Driving is a big responsibility and staying safe on the road means following the rules. As you know, though, drivers often break these rules – some more than others. Let’s explore common driving violations, like speeding, running red lights, distracted driving, and careless and imprudent (C&I) driving.

We’ll also look at what can happen if you get caught doing these things.


The Most Common of all Driving Violations: Speeding


Driving faster than the speed limit – It’s something most everyone with a license has done at one time or another. However, there is rarely a legal exception to excuse speeding, even if keeping up with the flow of traffic. The court system is generally unimpressed with the “everyone else was doing it” defense.

The simple truth is speed limits are there to keep everyone safe. When you speed, you have less time to react if something unexpected happens. This can lead to accidents.

Legal Implications:

  • Fines: You might have to pay a lot of money.
  • Points on Your License: Each speeding ticket can add points to your driving record. Too many points can lead to losing your license.
  • Insurance Rates: Your car insurance might cost more if you have speeding tickets.

Running Red Lights

Running a red light is another infraction that many people commit, perhaps not with the same frequency as speeding, but more than you might think. It can even happen accidentally.

However it occurs, running a red light is very dangerous because other cars and pedestrians expect you to stop.

Legal Implications:

  • Fines: Like speeding, running a red light can cost you money.
  • Points on Your License: This also adds points to your driving record.
  • Accidents: Running red lights can cause serious accidents, which might lead to injury or even death.
red light

Careless and Imprudent (C&I) Driving


Careless and imprudent driving means not driving carefully or safely. This can include things like:

  • Tailgating: Driving too close to the car in front of you.
  • Weaving: Moving in and out of lanes quickly.
  • Ignoring Traffic Signs: Not following road signs or signals.

Legal Implications:

  • Fines: There are fines for C&I driving.
  • Points on Your License: You’ll get points on your driving record.
  • Possible Jail Time: In very serious cases, you might have to go to jail.
  • Higher Insurance Rates: Like other violations, your insurance might cost more if you’re caught driving carelessly.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)


Driving Under the Influence, or DUI, is one of the most serious driving violations. In the state of Missouri, there is no legal differentiation between DUI or driving while intoxicated (DWI). Either charge means driving after drinking alcohol or using drugs that affect your ability to drive safely.

When you’re under the influence, your reaction time is slower, and your judgment is impaired.

Legal Implications:

  • Arrest: If you’re caught driving under the influence, you will be arrested.
  • Fines: Fines for DUI charges are often very high, sometimes costing thousands of dollars.
  • License Suspension: You will likely lose your driving privileges for a period of time.
  • Jail Time: Many states have mandatory jail time for those charged with a DUI offense, even for a first offense.
  • Probation: After a DUI conviction, you might be put on probation and have to follow specific rules.
  • Alcohol Education Programs: You might be required to attend classes about the dangers of drinking and driving.
  • Ignition Interlock Devices: Some states require you to install a device in your car that tests your breath for alcohol before the car starts.

Consequences Beyond Legal Penalties:

  • Employment Issues: A DWI offense on your record can affect your job, especially if you need to drive for work.
  • Personal Relationships: A DUI can strain relationships with family and friends.
  • Financial Strain: Between fines, legal fees, and increased insurance rates, a DUI can be very costly.

Why Do These Violations Matter?


These driving violations are serious because they can lead to accidents. Accidents can cause injuries, property damage, and even death. Following the rules of the road helps keep everyone safe.

How to Avoid Driving Violations


To stay safe and avoid getting tickets, you can:

  • Follow Speed Limits: Always drive at or below the speed limit.
  • Obey Traffic Signals: Stop at red lights and follow all road signs.
  • Stay Focused: Keep your eyes on the road and avoid distractions.
  • Drive Safely: Don’t tailgate, weave, or drive aggressively.

What to Do If You Get a Ticket


If you get a ticket for a driving violation, here’s what you can do:

  • Pay the Fine: Sometimes, you can just pay the fine and be done with it.
  • Go to Traffic School: In some places, you can go to traffic school to remove points from your record.
  • Fight the Ticket: You might be able to go to court and fight the ticket if you think it was unfair.

DWI Legal Representation


If you’ve been charged with a DUI or DWI, it’s important to seek legal help right away. A DUI conviction can have serious consequences, but a lawyer can help you understand your rights and options.

Why You Need a Lawyer:

  • Knowledge and Experience: A lawyer who specializes in DUI cases knows the laws and can build a strong defense.
  • Protect Your Rights: Your DUI lawyer will make sure your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
  • Possible Reduced Penalties: With a lawyer’s help, you might be able to reduce the penalties you face.

Don’t wait to get the help you need. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DWI, contact a qualified DWI attorney today to discuss your case and start planning your defense.

Stay safe, follow the rules of the road, and always drive responsibly.