Your driving record tells a story about your abilities as a driver. It shows whether you obey traffic laws or not. A judge can use it to assess whether you should continue driving when you go to court for a traffic incident.
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has a point system to determine your abilities as a driver. There are two types of points you can earn on your record. One type allows you to show your good driving habits while the other is a response to your bad driving habits. You need to avoid accumulating the points for unsafe driving because you could face penalties if you have too many.
You earn safe points on your driving record for being a good driver. These points can offset any bad marks that you get. You earn one point for every year without any violations. You can accumulate a total of five points at any one time.
If you have a violation, you do have the option to complete a driver improvement clinic to earn five safe points. This option can help you to avoid a points-related suspension of your driver’s license. However, if a court orders you to take this course, the court will decide about the awarding of safe points, so you may not earn five points.
Demerit points are points you receive for violations. Once you earn a point, it stays on your driving record for two years. You may earn more than one point per offense. The number of points you receive depends on the type of traffic violation you commit. If you get too many demerit points, you may face license suspension.
You can earn safe points to help counter against demerit points to prevent any action against your license. However, some violations assess so many points at one time that you cannot prevent a suspension by earning safe points.