South Carolina’s Traffic Point System

February 22, 2024

Every state has a traffic point system to track high-risk drivers. In South Carolina, accumulating points on your license can lead to severe penalties.

If you have recently been cited for a traffic violation, it is important to speak to a Rock Hill traffic offense attorney to protect your best interests.  

What Traffic Violations Can Result in the Most Points?

Most people are familiar with speeding tickets. However, law enforcement can issue tickets for a multitude of traffic violations. On the South Carolina Point System, major and minor traffic offenses are distinguished by the number of points they carry.

Low Point Traffic Violations

Low point traffic violations range from simple speeding to failing to yield the right of way. The following violations are worth 2-4 points each:

  • Improper backing
  • Shifting lanes without a signal and other safety precautions
  • Dangerous or improper parking
  • Improper braking
  • Following too closely or tailgating
  • Going 10 mph over the speed limit or less
  • Failing to dim lights under appropriate conditions
  • Improper vehicle lighting
  • Speeding in excess of 10 mph to 25 mph
  • Failing to adhere to an official traffic control device
  • Failing to follow the directions of an officer of the law
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Unlawful passing
  • Improper or illegal turns
  • Wrong-way driving
  • Improper caution when driving through a safety zone
  • Failing to give the proper signal when turning, stopping, or suddenly decreasing speed

In some cases, a person may be ticketed for more than one offense. If not addressed, points can add up quickly.

High Point Traffic Violations

High-risk driving behavior can add 6 pts to your license for one offense:

  • Hit and run, if there is only property damage
  • Passing a stopped school bus
  • Excessive speeding (25 mph or more)
  • Reckless driving

While never a guarantee, a traffic ticket defense lawyer in Rock Hill may be able to get the ticket dismissed or work to reduce the points on your license. When a driver’s license accumulates too many points, it can be suspended.

How Many Points Can I Have on My License Before it is Suspended in South Carolina?

A person can have up to 11 pts on their license before it is suspended. Depending on the violation, a person can have their license suspended for other reasons. However, when only taking points on a license into consideration, suspension begins at 12 pts:

  • 12-15 pts results in a 3-month suspension
  • 16-17 pts results in a 4-month suspension
  • 18-19 pts will lead to a 5-month suspension
  • For 20 pts or more, a driver’s license will be suspended for 6 months

If you have accrued a high number of points on your license, a few options are available.  

Is There Anything I Can Do to Reduce the Number of Points on My License?

In addition, there are ways to reduce the points on your license. Some defensive driving courses are certified and can help reduce the number of points on your license:

There are a few important notes about taking the courses. First, the defensive driving courses must be taken after the points have been put on your license. Second, you can only reduce points once every three years.

Lastly, you must take the course prior to having your license suspended. If the suspension has already started, the point reduction will not end your driver’s license suspension.

How to Check The Points on Your Record

If you have recently received a traffic ticket, it is critical to check how many points you have on your license. Being proactive about your traffic violation can save you time and money in the future. An experienced traffic offense attorney can help you strategize the best course of action to protect your license.

Schedule a Consultation with a Traffic Offense Lawyer in Rock Hill, SC

At Barboza Law, we understand that even minor traffic violations can add up threatening your right to drive. Discuss the details of your case with a Rock Hill traffic offense attorney today. We can evaluate your unique situation and determine the best strategies to keep you on the road.

To schedule a consultation, call (803) 973-6003.