Michigan Traffic Violations
The State of Michigan oversees traffic violations primarily through Michigan District Courts. When you drive in Michigan and are issued a ticket for a traffic violation, the law enforcement officer will provide you with a citation containing the necessary information on how to resolve the traffic violation. This information will likely include the name, location, phone number and address of the Michigan District Court's Traffic Division, which will be processing your traffic violation. You will only need to deal with a criminal division of the Michigan District Courts if your traffic violation qualifies as a misdemeanor or felony, such as vehicular homicide or driving while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. Michigan has tried to make it relatively painless to dispute a traffic violation. Once you receive your citation, you can simply plead not guilty and mail an accompanying explanation of your side of the situation to the local Michigan District Court handling your ticket. If you choose to take this route, you can either go to court on the date provided on your traffic ticket, or await a mailed response from the court informing you of a scheduled hearing to present your case in person in front of a judge.
Michigan Points System
Michigan, like most states, employs a points system to track the traffic violations of those driving within Michigan's borders. Michigan's Vehicular Code provides a full summary of the points that can be assigned against your Michigan driving record, depending on the severity of your traffic violation. The following are some examples of what you can expect on your record should you be pulled over, issued a citation and determined to be guilty of the offense:
- Speeding by less than 10 mph.
- Open alcohol container in vehicle.
- Refusal of a Breathalyzer Test by a Minor
- Speeding by 11-15 mph
- Running a Stop Sign
- Careless Driving
- Ignoring Railroad Crossing Lights
- Speeding by more than 15 mph
- Failure to Yield for Emergency Vehicles
- Driving with any BAC by a Minor
- Reckless Driving
- Fleeing an Accident
- Evading a Law Enforcement Officer
If points are posted against your Michigan driving record, they will remain there for two years. Further, Michigan District Courts will not remove points from your from a driving record once they're posted. So, if you want to avoid having points stuck on your record for a traffic violation you feel you should not have been charged with, it is important that you attempt to rectify the situation before it is too late. You won't have a chance to fix the damage later.
Suspension of Your Michigan Driving Privileges
These points can pile up fast. If you rack up 12 points on your Michigan driving record, the Michigan District Court handling your traffic violation will notify the Michigan Secretary of State
("SOS"), who will order to you participate in a Driver Assessment Reexamination. Essentially, you will be required to sit down with someone working at a Michigan SOS Assessment Office to discuss your recent traffic violation, go over your entire Michigan driving history, and complete written, visual and on-road driving examinations. While your reexamination may result in no penalty at all, the Michigan SOS Assessment Office may also limit, suspend or even revoke your license.
Accumulating 12 points on your driving record is not the only situation in which you may have to speak to an assessment officer. If you are involved in multiple traffic accidents, obtain a traffic citation while you are driving on a probationary license, or are involved in an accident that resulted in a fatality-regardless of fault-you may have to undergo the reexamination process. The Michigan SOS Assessment Officer handling your traffic violation, should he or she choose to suspend your license, has the discretion of implementing a suspension ranging from a single day to months. Their decision is likely to rely heavily on the severity of your most recent traffic violation and the general cleanliness of your Michigan driving record. In addition, a Michigan Assessment Officer will consider heavily whether you are willing to undertake steps to improve your overall driving abilities, potentially including participation in a driver improvement program or traffic school.
Attending Traffic School in Michigan
Unfortunately, Michigan SOS will generally not offer you an opportunity to participate in a Michigan traffic school as a means of dismissing your traffic violation or eliminating points from your Michigan driving record. However, attending a Michigan traffic school may be a determinative factor in how a Michigan SOS Assessment Officer handles your case.
The Michigan SOS has provided a list of Michigan traffic schools you can participate in, including online traffic schools and Michigan online driver improvement programs. If you have a Michigan online traffic school or Michigan online driver improvement program that you'd like to enroll in that is not included in that list, just call the local Michigan District Court or Michigan SOS Assessment Office handling your traffic violation and ask them for permission to enroll in the program as part of your agreement.
The Benefits of a Clean Michigan Driving Record
A clean Michigan driving record can help you in several ways, particularly if you participate in a Michigan online traffic school or defensive driving program. First, a clean record will help you avoid expensive fees based on the cumulative effect of multiple Michigan traffic violations, and showing you have taken steps to be a better and more defensive driver will help prevent you from losing your Michigan driving privileges when under the discretion of a Michigan court.
Further, a good driving record is essential to getting and keeping your car insurance costs as low as possible. The less traffic violations you have on your Michigan driving history, combined with a completed online defensive driving program, the lower your insurance premiums will stay.
Michigan Mature Drivers
Michigan also authorizes an opportunity for Michigan mature Drivers, those drivers who are at least 50 years of age, to partake in a Defensive Driving Course to significantly reduce your auto insurance premiums and help bolster your overall Michigan driving record. The class is taught in four, separate two-hour sessions.
Michigan Teen Drivers
Michigan offers a similar driver's education program from teens. If you are a teen driver or have a teen driver in your household and are interested in lowering your car insurance premiums, you should contact your auto insurance carrier to see how this program will affect your Michigan insurance premiums. You can also learn about Michigan's specific teen driver requirements and opportunities for by visiting the Michigan SOS's Teen Driver Education Website.
Michigan Classroom Traffic Schools
If you are interested in participating in a Michigan driver improvement program in a physical setting, the Michigan SOS has publicized a list of pre-approved Michigan traffic schools:
All star Driver Education
1011 S Main Street #B Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Alert Driving School
5373 Terence Court Bloomfield, MI
MSDE Driver Traing School
13346 W Warren Dearborn, MI 48126
ABC Driving School
7840 Michigan Detroit, MI
Best Truck Driving School LLC
151 S Military Detroit, MI 48209
Privilege Driving School
15251 W 8 Mile Detroit, MI 48235
C & C Driving School LLC
12320 Oakland Hills Dr Dewitt, MI 48820
Main Street Driving School
2090 Celebration Drive NE Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Navigator Driving Academy
4940 Plainfield NE Grand Rapids, MI 49525
West Michigan CDL
3370 Busch Drive SW #A Grandville, MI 49418
Mr R's A-Plus Driving School
1673 Haslett Road #30 Haslett, MI 48840
Century Driving School
575 1/2 E 8th Street Holland, MI 49423
Wolverine Auto Driving School
32011 Plymouth Livonia, MI
Baker College - Truck Driver Taining Center
100 N Delaney Owosso, MI 48867
Nuway Truck Driver Training
25 S Glenwood Pontiac, MI 48342
Sargents School For Driving
14334 San Jose Redford, MI
Safeway Teen Adult Driving School
15626 Isabelle Romulus, MI
Suburban Truck Driver Training
28675 Northline Romulus, MI 48174
CDI Truck Driving School
6191 Sherman Road Saginaw, MI 48604
Jack's Driving School
23077 Greenfield, #11 Southfield, MI
Street Wise Driving School
1134 E 8th Street Traverse City, MI 49686
Academy Driving School
5475 Livernois Troy, MI
American Driving School
48838 Van Dyke Utica, MI 48317
Century Driving School
334 Reno Drive Wayland, MI 49348
Lee Driving School
5348 Fairway Court West Bloomfield, MI
Kars Driver Training
648 Progress Street #102A West Branch, MI 48661