Alaska Traffic Tickets and Violations
Like most states, Alaska continually verifies its drivers' records according to a points system. So it’s important to remember from the outset that an Alaska traffic ticket has implications beyond the immediate penalties. Of course, depending on the offense, those penalties can be severe enough.
If you’ve been issued an Alaska traffic ticket, you shouldn’t put off doing something about it. There’s a strict window of observance to make good on the court appearance or fine, and it’s not in your best interest to ignore it. Usually, you have about two months to make arrangements, whether you’re fighting the ticket, going to traffic school, or simply paying a fine.
Alaska Moving and Non-Moving Violations
All that said, depending on the offense, it’s not necessarily a terribly serious problem. Violations are divided into 'moving' and 'non-moving,' depending on whether your car was in motion at the time. A parking ticket is a non-moving violation, and although you may have to pay a relatively hefty fine, that will be the end of it.
Moving violations can be more serious, depending on how much damage or danger you caused. Most of these carry punishments that include points on your driving record – points that can eventually add up to license suspension. It’s a good idea to take even the first violation you make seriously by fighting it in court. This helps ward off the possibility that your license may eventually be threatened.
A good rule of thumb is that, if there are 3 or more points in the mix, engage a traffic attorney and consider your options. Remember, legally speaking, paying the fine represents a guilty plea.
Consequences of Alaska Traffic Violations
The most common moving violation is of course speeding. Fines and penalties vary by county, but you can count on points being added to your record if you break the speed limit by more than 20 mph. If it’s a first offense, you can attend traffic school to have the points removed from your record.
Alaska DUI laws are more serious. A first offense can mean 3 days in jail and a $1,500 fine, as well as a mandatory interlock mechanism to prevent you from driving without taking a breathalyzer test. Your license will also be suspended for 90 days. Subsequent offenses can end up costing you as much as $10,000 and 60 days in jail.
Points on your record – especially points related to a DUI conviction – carry with them the added burden of dramatically higher insurance rates. Policies vary, but often a first conviction can double or even triple your premiums. Traffic school can help reduce the premiums for certain violations, but usually not for a DUI.
There’s plenty of incentive to obey traffic laws, especially in the long run. You’ll need your license for a long time, and driving dangerously can jeopardize that - not to mention burn a hole in your pocket. As severe as the laws can appear, they’re based on the high risk posed to the community by reckless driving. Slowing down, staying sober, and driving safely can mean all the difference for you and everyone else on the road.
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