We all try to be safe drivers, but every now and then we slip up. We’re human; it happens. But did you know that any time you are convicted of a traffic violation in Illinois, or you pay a ticket, points are added to your Illinois driving record? Unlike a shopping loyalty card, points on your driver license aren’t a good thing. The number of points assigned depends on the traffic violation and the severity of the offense, but if you receive convictions for multiple offenses in a 12-month period, Illinois authorities can revoke or suspend your driver’s license. Moreover, moving violations can drive up the cost of your auto insurance.
While you may receive points on your driver’s license due to traffic violations, the fate of your driving privileges is not the only consequence you have to worry about. These accidents often lead to severe injuries as well. In addition to facing fines from the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles, you can find yourself paying for thousands in medical expenses, losing hours of work due to recovery time, and dealing with the emotional repercussions of the accident. Here’s what you need to know about the Illinois driver’s license point system, and how to navigate the injuries that arise as a result of these motor vehicle violations.
How Does the Illinois Driver License Point System Work?
When the Illinois Secretary of State finds you guilty of a moving violation or when you pay a traffic ticket, the state assigns points to your license based upon the severity of the offense. Conviction of serious traffic offenses can also result in the suspension or revocation of your Illinois driver license. Certain fines for different traffic penalties will vary based from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and the number of previous offenses. Here are some common examples of points imposed on Illinois drivers for moving violations and their associated fines where applicable.
Points Imposed for Illinois Traffic Violations
|Speeding||5-50||1-20 miles over limit: $120 fine
21-25 miles: $140 fine
26-34 miles: $1,500 fine
35 miles and higher: $2,500 fine
|Under the Minimum Speed Limit||5||Up to $1,000|
|Screeching Tires||10||Up to $1,000|
|Speeding on a Bridge or Elevated Roadway||10||Up to $1,000|
|Failure to Obey a Traffic Sign||20||First offense: $150
Second offense: $300
|Failure to Stay in Proper Lane||20||Up to $1,000|
|Over the Speed Limit in a School Zone||20||First offense: $150
Second offense: $300
|Under the Minimum Limit on an Illinois Tollway||20||Up to $1,000|
|Not Driving in the Right Hand Lane While Driving Slower than Traffic||20||Up to $1,000|
|Possession of Open Container of Alcohol||25||Up to $1,000|
|Failure to Stop & Render Aid (Property Damage)||25||Up to $2,500|
|Failure to Stop & Render Aid (Injury or Death)||50||Up to $25,000|
|Reckless Driving||55||Up to $2,500|
Speeding or Driving Under the Minimum Speed: Driving over the maximum or under the minimum speed in Illinois can lead to anywhere from 5 to 50 points based on the severity of the violation.
- 1-5 mph over the limit or 5 mph under the minimum: 5 points
- 6-10 mph over the limit: 10 points
- 11-14 mph over the limit: 15 points
- 15-25 mph over the limit: 20 points
- Driving under the minimum on an Illinois tollway: 20 points
- 26+ mph over the limit: 50 points
Reckless Driving: Reckless driving in Illinois is much more serious than an ordinary traffic charge. It is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to a $2,500 fine and 364 days in jail. The state considers reckless driving to be a criminal charge and if convicted, the state will suspend or revoke your license. You will also have a criminal record, which can affect your job prospects in the future.
In Illinois, you can also face charges for reckless driving for two or more traffic violations at the same time or if you are not taking the safety of other people on the road into consideration, whether intentionally or not. You may also receive charges for aggravated reckless driving for a hit-and-run, fleeing police, or driving with a suspended or revoked license.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident: If you are involved in an accident in Illinois involving either property damage or a physical injury, you must stop and render aid. You can receive criminal charges for even a minor fender bender in a parking lot if you fail to stop and give assistance. The state classifies hit-and-run charges in three different ways:
|Leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage||Class A misdemeanor||Up to 364 days in prison and $2,500 fine|
|Leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury||Class 4 felony||Up to 3 years in prison and $25,000 fine|
|Leaving the scene of an accident involving a death||Class 3 felony||Up to 5 years in prison and $25,000 fine|
If you are injured in car accident involving reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, or a hit-and-run, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers as soon as possible for a consultation. We can advise you on the law and possible penalties and we may be able to negotiate a lesser charge or court supervision on your behalf.
