Under Michigan law, some traffic violations are civil infractions while others are misdemeanors or felonies. Depending on the violation and how it is resolved, you may be fined, referred to a special program or, in the most serious situations, sent to jail. In most cases, if you do not take care of a traffic ticket, your driver license will be suspended. Each time you are convicted of a traffic violation, you will have to pay certain court fines and costs. In addition, points may be posted to your driver record. Under Michigan’s point system, each traffic violation has a point value, which is set by law in the Michigan Vehicle Code. Points are placed on your driver record only after you have been convicted or found guilty of or responsible for a civil infraction. Points placed on your driver record remain there for two years from the date of conviction. If you believe there are extenuating circumstances for the ticket you received, these must be submitted when you appear in court. The Secretary of State cannot set aside a court conviction or the points for it. The following shows the points for some traffic violations:
Points For Some Traffic Convictions*
• Manslaughter, negligent homicide, or other felony involving use of a motor vehicle.
• Operating under the influence of liquor or drugs.
• Failing to stop and give identification at the scene of a crash.
• Reckless driving.
• Unlawful bodily alcohol content of 0.08 or more.
• Refusal to take a chemical test.
• Fleeing or eluding a police officer.
• Drag racing.
• Operating while visibly impaired.
• Under age 21 with any bodily alcohol content.
• 16 mph or more over the legal speed limit.
• Failure to yield/show due caution for emergency vehicles.
• Careless driving.
• Disobeying a traffic signal or stop sign or improper passing.
• 11 through 15 mph over the legal speed limit.
• Failure to stop at railroad crossing.
• Failure to stop for a school bus or for disobeying a school crossing guard.
• 10 mph or less over the legal speed limit.
• Open alcohol container in vehicle.
• All other moving violations of traffic laws.
• Refusal of Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) by anyone under age 21.
*Please note that snowmobile and off-road vehicle (ORV) alcohol-conviction points are placed on a driver record and may result in licensing action against your driving privileges even though the violation happened while operating a snowmobile or ORV.