The state of Washington treats a driver’s license as a privilege even though it may be a necessity for someone’s daily life. Not everyone automatically gets to obtain or retain a driver’s license. People have to have appropriate education and demonstrate the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
There are a variety of scenarios in which someone could lose their driver’s license in Washington. Anyone convicted of a drunk driving offense, for example, can lose driving privileges temporarily. However, people do not need to commit a major traffic in fraction to risk losing a driver’s license. The law in Washington also allows for a suspension after repeat traffic violations.
How many tickets are too many?
Someone who demonstrates difficulty following traffic laws is at risk of losing their license. Police officers who notice unsafe driving habits can stop and ticket a driver. Too many interactions in a short period of time could cost someone their license.
Drivers won’t need to track how many points they have on their license. Unlike some states, Washington does not have a points system where some infractions have more of a licensing impact than others. Any moving violation can potentially contribute to the loss of someone’s driver’s license.
It is the total number of infractions, not the severity of each offense, that determines whether someone loses their license or not. Currently, someone issued six citations for moving violations in one year could lose their license. It only takes seven violations in a 24-month period to lead to a license suspension of up to 60 days.
Even after someone gets their license back, there will be a one-year probation period. Any additional citations during that probation period will lead to another 30-day suspension. It will also restart the one-year probation period. In some cases, those with a suspended license may qualify for a restricted or occupational license that allows them to drive to work and handle other necessary obligations.
Those who choose to defend against traffic tickets can reduce the likelihood of losing their license in the future. Understanding that a fine is only part of the penalty may help people understand the importance of fighting a traffic ticket.