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Alabama Traffic Ticket Fines and Penalties
If you've found yourself on the receiving end of an Alabama traffic ticket fine, you know that the state is serious about regulating its drivers' behavior. Fortunately, a little knowledge goes a long way in dealing with the fallout of a ticket - and it goes even further in preventing you from getting one.
Fines vary from county to county, allowing for different income strata and other factors that influence the effective policing of traffic laws. As a general rule, fines tend to be higher in more affluent neighborhoods and cheaper in poorer ones. That way, the fine is more useful as a deterrent, and not simply an irritant or a drain.
If you'd like to pay your traffic ticket online, there's a 4% surcharge. It's much more convenient, but the added expense is of course up to you.
The state of Alabama is particularly aggressive about punishing repeat offenders to its traffic laws. Even if it's your first offense, it can be useful to fight it in court so that tickets won't accrue on your record. Fines and penalties will be much more severe the second time than the first.
The most direct of Alabama's traffic ticket penalties is the points system. Every violation will mean points on your driving record. As they accumulate, you'll face more serious consequences, right up to license suspension or revocation.
Even a couple of points on your record can mean sharp increases in your car insurance premiums, so consider a defensive driving course to clear them away. It's not going to work every time though. If you keep committing infractions, the points will stay for good.
Alabama traffic ticket fines are never steeper than when a DUI is involved. A first conviction can mean a surcharge of up to $2,100. A third or fourth conviction could cost you a cool $10,000 - over and above all other penalties.
Points add up. Eventually, you hit the end of the line, and your license gets suspended. Here's the breakdown:
- 12-14 points in 2 years: 2 month suspension
- 15-17 points in 2 years: 3 month suspension
- 18-20 points in 2 years: 4 month suspension
- 21-23 points in 2 years: 6 month suspension
- 24 points in 2 years: 1 year suspension
If the violations continue, the state will simply cancel your license. In the meantime, your insurance premiums will rocket. So there's plenty of incentive to drive safely and obey the law.