The Washington Post reports on how the vast differences in reckless driving laws between Virginia and DC can result in drivers with DC licenses getting a 6 month license suspension for a single incident of driving 10mph over the speed limit.
According to the story, the DC DMV will automatically suspend your driver’s license for 6 months if you get a reckless driving conviction in Virginia. And it is incredibly easy for this to happen, since Virginia’s reckless driving laws include reckless by speed, which is a citation for driving 20mph over the posted speed limit, or 80mph on any highway, even those where the posted speed limit is 70mph.
The discrepancy is that the DC reckless driving statutes are much stricter and apply to much more serious circumstances than a minor speeding incident. The DC statute reads “carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of others”. For that charge, you face a full 12 points on your DC license, which is enough to earn you the 6 months license suspension on it’s own, even if your driving record is absolutely perfect. The Virginia DMV hits you with 6 point on your driver’s license, which is not enough to result in a suspension on it’s own.
The bottom line is that, if you have a DC driver’s license, it is crazy not to fight a reckless driving charge if you are pulled over in Virginia, because you are looking at an automatic 6 month suspension.