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  • Ticket Fines and Penalties in Alabama

    AL Traffic Ticket Fines and Costs

    Alabama traffic tickets are handled on a county level, and fines vary by violation and county. For example, the fine for following too closely to another vehicle isn’t the same in every county.

    Your ticket should have the exact fine printed on it; if it doesn’t, you can contact your court.

    Can’t find your ticket? Check our section on retrieving lost traffic tickets.

    Surcharges

    Like traffic ticket fines, common surcharges such as court costs, vary by county. You can contact your court for specific costs.

    Online Payment Surcharge

    If you pay your ticket fine online via the Alabama Traffic Service Center, you’ll be charged an extra 4% convenience fee.

    DUI Surcharges

    DUI convictions do not vary by county (fees below do not include $100 fine for Impaired Drivers Trust Fund), though they do increase with offense number.

    • First Conviction: $500-$2,000.
    • Second Conviction: $1,000-$5,000.
    • Third Conviction: $2000-$10,000.
    • Fourth Conviction: $4,000-$10,000.

    NOTE: Fines are just part of the penalties associated with DUI convictions. Depending on factors like on the offense number, the court, your traffic ticket attorney, you could face additional penalties like community service, probation, imprisonment, and driver’s license suspension or revocation. Learn more in Chapter Four of Alabama Driver Manual.

    Pay Ticket

    (Plead Guilty or No Contest)

    • Pay the fine.
    • Accumulate points on your driving record (which could lead to {I{88}license suspension or revocation).
    • Pay higher auto insurance rates after your next renewal.
    • Potentially enroll in driving school to have the ticket dismissed.

    Learn more about
    Paying your Traffic Ticket »

    Fight Ticket
    (Plead Not Guilty)

    • Schedule a hearing to plead your case
    • Represent yourself or hire a traffic ticket lawyer
    • Give up any possibilities of pleading to lesser charges/penalties
    • Experience no fines/penalties if found not guilty, except for related court costs and attorney fees
    • Appeal the guilty verdict (if applicable)

    Learn more about
    Fighting your Traffic Ticket »

    Auto Insurance Rate Increase

    Another “cost” some drivers experience after receiving traffic ticket convictions is increased auto insurance rates. It’s a good idea to talk with your provider about how a guilty conviction might affect your premiums, and then start shopping for lower rates online.

    Alabama Traffic Ticket Penalties

    Traffic ticket fines and some surcharges can vary by violation and county, but penalties stay the same across the state.

    Alabama Point System

    Alabama tacks anywhere from two to six points on your driving record―per violation. If you accumulate a certain number of points with a two-year period, you face license suspension.

    Our section on the AL point system fully explains points and how they affect driving privileges, but you can find an overview below.

    AL Driver’s License Suspension, Revocation, and Cancellation

    Some traffic ticket and related violations lead to license suspension, revocation, or cancellation.

    License Suspension: When your license is suspended, it means you can’t drive for a certain period of time. Depending on the reason for the suspension, you may or may not need to meet certain requirements before you can drive again.

    License Revocation: Generally, revocations last longer than suspensions; most drivers can reapply for their licenses after the revocation period is up (and all requirements have been satisfied). They must undergo the complete examination process again.

    License Cancellation: Alabama’s Director of Public Safety can cancel the driver’s license of any person deemed not entitled to have one. Providing false information and omitting information when applying for a license are also grounds for cancellation.

    You can find all the reasons a driver can lose his license to cancellation, revocation, or suspension in Chapter Two of Alabama Driver Manual.

    For now, note that the following violations can mean losing your driving privileges:

    • Fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer.
    • Racing on the highways.
    • Failure to answer traffic court summons or pay fine on time.
    • Committing a felony with a motor vehicle.
    • Committing manslaughter or homicide with a motor vehicle.
    • Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle belonging to someone else.
    • DUI-related offenses.

    Accumulating too many points within a period of 2 years can also lead to license suspension, the time period of which depends on the number of points:

    • 12-14 points: 60 days.
    • 15-17 points: 90 days.
    • 18-20 points: 120 days.
    • 21-23 points: 180 days
    • 24 points or more: 365 days.

    NOTE: Drivers in the GDL program face license suspension if they accumulate 4 points or more.

    Penalties for GDL Drivers

    Overall, drivers who violate any of the GDL restrictions (such as having too many passengers) receive traffic violations, but don’t have to deal with actual citations, points, court costs, or criminal charges unless they were stopped because of a separate violation (such as speeding).

    Any GDL driver convicted of a second violation, or any of the following traffic offenses unrelated to the GDL restrictions, faces a license suspension of 60 days:

    • Failure to provide information.
    • Failure to render aid.
    • Racing.
    • Fleeing or attempting to elude an officer.
    • Reckless driving.
    • Passing illegally.
    • Driving on the wrong side of the road.

    The GDL Summary, located after Chapter Nine of the Alabama Driver Manual, fully explains GDL restrictions and penalties, and what GDL drivers can expect when they commit other traffic offenses.

    Penalties for Drivers Younger than 21 Years Old

    Drivers younger than 21 years old don’t have any GDL-related restrictions, nor are they subject to the same kinds of penalties as GDL drives; however, any driver younger than 21 years old caught driving with a BAC of .02% is subject to the stiff penalties and high fines outlined above and in Chapter Four of the Alabama Driver Manual. (This is in contrast to the .08% BAC of drivers 21 and older.)

    Penalties for Alabama Commercial Drivers

    Notify your employer within 30 days of receiving a traffic ticket; if it’s an out-of-state ticket, notify the DPS before those 30 days are up, too.

    Disqualifications

    CDL holders face disqualification, resulting in a one-year suspension, if they:

    • Drive under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
    • Refuse to take an alcohol test.
    • Operate a CMV with a BAC of .04% or higher.
    • Commit a felony with your CMV.
    • Leave an accident scene.
    • Operate a CMV with a cancelled, suspended, revoked, or disqualified CDL.

    Note that you’ll lose your CDL:

    • For 3 years if you commit any of these offenses while operating a CMV placarded for transporting hazardous materials.
    • For life, if you commit a felony involving a controlled substance using your CMV.

    Second Offenses

    You’ll lose your CDL for life if you commit any of the above offenses a second time.

    Serious Traffic Offenses

    Your CDL faces disqualification for:

    • 60 days if you commit 2 serious offenses during a period of 3 years.
    • 120 days if you commit 3 serious offenses during a period of 3 years.

    Serious traffic offenses include but are not limited to:

    • Excessive speeding, or speeding 15 miles over the posted speed limit.
    • Reckless driving.
    • Erratically or improperly changing lanes.
    • Following another vehicle too closely.
    • Any violation connected to a fatal accident.
    • Operating a CMV without obtaining a CDL, without having a valid CDL on hand, or without having a CDL that meets class and endorsement requirements.

    Additional Offenses

    Additional offenses that can get your CDL disqualified include offenses such as violating out-of-service orders (driver or vehicle) and committing a railroad-highway grade crossing violation.

    Important Note:

    Please understand these lists are just summaries of disqualifications and penalties. For more complete information, please refer to Section One of the Alabama Commercial Driver License Manual.