Virginia Driving Improvement Courses
Should I Take a Driver Improvement Class?
Contact a local reckless driving attorney before taking any driving classes or programs. Whether a Virginia DMV class will help your reckless driving case depends on the jurisdiction, the type of reckless driving, and your driving record. Consult with a reckless driving attorney to make sure you take the right class at the right time.
Contact a local reckless driving attorney to guarantee that you sign up for the right type of driving course. There are four different types of Virginia driving improvements courses. Additionally, there are AAA driving courses, the VASAP aggressive driving program, and many local, private, and out-of-state driving programs.
Some judges in some jurisdictions, such as Prince William County, may dismiss some reckless driving cases if the driver has a perfect driving record and completes a DMV approved driver improvement course. However, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, Herndon and Vienna, will not reduce charges after completing a driver safety course.
Before taking a driving class, consult a local reckless driving attorney to find out the rules in your jurisdiction and whether you qualify for a court-ordered driving program. If you take a driving class before your trial, you may be inadvertently disqualified from enrolling in a court program because some judges and prosecutors disqualify defendants who have already taken a driving improvement class. Also, if your reckless driving charge involved an accident, enrolling in certain programs may expose you to law suits from other parties to the accident. Consult a Fairfax reckless driving attorney before agreeing to any court-ordered driving improvement programs.
Taking a driving improvement class can help your reckless driving case even if you do not qualify for any court programs. Virginia drivers can receive five “good driver” points every two years by taking a voluntary DMV-approved driver improvement class. Five points can improve your driving record before trial. A better DMV record often results in a less severe punishment. If your attorney advises you to take a driving improvement course, complete the driving class as quickly as possible. It often takes a significant amount of time for positive points to appear on your record.
Can I take a Virginia Driver Improvement Class If I am Not Licensed in Virginia?
Drivers from other states can take the Virginia DMV driving improvement classes. However, it will be of no benefit to their out-of-state DMV record. They may also have a difficult time finding a location to take the class’s final exam if they do not live near Virginia. If you do not have a Virginia driver’s license, you should research whether your own state has any similar driving improvement classes that could improve your driving record before trial.
If you cannot take a Virginia DMV Driver Improvement Class because you are out-of-state you may prefer to take one of the AAA driver courses.
Contact a local Virginia reckless driving attorney beforehand and find out whether the AAA program is right for your case.
What do the Different Types of Driving Classes Involve?
There are several different classes. The most common is the Virginia DMV approved Driver Improvement Course. There are four versions of this course: 1) court required 2) DMV required 3) voluntary (for points) 4) auto insurance. The content of these four classes may or may not very similar but these courses are different.
The court ordered driver improvement class should only be taken if a judge or your lawyer tells you to take this class.
The DMV-required or DMV-ordered course is mandatory if you receive 12 or more demerit points in 12 months or 18 or more demerit points in 24 months. The Virginia DMV will mail you a letter with an ultimatum: take the course within 90 days or lose your license and not get it back until you pay a $175 reinstatement fee and take the class.
The voluntary driver improvement course earns you five “good driver” points on your DMV record and can be taken for points only once every two years. These five “good driver” points will not help prevent a license suspension if you receive more than 12 or 18 demerit points in 12 or 24 months, respectively.
The insurance driver improvement course reduces your insurance payments if you are insured in Virginia. Virginia law requires insurance companies to give drivers a discount for taking a Virginia DMV driver improvement course
All four of these classes contain eight hours of lecture and a final exam. The exam is not difficult if you keep awake and pay attention. The driver improvement course can be attended in-person or online if you are twenty years old or older. For a list of approved online classes click here
The Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP or ASAP) has classes that deal with aggressive driving as well as substance abuse. Aggressive Driving courses focus on preventing road rage and related driving behavior. This program costs about $75 and is usually a four-hour class. Some ASAP programs offer a twelve hour-program that is a combination of the eight-hour DMV-approved Voluntary Driving Improvement Class and the four-hour Aggressive Driving Course.
The ASAP Aggressive Driver Program is not meant for all types of reckless driving cases and may not be useful to you. Contact a local reckless driving attorney before attending the Aggressive Driving class. To find as local VASAP office click here