WHAT IS THE TEXAS DRP
The driver record point system is used as a standard measuring stick for drivers performance in a number of countries including: Brazil, Scotland, Denmark, England, Germany, Australia and the United States (among others). Most drivers understand the general concept that points on your driving record are bad. However, if you are unfortunate enough to receive one of the estimated 32,000,000 traffic citations dispensed annually in the US, it’s likely you are not as clear on the impact of those points.
What exactly are the costs of points on your record?
About 1 in 6 drivers will receive a moving citation annually. Of those, most only receive a one ticket within a 12 month period. The remaining group will have the dubious task of calculating the impact of those extra traffic tickets. In Texas, state and local government agencies recognized the increased costs to resources processing ‘habitual offenders’ and imposed additional surcharges – often recurring for as many as three years – to offset the cost burden incurred. In 2003, the 78th legislature enacted a program known as the DRP or Driver Responsibility Program.
For most drivers the thresholds of this program never become an issue. That is, most people never receive enough tickets in a time period for the DRP to have a negative financial impact. Simply put: you have to get caught enough, or committing certain qualifying violations (driving without a license or insurance, or driving while intoxicated) to find yourself on the wrong end of this piece of legislature. This program is divided into two segments – assessment surcharges and conviction-based.
Assessment Surcharges are applied to drivers who incur six (6) or more points on their record within a three (3) year period. In Texas this is fairly cut and dry: (1) Any moving violation not more than 10% over the speed limit is worth 2 points and (2) any moving violation that results in a collision/accident/crash is worth 3 points. For each year a driver maintains 6 points on their record they suffer an annual charge of $100. Each additional point above six (6) results in an additional $25 fee.
Conviction-based are those infractions beyond a simple speeding ticket – those that could or have posed more thread and negative impact on the community; such as driving while intoxicated or calling your Mazda Miata a “sports car”: The later being punishable by a flogging in Texas. Okay, it’s not, but it should be.
In some cases, drivers can use online defensive driving online programs and/or online traffic school courses to dismiss or abate the points their ticket would normally add to their license. This varies greatly from state to state – check with your issuing municipality or traffic ticket to better understand your options. If you are fortunate enough to have the option of using defensive driving to dismiss your citation there are a few key things to keep in mind.
- Ensure your defensive driving online course provider is state-approved.
- Use a reputable online defensive driving program for Texas that you know and trust – a recognized name.
- Stop speeding or mucking about. Seriously, it’s far less expensive than finding yourself on the wrong end of the Texas Driver Responsibility Program Act.