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How the point system traffic law works

Like many states, South Carolina’s traffic laws operate on a points basis. That means if South Carolina residents violate traffic laws, they accumulate points against their licenses, which can result in severe penalties. While these points serve as a method to encourage drivers to change bad habits and improve public safety, it is important to understand how points are accrued and how they work.

Do points go away?

In South Carolina, points are reduced by half one year after the violation occurs. For instance, if you receive two points against your license in November 2020, that total can drop to one point in November 2021. The goal of the point reduction system is to encourage drivers not to accrue additional points so that they can clear their driving record over time.

Punishments for excessive points

Drivers who receive an excessive number of points against their license can face license suspension. The first suspension of a license in South Carolina typically consists of a 180-day period in which an individual is not allowed to operate a motor vehicle of any kind.

If a suspension is not ordered by the court, the offending driver may be forced to take a court-ordered driving course, in addition to other requirements. These classes, which cannot be completed online, require a person to attend eight hours of classroom training, which must be completed in South Carolina. The point of the state-mandated course is to create consequences for unsafe driving while also educating the offender.

There are ways that drivers who have committed traffic infractions can fight the points on their license. An attorney who is well-versed in local traffic law can review the details of the alleged violation, compare them with past cases and help their client build a defense against a possible license suspension.