When you are penalized for breaking traffic violation laws in Maine, the penalties may come in more forms than just fines. In many cases, you'll also have what are called demerits applied your driving record. Demerits are basically a way of measuring a person's overall ability to follow the rules and to drive carefully. If you are penalized with too many demerits, you may be subject to additional penalties under Maine traffic law.
A person is allowed to accumulate up to twelve demerit points from traffic violations before their license is suspended. Demerits imposed due to breaking traffic violation laws in Maine will be removed from your driving record after a year. Note that you won't receive any demerit points when you are convicted of a violation that results in temporary revocation or suspension of your license.
On the plus side, you can also receive credits against demerits for being a good, law-abiding driver and avoiding getting a traffic violation in Maine. The system is known as the Violation-free Credit system. The system works as follows: for every year in which you are not convicted of any traffic violations that result in demerit points or license suspensions, you gain a credit. You can also gain credits for completing a driver safety course. You can accumulate up to four credits in total.
For each credit you have, you can effectively prevent one demerit point. However, you can only apply these credits once in a yearlong period. Consider this example: you had four credits and received a conviction for breaking traffic violation laws in Maine worth two demerit points. If you were to receive another conviction two months later, you would not be able to apply your two remaining credits. Note that any conviction for breaking traffic violation laws in Maine will still appear on your driving record, even if the demerit points are nullified.
These credits can be very important, as demerits may carry some penalties beyond potential license suspension. Some insurance companies take into account the number of demerit points on a person's driving record, and adjust their rates accordingly. If you are convicted for breaking traffic violation laws in Maine, you may be subject to a hike in your insurance premiums. This isn't the case with every insurance company, however.