “Driver’s Responsibility Assessment”, and it certainly adds to the financial bite of DWI or significant New York traffic infractions.

If you are convicted or plead guilty to either a New York drunk driving charge, such as an Aggravated DWI, DWI, DWAI, or DWAID (Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs), the assessment is $750.00, which can be paid all at once or in three annual installments of $250.00. If you are convicted or plead guilty to traffic infractions totaling 6 or more points with 18 months, the assessment is $300.00, which can be paid up front or for three years at $100.00 per year. For each additional point above the 6 points during the 18 month period, the DMV adds on $75.00, or $25 per year.

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In a study conducted by the Journal News and published this week, Westchester, Putnam and Rockland Counties have been targeting extreme speeders on I-684, I-87, the Palisades Interstate Parkway, and the Taconic Parkway, among others. The highest speed on record was by a driver of an Acura on I-684 in Southeast who was clocked at 142 miles per hour, and who ended up paying fines of $455.00 for a Putnam speeding ticket of going 95 in a 65 m.p.h zone. Seven drivers have been charged with driving an eye opening 130 m.p.h or faster in 2006 and 2007 in the Lower Hudson Valley, with I-684 leading the way with the most speeders. This is not surprising, as I-684, which stretches from Harrison to Brewster, is a wide and straight road, and speeds have been increasing after the speed limit was raised to 65 mph several years ago.

Notable speeders include rapper DMX, who was clocked at 104 mph on I-684, only to be exceeded by his wife, who was stopped doing 106 mph two years later. Records show that 11,210 drivers were convicted of New York speeding tickets on 684 in 2006 and 2007, more than any other highway in the Westchester, Putnam or Rockland counties. There were 104,259 drivers convicted of speeding during this two year period in the Lower Hudson Valley, with the average speeder going approximately 20 mph over the limit, but 452 drivers exceeding 100 mph.

A speeding conviction of 1-10 mph over the limit will get you 3 points on your license; 11-20 over nets you 4 points; 21-30 over will get you 6 points; 31-40 over results in 8 points, and 40 over or above means your driver’s license is automatically suspended with 11 points being assessed by the DMV.

Of note, the top five roads and jurisdictions for 2006-2007 speeding convictions in the region were I-684 in Bedford with 4,976; the Palisades Parkway in Clarkstown with 2,631; I-87 in Greenburgh with 2,285; I-84 in Kent, with 2,267; and I-684 in North Castle with 2,231. The study found that the State police has the most speeding convictions in the region between 2006 and 2007. The top five departments in obtaining convictions were: The State police in Somers with 8,847; the State police in Haverstraw with 7,406; the White Plains Police Department with 6,642; the State Police in New Rochelle with 5,978; and the Westchester County Police with 5,163.

As a warning to our readers, although it is frequently possible for our New York traffic ticket lawyers to get speeding tickets reduced, and in many instances, get a reduction to a violation with the possibility of no points, be careful in Orange County, especially in places such as Walkill, where Town Justice Raymond Shoemaker, who was a state trooper earlier in his career, has sentenced drivers to up to 15 days in jail for driving 90 mph, 25 mph over the limit. The judge noted that there were several serious car accidents in his jurisdiction over the last 4 or 5 years, and stated: “It appears that it’s mostly young, inexperienced drivers who are involved. How best do you think these kids are going to learn? Just to get a reduced speed, a fine, and a surcharge and away they go? If you’re going to go that kind of speed, maybe they need a little reminder how serious what they have done is.” This ought to send a chill down the spine of speeders in Judge Shoemaker’s neck of the woods!

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According to an online article on from January 1, 2009, state and local governments are making a concerted effort to raise money by stricter enforcement of the traffic laws. The article refers to an additional motivation for the more vigorous enforcement: namely, car insurance companies pushing for this in order to increase premiums when drivers are convicted of traffic offenses.

200 additional traffic enforcement agents are being hired in New York City to step up enforcement of many traffic violations, and particularly, tickets for blocking intersections will increase substantially. This past year, I have observed that many of our New York traffic ticket clients are getting multiple tickets in one traffic stop, on many occasions approaching 11 points, which results in a suspension of their driver’s license.

The article also contained a MSN video advising that you should fight your traffic tickets in Court rather than paying them.

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As most drivers in New York know, if you get 11 points on your driver’s license due to traffic tickets in New York, your license will be suspended and you will not be permitted to operate a vehicle in the State of New York. The key is how many points you accumulate over an 18 month period. After the 18 months have passed, any points you have on your record will be removed.

What if you have 8 points on your license, for example, and you have just been pulled over for going 80 in a 55 mph zone? If convicted on a New York speeding ticket doing 25 miles over the speed limit, this is a 6 point violation, and the 14 points you now have on your license (the 8 previous points plus the 6 points you were just assessed) will lead to a suspension. What do you do?

The answer is to take the Defensive Driving Class, given throughout New York State. By taking the class, which can be done in one six hour session, or two weekly classes of three hours each, 4 points will come off of your driver’s license, and you will now be down to 10 points–still at a risk of having your license suspended, but just under the 11 point level.

It is important to mention that you should not take the class too soon! Inotherwords, if you have just received a ticket, and want to ensure that the points from that ticket come off your license, make sure you wait until the ticket has been resolved by a trial or plea to the charge. We have had clients who took the class immediately upon receiving a ticket, and received no benefit as there were no points on their license to be removed, and point removal only works backward, not forward. If you have no points on your license yet, and you take the class, the 4 point reduction is wasted.

The other major benefit from taking the Defensive Driver class is that in almost all cases, you will receive a 10% reduction on your insurance premium. So it’s a win-win all around!

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