A Brief Introduction to Montana Traffic Fines
Given Montana’s large size and how scattered its population is, Montana has traditionally been very lax regarding traffic fines. Most police officers didn’t believe that there was much of anything to be gained by charging heavily for traffic fines. However, in the 1990s Montana began to institute strict speed laws and also brought into existence its own disciplinary points system, meaning that drivers committing moving violations may face severe Montana traffic fines.
A Sampling of Montana Traffic Fines
One undeniable fact is that, speaking in terms of what can strictly be defined as direct Montana traffic fines, the state remains one of the laxest in the United States. There’s a great disparity in the amount in these amounts, going from speeding charges to other charges, but all are under $100, and in many other states they would be much more. Here as brief sampling of some Montana traffic fines:
• Driving 10 miles an hour over the speed limit: $25
• Driving 20 miles an hour over the speed limit: $45
• Failure to stop at a red light, stop sign or railroad crossing: $90
• Improper passing, turning or signaling: $90
• Careless driving: $90
• Failure to properly stop for a school bus: $90
The Disciplinary Point System
Drivers should be aware that if the state of Montana doesn’t impose heavy direct Montana traffic fines, it still creates rather severe indirect Montana traffic fines. That is because the state has a disciplinary point system, which hits traffic law violators with points on their licenses as well as Montana traffic fines. These disciplinary points constitute fines because they tip-off car insurance agencies that their clients are traffic law violators, and so the insurance companies raise rates in retaliation.
Realize also that the state determines “habitual traffic offenders” through the point system. Individuals who accumulate 18 points in a period of 2 years are potential habitual traffic offenders and must enroll in and complete traffic rehabilitation course or else have their license suspended for six months or until they complete the course. No matter whether they complete the course or not, individuals who accumulate 30 points in a period of 3 years have their licenses suspended for three years.
Here is a partial list of the disciplinary points assigned for various traffic offenses:
• Deliberate Homicide – 15 points
• Negligent Homicide or Assault – 12 points
• Felonies (Vehicular) – 12 points
• Driving Under the Influence – 10 points
• Driving while License Is Suspended or Revoked – 6 points
• Reckless Driving – 5 points
• Drag Racing – 5 points
• Insurance Violations – 5 points
• Hit and Run – 4 points
• Speeding – 3 points
• No Driver's License – 2 points
Driving Under the Influence
Montana also has a very severe Driving Under the Influence law. Individuals found guilty of Driving Under the Influence, or who have a blood alcohol level of .10 or more may have their licenses suspended for as much as six months, even if it is their first offense. Fines will also run from $300 to $1000 for a first offense.