Habitual Traffic Violator Law
Quite frankly, one of the most pertinent things is to have the ability to drive! Whether it is to school, work, or even just to go out and socialize with friends. Have you ever had your license taken, and did not have the means to do these things – for a substantial amount of time? There is nothing more frustrating than not having a license to legally drive. It can be analogous to being on punishment – not being able to voluntarily leave when you please, have to wait longer timeframes for friends to offer a ride, or even go through the stress of catching a bus in time.
Usually, criminal attorneys denounce revoking someone’s license for driving while suspended. It is axiomatic that people have to get to work or school, so when the BMV suspend their license, they can’t go to work or school, so what are they to do? Obviously, drive while suspended. Of course, there are many other ways you can get your license suspended, but what people are not cognizant about is that each traffic violation incurs a point value. These penalties can cause grueling outcomes. The more points you incur – minor or major – you will invariably face immense consequences, including but not limited to, suspensions that can last a number amount of days to 5 years to 10 years and potentially a jail sentence!
This blog will primarily focus on the administrative policy by the BMV labeling someone as a Habitual Traffic Violator for the amount of points that are incurred.
Indiana has codified, through Ind. Code § 9-30-10-4, that (a) “any person who has accumulated at least two (2) judgments within a ten (10) year period for any of the following violations, singularly or in combination, and not arising out of the same incident is a habitual violator [10-year suspension]:
- Reckless homicide resulting from operating a vehicle
- Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from the operation of a vehicle
- Failure of the operator to stop at the scene where there has been an accident resulting in death or injury
- Operation of a vehicle while intoxicated resulting in death
- Before July 1, 1997 operation of a vehicle with at least ten-hundredths percent alcohol in the blood resulting in death
- After June 30, 1997, and before July 1, 2001, the operation of a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent to at least ten-hundredths grams of alcohol resulting in death
- After June 30, 2001, the operation of a vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent to at least eight-hundredths gram of alcohol resulting in death
Further, (b) “any person who has accumulated at least three(3) judgments within a ten (10) year period for any of the following violations, singularly or in combination, and not arising out of the same incident, is a habitual violator[10-year suspension and life if (2) violation from point 4-7]:
- Operation of a vehicle while intoxicated
- Before July 1, 1997 operation of a vehicle with at least ten-hundredths percent of alcohol in the blood
- After June 30, 1997, and before July 1, 2001, the operation of a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent to at least ten-hundredths gram of alcohol
- After June 30, 2001, the operation of a vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent to at least eight-hundredths gram of alcohol
- Reckless Driving
- Criminal recklessness as a felony involving a vehicle
- Drag racing and/or speed racing
- Resisting law enforcement with a vehicle
- Any felony under this title which the operation of a vehicle is an essential element of the crime
Last, (c) “any person who has accumulated at least ten (10) judgments within a ten (10) year period for any traffic violation, except parking or an equipment violation, of the type required to be reported to the bureau, singularly or in combination, and not arising out of the same incident, is a habitual violator [5-year suspension]. However, at least one (1) of the judgments must be for:
- A violation enumerated in subsection (a)
- A violation enumerated in subsection (b)
- Operating a motor vehicle while the person’s license to do so has been suspended or revoked as a result of the person’s conviction
- Operating a motor vehicle without ever having obtained a license to do so
Now the 10 year period may seem quite ambiguous and may confuse people. So, in the court of law, you have the date the offense occurred and the date there was the conviction or a disposition. So, which one does the courts and BMW use? No need to worry! The statute specifically addresses this issue coherently. It states: (e)
“For the purposes of this section, the offense date is used when determining the number of judgments accumulated within a ten (10) year period.”
The legislature intended for the BMV to use the offense date, disregarding when those charges have had a final judgment. So, once there is a final judgment, the BMW would only look at the offense date of the two (2), three (3), or ten (10) events to determine whether they are within the specified year window, which would most likely be ten (10) years. Further, sometimes when you get your license suspended you could potentially be granted specialized driving privilege. However, if you are labeled as a Habitual Traffic Violator, then this privilege may get ripped from you.
We hope this blog was educational in helping explain how the point threshold attaches and is calculated, regarding Habitual Traffic Offender. I encourage you to contact our experienced traffic attorneys at Banks & Brower today. We are available 24/7/365 at email@example.com or (317) 870-0019. We are ready and willing to solve your matters!