Reckless Driving

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Reckless driving laws differ between states but most states follow the Uniform Vehicle Code. Reckless driving is defined as "willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property."

Operating an automobile in a manner that is dangerous under the circumstances, including speeding even though your within the posted speed limit but it’s to fast for the current conditions outside, drinking and driving, having way too many passengers in your car, cutting in and out of traffic, failing to yield and more.

When your blood alcohol level is very close to the legal limit you can plea a “wet reckless” plea which in a drunk driving case the prosecution is allowed to lessen the penalty.

Some auto rental companies is now restricting rentals of vehicles for any persons charged with reckless driving or any serious traffic infractions within five years. (See also Reckless Driving Charge Reduced).

Six Point Violations

A few examples of reckless driving which usually stays on your DMV record for up to 11 years:

  • Racing
  • Passing a school bus
  • Passing at a railroad crossing
  • Driving way to fast for conditions
  • Speeding 20 mph or more above the posted speed limit

To be charged with reckless driving offense, the prosecutor must show that you did not care about any harm resulting from driving, and that you should have realized such driving was hazardous. When someone is killed because of reckless driving, the reckless driver may be charged and prosecuted for vehicular homicide, which is punishable by a fine and imprisonment

State Fines and Penalties

Choose the first letter of your State

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State Avg. Fines Points Traffic School License Suspension Rate Jail
Alabama First offense $25-$500, second offense $50-500. 6 points, insurance premium will increase, especially if license is revoked. No, but judge and case specific circumstances allow for traffic school as means of dismissing ticket Case Specific, potentially mandatory given point totals from offense and state points system Exluded from point count after two (2) years, unstated officially regarding driving record, but typically, never more than three (3) years
Alabama Reckless Driving Laws
Alaska Case specific. 10 points, insurance premium is likely to increase. Yes, more than 6 points in a year for provision license holders. Traffic school can be used once annually to reduce overall point total Two (2) suspensions based on points in two (2) years Point accumulating offenses on driving record for five (5) years
Alaska Reckless Driving Laws
Arizona First offense up to $750, subsequent within 24 months up to $2,500. 8 points, expect increase on insurance premium. Not required, but voluntary attendance will dismiss ticket and avoid being placed on driving record Case Specific, Mandatory after Second Offense Point accumulating offenses on driving record for five (5) years
Arizona Reckless Driving Laws
Arkansas First offense $25-$500, subsequent offenses $50-$1,000. 8 points, insurance premium will potentially increase greatly. Case specific, but potentially required License revocation on case specific basis Point accumulating offenses on driving record up to five (5) years
Arkansas Reckless Driving Laws
California $145-$1,000 2 points, insurance premium is likely to increase. Yes, case specific, but one offense per eighteen months may be masked from public view if completing traffic school License suspension reinstatement automatically requires adminstrative hearing One (1) point offenses remain on record for three (3) years, two (2) point offenses remain on record for seven (7) years
California Reckless Driving Laws
Colorado First offense $10-$300, second offense $50-1,000. 8 points, expect insurance premiums to increase. Yes, case specific, but will not dimiss points from record Hearing required to determine on case specific basis, 12 points accumulated equals mandatory suspension Point accumulating offenses on driving record no less than seven (7) years
Colorado Reckless Driving Laws
Connecticut First offense $100-$300, subsequent up to $600. 2 points, insurance premium will potentially increase. May be required by clerk, dismissal of fines or points possible through clerk approved traffic school arrangement Ten (10) points accrued result in suspension, revocation case specific pending hearing Points remain on driver record for two (2) years
Connecticut Reckless Driving Laws
