Common Traffic Violators
Indiana law provides the courts and the BMV with the authority to suspend a motorist's driving privileges when certain traffic violations and subsequent actions have been committed
- Failure to Appear / Failure to Pay
- Failure to Meet Insurance Requirements
- Operating A Vehicle While Intoxicated
Failing to appear before a court of law in response to a citation issued by a law enforcement officer or not paying for tickets after a judgment has been rendered may lead to the suspension of your driving privileges. These types of suspensions are indefinite and end only when the court notifies the BMV that you appeared in court or paid for the offense.
Driving without a current liability policy that meets the state minimum standard is against the law. The state minimum standardis:
- $25,000 for bodily injury to, or the death of, one individual;
- $50,000 for bodily injury to, or death of, two or more people in any one accident; and
- $25,000 for property damages in any one accident.
This is commonly referred to as 25/50/25 liability insurance. To deter uninsured drivers, Indiana law requires the BMV to impose driving privilege suspensions and financial penalties on motorists who are found to have operated a vehicle in Indiana without proof that they hold the state minimum requirement for auto insurance. Financial penalties include reinstatement fees and suspensions ranging from 90 days to one year.
Do not delay when you have received a notification from the BMV to provide proof of financial responsibility(proof of insurance). Immediately contact your insurance provider and request that they electronically submit a Certificate of Compliance (COC) to the BMV using the Electronic Insurance Forms Submission EIFS system. You may receive a notice to verify financial responsibility from the BMV as the result of any of the following situations:
- An auto accident.
- A pointable moving traffic violation within one year of receiving two other pointable moving traffic violations.
- A conviction for a misdemeanor or felony traffic violation
- Any pointable moving traffic violation by a driver who was previously suspended for failing to provide proof of financial responsibility.
A properly filed COC will demonstrate that the vehicle you were operating at the time of the incident or accident was insured to the state’s minimum motor vehicle liability protection (25/50/25). The COC must be received and processed by the BMV within 90 days of the Indiana BMV’s request to verify financial responsibility or your driving privileges will be suspended.
Once your driving privileges are suspended, you may have a BMV imposed suspension removed from your driving record by having your insurance provider or employer submit proof of financial responsibility. If you were renting a vehicle or operating a vehicle owned by your employer, and operated as part of your job duties, an Affidavit – Proof of Financial Responsibility for Employer or Rental Vehicles may be submitted. If you are convicted by an Indiana court for operating a vehicle without insurance, or by a court that is out-of-state, you must contact the court to determine if you can provide proof of insurance to them to remove the conviction from your driving record.
If your driving privileges are suspended as a result of a court conviction or for failing to file insurance with the BMV, Indiana law requires you to have your insurance provider file proof of future financial responsibility with an SR22 form for your driving privileges to be reinstated. Failure to file an SR22 will result in the continuation of a suspension on your driving record until you have filed an effective SR22.
HABITUAL TRAFFIC VIOLATOR (HTV)
Indiana’s HTV law provides serious penalties for drivers who have repeatedly committed traffic offenses over a 10-year period. The BMV uses the criteria in statute, which are summarized below, to determine whether a driver qualifies as a HTV.
SECTION A – 10 YEAR SUSPENSION: TWO MAJOR OFFENSES RESULTING IN INJURY OR DEATH
An HTV is any person who, within a 10-year period, accumulates two judgments resulting in injury or death. Below is a reference of some of the criminal offenses that will result in an HTV status being placed on your driving privileges. These include:
- Reckless homicide resulting from operating a motor vehicle.
- Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle.
- A driver involved in an accident resulting in death or injury who fails to stop at the scene of the accident to provide information and assistance.
- Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated resulting in death.
- Operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more resulting in death.
Drivers who, within a 10-year period, accumulate two judgments from the above list, will have their driving privileges suspended for 10 years. Drivers who accumulate two judgments within a 10-year period of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated resulting in death or operating a motor vehicle with blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more resulting in death will have their driving privileges suspended for life.
SECTION B – 10 YEAR SUSPENSION: THREE MAJOR OFFENSES
An HTV is any person who, within a 10-year period, accumulates three judgments including:
- Driving while intoxicated or with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more.
- Reckless driving.
- Criminal recklessness as a felony involving the operation of a motor vehicle.
- Drag racing or engaging in a speed contest in violation of the law.
- Leaving the scene of an accident or failing to notify authorities of an accident when required.
- Resisting law enforcement under IC 35-44.1-3-1.
- Any felony under an Indiana motor vehicle statute or any felony in which the operation of a vehicle is an element of the offense.
- Operating a Class B motor driven cycle in violation of IC 9-24-1-1(b).
- Any of the offenses listed in Section A,
Drivers who, within a 10-year period, accumulate three judgments from the above list will have their driving privileges suspended for 10 years.
SECTION C – NINE TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS PLUS ONE MAJOR OFFENSE
An HTV under this section is subject to a five year driving privilege suspension and has accumulated 10 or more traffic violations in a 10-year period, one of which is a major offense as listed in Sections A or B or one of the following:
- Operating a motor vehicle while the person’s license to do so has been suspended or revoked as a result of the person’s conviction of an offense under IC 9-1-4-52 (repealed July 1, 1991), IC 9-24-18-5(b) (repealed July 1, 2000), IC 9-24-19-2, or IC 9-24-19-3.
- Operating a motor vehicle without ever having obtained a license to do so.
For example, a person with nine speeding tickets and one OWI conviction in a 10-year period will be subject to a five-year suspension as an HTV.
OPERATING A VEHICLE WHILE SUSPENDED AS An HTV
Indiana law states that an individual who has been convicted of operating a vehicle while suspended as an HTV may have his/her driving privileges suspended for a period set by the court.
Operating a vehicle while intoxicated or with a blood alcohol content in excess of the legal limit is a criminal offense and has an immediate and significant effect on your privilege to operate a vehicle. If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a motorist committed an offense under IC 9-30-5, IC 9-30-6, IC 9-30-9, or IC 9-30-15, the officer may ask the motorist to submit to a chemical test to determine the amount of alcohol in the person’s system. A motorist for whom a judge has found probable cause to exist while he or she was operating a vehicle and while intoxicated may face a suspension of driving privileges.
- A motorist who fails a chemical test may have his or her driving privileges suspended for up to 180 days
- A motorist who refuses to submit to a chemical test will face a suspension of driving privileges for up to two years
In addition to a probable cause suspension, a court may suspend a person’s driving privileges following a conviction for operating while intoxicated. The suspension periods may be longer for repeat offenders. Penalties for this offense may include conditions placed on your driving privileges.
If the motorist is eligible, the court may issue an order for specialized driving privileges. The court may also require the installation of an ignition interlock device, which mechanically tests the driver’s blood alcohol level before his or her car can be started.
When a driver who is younger than 18 years of age is cited for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, the Juvenile Court may recommend a suspension of his or her driving privileges.