TRAFFIC TICKETS AND THE MISSOURI DRIVER IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
Over the last few years, more and more municipalities are making the resolution of traffic tickets by clients to first complete the Missouri Driver Improvement Program, or “DIP”.
As a careless driving traffic ticket attorney St. Peters, I am very familiar with all the workings of the various municipal courts in St. Charles County. The traditional system where prosecutors were amenable to reducing tickets to non-moving violations in exchange for a fine has been heavily scrutinized.
Most of this scrutiny has been negative and as a result changes have been made.
The Missouri Supreme Court now caps how much some municipalities in and around the St. Louis area can charge drivers for traffic ticket fines. And they also cap the percentage of revenue for a town that can come from court fines.
One effect this has had for a traffic ticket St. Charles are lower fines but prosecutors requiring some action by the driver to show improvement. More and more, we are seeing a requirement that our clients complete the Missouri Driver Improvement Program.
Sometimes we are seeing that the prosecutor allow an amendment to a non-moving violation with no points (which keeps your insurance premiums lower) after the driver shows completion of the program. And in other cases, the program must be completed before the prosecutor will even offer an amendment.
This eight (8) hour program is essentially a defense driving class with information about how to avoid a DWI charge, how to safely share the road, rights-of-way, speeding, blind spots and tailgating. It also discusses the dangers of texting and driving and other forms of distracted drivers.
It can be taken online and the cost ranges from $12 to $30 depending on the approved provider you use.
In some cases, the Missouri Driver Improvement Program is used by traffic ticket attorney near me to lessen more serious charges that may not otherwise be amended. In other words, lawyers sometimes use the availability of the program proactively to get a better outcome for their clients. Our office has used this tactic many times with consistent success.
The DIP class must not only be court approved by you must receive a passing score of 70% or better. Once completed, the proof of completion is usually forwarded to the court. You can also contact your insurance agent to find out if completing the court can ensure your insurance rates will stay the same, regardless of the outcome of your case.
Here is a link to the course: http://missourisafetycenter.com