Delaware First offense $100-$300, subsequent (within three years) $300-1,000. 6 points, expect insurance premium to increase greatly. Yes, case specific and required, may be used to reduce overall point count Accumulation of fourteen (14) points means mandatory suspension for four (4) months Points offenses remain on record at least three (3) years and up to more than five (5) pending offense
Delaware Reckless Driving Laws
District of Columbia - DC Case specific. 12 points, premium on insurance rate is likely to increase. Yes, may be required, and can be used as means of reducing point total 10 points accumulated requires 90-day suspension, 12 point accumulation requires revocation needing official reinstatement Points remain on driver's record for two (2) years
District of Columbia Reckless Driving Laws
Florida First offense $25-$500, subsequent $50-$1,000. 4 points, expect insurance premiums to rise. Yes, and basic driver improvement courses are option for dimissing points Twelve (12) points in one (1) year requires mandatory suspension, revocation is case specific and determined by hearing Offenses resulting in points kept on driving record for seven (7) years
Florida Reckless Driving Laws
Georgia Up to $1,000 4 points, expect insurance premiums to increase. Yes, and potentially used for one violation reduction every five (5) years Accumulation of fifteen (15) points in two years results in suspension Offenses resulting in points kept on driving record for seven (7) years
Georgia Reckless Driving Laws
Hawaii Up to $1,000 Point system not applicable in state Yes, may be mandated in event of serious offenses Case specific Offenses may remain on traffic abstract for no more than ten (10) years
Hawaii Reckless Driving Laws
Idaho First offense $25-$300, subsequent $50-$300. License can be suspended immediately. Yes, once every three (3) years, drivers may reduce point total by three points Risk of suspension after 11 points in one (1) year or 17 points in two (2) years Point accumulating offenses on driving record for three (3) years
Idaho Reckless Driving Laws
Illinois Up to $2,500 55 points, insurance rates are likely to increase. Yes, required for some offenses, can be used as means of dismissing points in lieu of license suspension Mandatory suspension for accumulation of 15 points, revocations begin at 110 points Point accumulating offenses remain on record four (4) to five (5) years
Illinois Reckless Driving Laws
Indiana Up to $1,000 6 points, premiums on insurance are likely to increase. Yes, driver safety program required in case specific situations and in lieu of point total nearing suspension levels Suspension based on hearing if driver accrues more than 18 points in two (2) years Point accumulating offenses remain on record for two (2) years
Indiana Reckless Driving Laws
Iowa $50-$500 None, violation may increase insurance premium rates though Yes, courts may require driver improvement program Suspension required if three (3) or more violations assessed in one (1) year period Point and other violations remain on record for at least five (5) years
Iowa Reckless Driving Laws
Kansas First offense $25-$500, subsequent $50-$500 License is immediately revoked. Yes, may be required, and may be done every three (3) years to garner better insurance premiums. Conviction of three (3) moving violations in one (1) year risks license suspension Violation convictions on record up to five (5) years
Kansas Reckless Driving Laws
Kentucky $20-$100 4 points, premiums on insurance are likely to increase. Yes, can elect to attend once per year if eligible to dismiss violation for given offense causing attendance Suspension hearing required if accumualted more than twelve (12) points in two (2) year period Points expire after two (2) years, but remain on driver record for five (5) years
Kentucky Reckless Driving Laws
Louisiana First offense up to $200, subsequent $25-$500. No point system, reported to PDPS, insurance rates will probably increase. Yes, may be required, and can be used to suspend conviction of violation Specific violations result in suspension, including the vague wording of "excessive violations", number not noted Less than ten (10) years convictions remain on driving record
Louisiana Reckless Driving Laws
Maine Up to $1,000 6 points, premiums on insurance are likely to increase. Yes, may be mandated, can be used to dimiss three (3) demerit points per one (1) year period License suspension for fifteen (15) days required for persons with more than 12 demerit points in 12 month period Violations remain on driving record for three (3) years up to no more than ten (10) years