Can Speeding Tickets Lead to Revocation of My Driver License?
If you receive three or more moving violations in a 12-month period, it can result in suspension of your Illinois driver license. The Illinois Administrative Code §1040.3(b) sets forth the lengths of suspension for varying points. If you haven’t had your license suspended in the last seven years, here are the suspension time periods in Illinois:
If the state suspended or revoked your license within the last seven years, the suspension time periods are as follows:
|Points||Suspension Time Period|
|0 – 14 points||none|
|15 – 44 points||4 months|
|15 – 74 points||6 months|
|75 – 109 points||12 months|
|110+ points||Revocation of license|
The police can also arrest you for driving with a suspended license and, depending on the conditions, be fined up to $2,500 and spend up to 364 days in jail. If law enforcement catches you driving on a suspended license while speeding, fleeing the police, after a hit and run, or for other serious circumstances, you could face a felony charge. An Illinois felony conviction could result in fines up to $25,000 and up to 7 years in prison.
A felony conviction could have long-term consequences on your job prospects and could result in permanent revocation of your driver license.
Can Driving Violations Outside of Illinois Impact the Points on My License?
Yes, moving violations outside of Illinois can impact the points on your Illinois license. Many states have interstate reciprocal agreements that require them to share moving violation conviction information. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have signed the Driver License Compact, which requires all DLC members to share moving violation conviction information with one another.
When a state suspends an out-of-state driver, the home state also agrees to suspend the driver’s license as well. The only states that do not participate in the DLC are Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. This means that the reckless driving conviction you have in Colorado or the DUI conviction you receive in Virginia will affect your Illinois license accordingly.
How Can I See How Many Points Are on My License?
The Illinois Secretary of State maintains records regarding the points on your license. To find out the number of points on your record, you can contact your local Secretary of State office and fill out an application in person or through the mail. The application fee is $12, and you will receive your official Illinois driving record. For help, you can also call the main customer service line at 800-252-8980 if you are in Illinois. If you are outside the state, you can contact the Secretary of State customer service line at 217-785-3000.
How Can I Get Points Removed from My Illinois Driver License?
Not to worry, your points will not remain on your Illinois driving record forever. Points generally only remain on your license for four to five years for lesser offenses like speeding, running a traffic light, or improper passing or lane usage. However, points will remain on your driving record for a minimum of seven years for any violation that results in suspension or revocation of your license.
While you generally can’t remove points from your license retroactively, if you receive a ticket the court may dismiss it if you take a defensive driving course approved by Illinois. The course generally covers: (1) defensive driving techniques; (2) safe driving habits; (3) Illinois traffic laws and violations; and (4) sharing the road with other drivers, motorcycles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Taking a defense driving course in Illinois may also help you avoid a license suspension in some situations. You can also take the course voluntarily to learn important defensive driving skills or to receive a discount on your auto insurance.
What Do I Do If I Suffer Injuries in the Accident for Which I Got a Traffic Ticket?
If you receive a traffic violation during the course of an Illinois car accident, you may wonder what your legal options are to obtain compensation for your injuries. The fact that you may have violated a traffic law does not negate your need to seek help for your losses – accidents that result in traffic violations often lead to severe injuries that require medical care, lost wages, property damage, and lasting emotional damage.
Even though you may be partially liable for your accident, you could claim compensation through one of three avenues:
- You can file an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance company.
- You can file an insurance claim with your own insurance company.
- You can file a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois civil court.
Handling an insurance claim when you received a traffic violation in an accident can be tricky. The company may attempt to reduce your award or refuse to give you a settlement based on this evidence. Hiring an attorney to represent your claim can help you negotiate for your award and obtain some compensation to recover from your injuries.
As long as you were not 50% or more at fault for the accident, you can claim compensation through a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois civil court. Illinois operates using a comparative negligence rule, which reduces the amount of compensation you can claim by your share of liability.
For example, say that you were speeding through an intersection when the other driver runs a red light and hits you. While you may receive a violation for speeding, you still had the right of way. The court awards you $100,000 for your injuries, but finds that you were responsible for 20% of the accident. You will receive a payout of $80,000 – which is still a sizeable amount you can put toward your injuries.
If you need an attorney to represent your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, look no further than Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers. Our Chicago-based attorneys will help you navigate the complicated claims processes and discuss your legal options, even if you have a traffic violation. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.