NMA Email Newsletter: Issue #46

Take Care of That Driving Record

It’s common knowledge that traffic violations and points on your license can lead to higher auto insurance rates and possibly the suspension of your license. This is why many NMA members take the time and deal with the inconvenience of fighting a traffic ticket.

The truth is that a bad or “troubled” driving record can hurt a person far more than many people realize. People who drive for living, e.g. truck drivers and bus drivers, can lose their jobs — or find it very difficult to find a new driving job — if they have two or three routine traffic violations on their record.

They are dead in the water if they have a reckless driving, DUI, or serious at-fault accident recorded on their drivers license file. Note that some of these serious violations remain on your record for a decade or more, and in some states, forever.

Less commonly known instances where a bad driving record can come back to haunt a person include background checks for employment, rental of property, applications for life insurance, and applications for loans and credit cards. You might still get the insurance or the loan, but you’ll pay more for it than someone with a good driving record.

Then there are the odd-ball, out of left field situations that really catch a person flat-footed. For example, let’s say that fifteen years ago, when you were 19, you received a DUI because you had a BAC of .03 (one drink or less) because your state has a zero tolerance law for underage drinking. Fast forward to today when you and three friends are planning a fishing trip to Ontario, Canada. Guess what? When you attempt to enter Canada you will be denied entrance because Canada does not allow DUI “criminals” to enter the country.

Bad driving records can kill scholarships, end athletic careers, and revoke professional licenses. The next time you’re debating whether or not to seriously fight a traffic ticket, keep these unmentioned consequences in mind.

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