Maine Reckless Driving Laws
Maryland Up to $500 6 points, insurance premiums will increase. None applicable to state License revoked for drivers with 12 points (19 if driver using vehicle for employment) in two (2) years Violations expunged from driving record every three (3) year cycle
Maryland Reckless Driving Laws
Massachusetts $20-$200 5 points, insurance premiums will probably increase. Yes, required if driver accumulates five (5) surchargeable events in three (3) years License suspensions begin with three (3) speeding violations being recorded in a one (1) year period All driving records remain in affect from "mid-eighties" to present
Massachusetts Reckless Driving Laws
Michigan Up to $100 6 points, expect insurance rate premiums to rise. Yes, potentially mandated Accrual of 12 points on two (1) year period subject driver to license suspension of not more than one (1) year Points remain on driving record ever more than ten (10) years, affecting insurance rates for about three (3) years
Michigan Reckless Driving Laws
Minnesota Up to $1,000 None, violations may increase insurance premium rates though Yes, courts may require driver imporvement course in lieu of or on top of existing offenses Conviction of three (3) offenses in one (1) year results in license suspension, length determined via hearing Offense counts ended on yearly cycle
Minnesota Reckless Driving Laws
Mississippi First offense $5-$100, subsequent offenses up to $500. No point system in state, premiums on insurance will probably rise. Yes, potentially mandated, but can be used to dimiss offenses Suspension or revocation at discretion of licensing agency Offenses maintained on active record for more than four (4) years
Mississippi Reckless Driving Laws
Missouri Case specific. 2-4 points, insurance premium will potentially increase. Yes, either mandated or voluntarily undergone to reduce point total Driver subject to suspension for accumulation of more than 8 points in eighteen (18) months Moving violations maintained on record up to three (3) years, suspension on record for five (5) years
Missouri Reckless Driving Laws
Montana First offense $25-$300, subsequent $50-$500. 5 points, insurance premiums will probably increase. Yes, potentially mandated as sanction, but will not reduce or dismiss points Accrual of 6 points in eighteen (18) months makes driver subject to sanctions, but accrual of 15 points in thirty-six (36) months mandates suspension Points applied to record for three (3) years, but traffic violations remain in state database permanently
Montana Reckless Driving Laws
Nebraska First offense up to $500, subsequent offenses up to $1,000. 5-6 points, premiums on insurance are likely to increase. Yes, possibly mandated as sanction, but also, can be used to remove 2 points every five (5) years Accumulation of 12 points in two (2) years immediately revokes license for six (6) months Driver's record viewed as public record, and infractions remain visible indefinitely
Nebraska Reckless Driving Laws
Nevada First offense up to $500, subsequent offenses up to $1,000. 8 points, insurance premium is likely to increase. Yes, potentially required, but also, can be used once per one (1) year period to reduce points voluntarily Accrual of 12 points in twelve (12) months results in six (6) month license suspension Driver records maintained for three (3) years for private individuals, longer for commercial drivers
Nevada Reckless Driving Laws
New Hampshire $250-$500 6 points, insurance premiums will increase. Yes, required in some instances and as possible means of reducing points Accrual of 12 points in twelve (12) months results in three (3) month license suspension Points remain on driving record for three (3) years using Jan.1 as effective start date of three year period
New Hampshire Reckless Driving Laws
New Jersey $50-$200 5 points, insurance premiums will probably increase. Yes, case pending may be required, otherwise can be used to remove 2 points from record Accrual of 12 points in two (2) year period requires 30 day suspension of license Driver history abstract available in complete form or within five (5) year period
New Jersey Reckless Driving Laws
New Mexico First offense $25-100, subsequent offenses $50-$1,000. 6 points, premiums on insurance are likely to increase. Yes, may be mandated or voluntarily undergone for points reduction Accumulation of 7 to 10 points in one (1) year may result in three (3) month suspension, pending hearing
New Mexico Reckless Driving Laws
 
