Traffic Violation Laws in North Carolina

While many states will suspend a license after a certain number of points are accumulated over a year or eighteen months, North Carolina keeps track of points over a three-year period, making their system less forgiving and less lenient than many other states' points systems. Accumulating 12 points over three years can result in license suspension. Seven points in a three-year period may result in a required Driver Improvement Clinic, at a cost of fifty dollars. Once a driver completes this clinic, three points are removed from his or her driving record.

If a license is suspended after the accumulation of 12 points and then the license is reinstated, the points are removed. But accumulation of only 8 points over the next 3 years will likely result in another suspension, with each suspension progressively longer. First suspension usually last 60 days or less, second suspensions vary up to six months, and third suspensions can last up to 1 year.

No Points Convictions

There are a number of traffic violation laws that don't carry points with convictions. Some of those include: illegal parking; improper plates, registration or display of tags; improper muffler; unlawful display of emblems and insignia; lack of current inspection certificate; and carrying a concealed weapon.

A Points Overview

Speeding generally earns less points than many other states, with speeding over 55 mph earning 3 points, the same amount for failing to carry insurance, running a stop sign, and failing to stop for emergency sirens. Aggressive driving or illegally passing a school bus with children on board earns the driver 5 points, while reckless driving and failure to yield to pedestrians is worth 4 points. An example of a 1-point violation is littering from a motor vehicle.


Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs carries serious penalties in North Carolina. A driver's license is automatically and without exception suspended for one year upon conviction. A minimum of 24 hour of imprisonment, 24 hours of community service and a fine of up to $2000 are also in store for those breaking this traffic violation law for the first time.

Second DWI convictions carry heavier penaltie, if the offense is committed within 3 year of the first, including a mandatory 4-year license revocation, and from 7 days to 12 months of imprisonment. A third conviction within five years results in a permanent license suspension.

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