If you drive in Alberta, you must be aware of the demerit points that can affect your driving record. Well, accumulating too many demerit points can get your driving license suspended. After all, no driver would like to have demerit points messing up their records.
So, it’s natural to wonder “how long do demerit points last?”.
Having a poor driving record under your name can also affect your automobile insurance. Reputed insurance experts at Surex can help you find affordable auto insurance policies. Visit https://www.surex.com/insurance/auto-car/alberta to reach out to the experts and find affordable insurance policies.
What is the demerit point system in Alberta?
Under the Traffic Safety Act, Alberta’s demerit point system credits the driver’s records with points in case of a traffic conviction. The accumulation of too many points can lead to the suspension of the driving license, besides increasing insurance premiums.
Drivers who are just getting started or are completely licensed under the system in Alberta should understand how to avoid accumulating these bad points. When you commit a driving offence, these demerit points get recorded against your name.
However, demerit points do not accumulate following every minor incident or traffic ticket. It all depends on how severe your conviction is. A driver is considered to be convicted under the following circumstances.
- They appear at the court and the authorities find the person guilty
- The person pays a fine after being booked against a ticket
- Doesn’t appear at the court and becomes guilty due to absence
The number of demerit points accumulated on your record depends on the severity of the conviction. Class 5 drivers with a full license in Alberta can get their licenses suspended once they accumulate 15 demerit points.
How long do demerit points last on your driving record?
Well, you must be wondering, ‘how long do demerit points last?’ Alberta. In Alberta, demerit points last on the driving record for two years. These points work on a revolving basis. Therefore, when you improve your driving habits, they won’t accumulate continually. Thus, you can get a clean record after two years.
To know the status of your driving record, you need to shell out a fee to obtain the driver’s abstract. One can obtain it online or at the registry office.
Do demerit points affect your automobile insurance?
Yes, demerit points affect the car insurance premiums you need to shell out. Most insurers won’t check out the number of demerit points you have on your driving record. However, they would scrutinize your driving history, examining the exact infringements you made.
So, the problem doesn’t lie with the number of demerit points but with tickets for reckless driving, speeding, and other convictions that earned you those points. When you have these offences under your name, insurers consider you a high-risk driver. Naturally, the high insurance premiums would start hurting your pockets.
Other insurance companies use different parameters to calculate the premiums. For instance, some of these insurers check out the claims record. So, you are good to go as long as you aren’t involved in any crashes. Other insurers examine the demerit points. Eventually, choosing the right insurer turns out to be a challenge. By consulting established insurance experts, you can find the right insurer based on your driving profile.
Can you reduce the number of demerit points?
Now that you know ‘how long do demerit points last in Alberta?’, it’s time to understand how you can reduce them. Adopting healthy driving habits is the best way to reduce your demerit points. Several driving schools in Alberta offer courses that help drivers reduce demerits. This way, you can adopt defensive driving habits and thereby enjoy a clean driving record after two years. Naturally, you would pay lower auto insurance premiums when you don’t have those ugly tickets to bother you.
Look out for approved courses on defensive driving. In case you have accumulated 8 demerit points but completed this course before any other demerit points, you might benefit from the reduction of 3 demerit points.
What can happen if your license is suspended?
In case of the worst scenario, accumulating too many demerit points can get your driving license suspended. Under these circumstances, the demerit points leading to this offence will be overlooked. Therefore, the suspension of your license replaces the demerit points.
Consider a situation where you would earn 6 demerit points for speeding and 3 demerit points for distracted driving. However, in most cases, drivers would receive 6 demerit points if they speed due to distracted driving. However, if your license is suspended for speeding, you won’t have any demerit points imposed on your record. In this case, only 3 points would be imposed due to distracted driving.
Can you reduce demerit points like a fine?
A common myth about demerit points in Alberta is that you can get them reduced just like a fine. However, this is not possible since the Registrar of Motor Vehicle Services oversees the demerit point system as an administrative scheme. So, they don’t consider these demerit points as a sentence, and no discretion exists on the number of demerit points that might be imposed on a driver. Therefore, a prosecutor, judge, or traffic commission cannot reduce these demerit points.
However, you can file a plea for an alternative offence to help you deal with the situation. For instance, when you fail to stop your car at a red light, you earn 3 demerit points. You need to obtain consent from the prosecutor and plead to an alternative offence such as ‘failing to obey a traffic control device’. This offence would impose 2 demerit points on your record rather than 3. However, the prosecutor reserves the right to decide whether or not he would allow you to enter this plea to another offence.
How long do demerit points last for drivers in Alberta? — Endnote
Now that you know the best strategies to reduce demerit points, you should try and complete an acknowledged defensive driving course. First, it makes sense not to get yourself convicted for your poor driving habits.
However, not everything remains at your hand when you take the road. Reach out to insurance experts if you are currently shelling out high insurance premiums due to tarnished driving records. The experts will recommend the right auto insurance policies, helping you curtail insurance costs.