New York First offense up to $300, second offense up to $525, subsequent offenses up to $1,125. 5 points, insurance premiums will probably increase. Yes, potentially required in specific cases, and may be used to remove up to 4 points in some cases Accumulation of 11 points in eighteen (18) month period results in one (1) month license suspension Driving record points may be removed no later than four (4) years from offense, but potetnial to view last ten (10) years of record available
New York Reckless Driving Laws
North Carolina Up to $1,000 4 points, insurance premiums will potentially rise. Yes, driver improvement clinics may be mandated, and can be used once every five (5) years for 3 point reduction Accumulation of more than 12 points in three (3) years makes license subject to suspension Driving record points counted against driver for up to three (3) years, and violations on record available for viewing up to seven (7) years
North Carolina Reckless Driving Laws
North Dakota Up to $1,000 8 points, insurance premium is likely to increase. Yes, and driver may elect to undergo driver improvement course once annually to reduce by 2 points Every point accumulated above 11 points requires seven (7) day license suspension Violations older than three (3) years do not remain on driving record
North Dakota Reckless Driving Laws
Ohio First offense up to $100, second offense up to $250, subsequent offenses up to $500. 4 points, expect insurance rate premium to increase. Yes, remedial dirving instruction may be legally required to reinstate driving priviledges Accumulation of more than 12 points in two (2) years makes drivers subject to six (6) month suspension Violtaions older than three (3) years are not included in current driving record
Ohio Reckless Driving Laws
Oklahoma First offense $250-$500, subsequent offenses $300-$1,000. 4 points, premiums on insurance are likely to increase. Yes, potentially mandated, but also can be used to reduce 2 points Accumulation of more than 10 points subjects driver to license suspension of one (1) month Offenses in last three (3) years are recorded on driving records
Oklahoma Reckless Driving Laws
Oregon Up to $5,000 No point system, premiums on insurance will probably increase. Yes, if mandated, but not possible to reduce offense total Conviction of four (4) offenses in eighteen (18) month period requires hearing with driver improvement interview Offenses and convictions for traffic violations remain on record more than five (5) years
Oregon Reckless Driving Laws
Pennsylvania 200 for first offense 3-5 points depending on extent of violation and license may be suspended or revoked, expect insurance premiums to likely increase. Yes, if mandated as sanction, but not means of reducing violation or dismissing points Accumulation of more than 6 points requires examination, accumulation of 6 more points requires hearing of potential suspension Violations remain on record for three (3) years, and for employment checks only, ten (10) year records can be obtained
Pennsylvania Reckless Driving Laws
Rhode Island First offense up to $500, subsequent offenses up to $5,000. No point system, premiums on insurance will probably increase. Yes, if mandated by licensing authority Incurring three or more major violations in three year period results in one to five year suspension of license Records of violations and offenses kept for three (3) years
Rhode Island Reckless Driving Laws
South Carolina< $25-$200 6 points, insurance premiums will likely increase. Yes, potentially mandated and means of removing 4 points Accumulation of 12 points in twelve months results in suspension, points older than one (1) year counted at half value Driving records are available in three (3) and ten (10) year increments
South Carolina Reckless Driving Laws
South Dakota Up to $1,000 8 points, insurance premium will increase. None applicable to state Accumulating 15 more points in one (1) year, or 22 points in two (2) year period results in suspension of 60 days Driving records of offenses and violations maintained indefintitely, points remain on record for three (3) years
South Dakota Reckless Driving Laws
Tennessee Up to $500 6 points, expect insurance rate premiums to rise. Yes, may be mandated, and drivers may reduce points through course once every five (5) years Accumulation of more than 12 points in one (1) year period results in license suspension Driving records maintained for three (3) years
Tennessee Reckless Driving Laws
Texas Up to $200 2 points, premium on insurance will increase. Yes, potentially required, and may be used to dismiss violation Incurring four (4) or more violations in one (1) year runs risk of suspension Driving record offenses and violations remain on record for no more than five (5) years
Texas Reckless Driving Laws
Utah Up to $1,000 80 points, insurance rate premium is likely to increase. Yes, possibly court mandated, and if necessary, can be used once every three (3) years to remove 50 points Accumulating more than 200 points on license, if over 21 years old, in three (3) year period results in mandatory suspension of three (3) months Moving violations remain on driving record for three (3) years
Utah Reckless Driving Laws
Vermont First offense up to $1,000, subsequent offenses up to $3,000. 4 points, expect insurance premium to increase. Yes, possibly required as part of license reinstatement Incuring 10 or more points in two (2) year period results in license suspension Violations remain on record for no more than three (3) years
Vermont Reckless Driving Laws
Virginia First offense $25-$500, subsequent offenses $50-$1,000. 4-6 points, premiums on insurance are likely to increase. Yes, driver improvement clinic may be required, and possibly used to offset 5 demerit points Accumulating more than 18 points in one (1) year, or more than 24 points in two (2) years results in license suspension Moving violations remain on driving record for three (3) years and speeding violations remain on record for five (5) years in state
Virginia Reckless Driving Laws
Washington Up to $5,000 6 points, insurance premiums are likely to rise. Yes, potentially required by court authority Accruing four (4) offenses in one (1) year or five (5) offenses in two (2) years leaves potential for authority to suspend license as desired Moving violations and accidents remain on driving record for five (5) years
Washington Reckless Driving Laws
West Virginia First offense $25-$500, subsequent offenses $50-$1,000. 6 points, premiums on insurance are likely to increase. Yes, drivers may be legally bound to attend, and attendance may reduce points as well Accumulating more than 12 points results in license suspension for no more than one (1) year at discretion of authority West Virginia Reckless Driving Laws
Wisconsin $25-$200 6 points, expect insurance rate premiums to increase. Yes, sometimes required, but voluntarily taken can reduce points by 3 every five (5) years Incurring 12 or more points in one (1) year makes driver subject to suspension at discretion of authority Violations, suspensions, and revocations remain on record for five (5) years from date of conviction
Wisconsin Reckless Driving Laws
Wyoming Up to $750 No point system, premiums on insurance will probably increase. None applicable to state Conviction of four (4) violations in one (1) year period results in 90 day suspension Violations remain on driver's record for no more than three (3) years
Wyoming Reckless Driving Laws
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