If you repeatedly commit traffic offences, you are very likely to be involved in a crash. We want you to be more careful and change your driving behaviour. No one wants to lose their licence. The fact that this may happen should make you more careful.

Demerit points should be looked on as a good behaviour bond, because if you do not continue to offend then they will not affect you. However, if you get enough of them you may lose your licence or learner permit.

- VicRoads Publication Number 00067/6 'Demerit Points Scheme'.

Hopefully, nerdlinger, you should have realised by now that Demerit points have nothing to do with the honor roll. Rather, demerit points are another system of penalising Australian drivers for three years after they commit an offence. If you commit a traffic offence, You may receive a fine (usually), a fine and demerit points (very likely), or just the demerit points (almost unheard of). You may also receive an instant licence suspension if your offence is deemed particularly bad.

Demerit points range from one to ten, depending on the severity of the offence. If you get twelve in a three year period (note that each infringement will last for three years, as opposed to receiving an unquestionably clean slate at midnight or whatever every three years) you might lose your licence, or you can broker a deal that will either get you off the hook, or into even deeper shit. "What sort of deep shit?" I hear you ask. Well...

Option A
Keep your licence/permit (even with your incriminating points), but if you get any more demerit points in the next twelve months, your licence will be suspended for double the amount of time than if you had picked...

Option B
Have your licence suspended. If you don't reply to the letter asking you to pick which option you want to take, this is what you'll get as the default. You will be sent a notice telling you when your suspension will commence, and the period will last for three months for the first twelve points, plus an extra month for every four additional points.

So what do you get the demerit points for?

One point:

Two points:
  • Failing to keep left
  • Executing an improper turn
  • Turning or stopping without signalling
  • Improper overtaking or passing

Three points

Four points:
  • Exceeding the speed limit by a speed of 30-45kph

Six points:
  • Exceeding the speed limit by a speed of 45kph or more

Ten points
  • Recording a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0% to .05% if you are on your L Plates, P Plates, or have been ordered (through the nature of work, or if you have had a prior drink driving offence) to drive with a BAC of zero
  • Recording a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .05% to .07% if you are a driver with a standard licence

Some important things to remember are:
  • A suspension of your licence due to demerit points will not run at the same time as a separate suspension. You must serve the non-demerit suspension first. If you are already on a demerit points suspension and you receive another suspension, your demerit points one will be on hold whilst you complete the other, whereupon it will resume.
  • If someone else is driving your car and they commit a traffic offence, you must nominate them, or receive the penalty. If you happen to pay the penalty (even if it is for them), then you will receive the demerit points.
  • If you are the owner of a corporate fleet vehicle, then you must nominate the driver of the car at the time of the offence, or receive a suspension of the registration of the car for three months, plus a fine of $600.
  • If buying or selling a car, you must notify VicRoads withing fourteen days or risk incurring someone else's demerit points.
  • If you go to court over a traffic infringement fine and are found guilty, you will receive the points. If you are found not guilty, the points will not be issued.

More information on the demerit points scheme and VicRoads can be found at www.vicroads.vic.gov.au

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