Driver Responsibility Assessment Fees for DUI Convictions & Point Accumulation
Written By: Benjamin Goldman, Esq.
Depending on the nature of your conviction, you might have been ordered by a Court to pay a ‘Driver Responsibility Assessment” fee. Most motorists are so relieved to get out of the building that they don’t ask what this fee is, or where they can pay it. Below is a breakdown of the purpose of the fee, how it can be paid and what the approximate ranges are.
The Driver Responsibility Assessment fee is imposed in two circumstances: a conviction for certain traffic offenses, or the accumulation of 6 or more points on your driving record within 18 months. It is payable to the DMV for three years and is separate from the penalties and fines you have to pay to the Court. The rationale behind this is that the DMV monitors “problem” drivers and wants to treat them accordingly. The first circumstance imposes the fee for the following offenses, even if they are first time offenses.
1. Alcohol and/ or drug related conviction to a traffic offense while operating a motor vehicle, boat or snowmobile.
2. Refusal to submit to a chemical test.
The second circumstance is more of a catch all, and focuses on the accumulation of points in the last year and a half. It does not matter when these points were accumulated or the gap of time between instances. In fact, there are many cases where a driver will accumulate 6 or more points on the same day. The DRA fee is imposed just the same.
The amount of the fee itself does vary. For example, conviction of an alcohol or drug related driving infraction and refusal to submit to a chemical test leads to a yearly fee of $250, resulting in $750 at the end of the three years. However, accumulation of 6 or more points within 18 months carries a yearly fee of $100, resulting in $300 total. That being said, more money can be assessed against you depending on how many points are on your record. Similarly, subsequent convictions will lead to higher rates. Failure to make these payments will result in suspension of your license.