Ticket Fines and Penalties in Kentucky
Kentucky traffic ticket fines vary by violation, but usually cost the same throughout the state. Your exact fine is printed on your traffic ticket in the box labeled “Offense(s) Cited."
If you've misplaced your ticket, check our section on replacing lost KY traffic tickets.
Like traffic ticket fines, court costs usually are the same throughout the state, though they can vary slightly depending on the offense or other circumstances. In addition to your ticket fine, your KY traffic ticket also includes your exact court costs and any other fees you must pay.
If your ticket doesn't include this information or you're confused about any part of it, contact your court.
Expect to pay additional surcharges for DUI-related violations.
- 1st Conviction: $200-$500.
- 2nd Conviction: $350-$500.
- 3rd Conviction: $500-$1,000.
- 4th Conviction: This is a Class D felony and carries a minimum prison term of 120 days.
On that note, understand these fines aren't the only penalties associated with DUI convictions. Depending on the offense, you also face jail time, license suspension, community service, and alcohol or drug program, and an ignition interlock system. For more information, visit DUI Laws in Kentucky.
Driving School Costs
Drivers who are eligible to enroll in a KY traffic school swap traffic ticket fines for traffic school costs.
Exact costs vary by school options (you can choose from online, classroom, or video/DVD courses), but expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $47.50.
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
- Pay the fine.
- Accumulate driving record points and risk license suspension or revocation.
- Pay higher auto insurance rates.
- Enroll in traffic school to avoid points and satisfy citation (if applicable).
Learn more about Paying your Traffic Ticket »
(Plead Not Guilty)
- Request a hearing.
- Prepare your case, perhaps with legal assistance.
- Give up any possibility of pleading to lesser charges and penalties.
- Pay no fees (except any applicable court costs/attorney fees) if found not guilty.
- Appeal the guilty verdict (if applicable).
Learn more about Fighting your Traffic Ticket »
Auto Insurance Rate Increase
Some auto insurance providers increase policyholders' rates for traffic violations, so until you shop for lower rates online, you might add higher car insurance premiums to your list of new costs.
In addition to fines and other surcharges and costs, your KY traffic ticket brings other penalties.
Kentucky Point System
The KY Point System assigns points based on violations; after you accumulate a certain number of points, you face a meeting with a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet representative, or license suspension (see below).
Sometimes, the court allows drivers to enroll in traffic school to either:
- Satisfy a traffic ticket and avoid accumulating related points.
- Reduce already-accumulated points.
KY Driver's License Suspension, Revocation, and Cancellation
Some violations―or repeat instances―lead to license suspension, revocation, or cancellation.
License Suspension: A license suspension is a temporary loss of driving privileges. Sometimes, suspensions require the drivers to meet certain requirements before they can get their licenses back, but this isn't standard.
License Revocation: Revocation periods typically last longer than suspension periods, and often drivers have to meet more requirements before they can get back their driving privileges.
License Cancellation: Usually, a license cancellation is the result of a parent or legal guardian withdrawing responsibility for a driver younger than 18 years old, but the KYTC and DDL can cancel a person's driver's license at their discretion.
The Kentucky Driver Manual provides a list of reasons a driver could have his license suspended or revoked.
- DUI-related offenses.
- 3 reckless driving offenses in 12 months.
- Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony.
- Operating a motor vehicle without a license.
- Leaving the scene of an accident without providing identification or rendering aid.
- Fleeing from the police.
- Not satisfying a citation, court summons, or traffic school order.
Drivers face license suspension for accumulating too many points on their driving records, too.
If a driver 18 years old or older accumulates 12 points or more within 2 years, he faces license suspension for:
- 6 months, if it's the first time.
- 1 year, if it's the second time.
- 2 years, if it's the third or a subsequent time.
Learn more about the KY Point System.
Penalties for Drivers Younger than 21 Years Old
Generally, drivers younger than 21 years old face stiffer penalties.
For example, drivers younger than 18 years old who receive traffic tickets during their permit or intermediate licensing phases must begin their 180 days of waiting all over again from the date of the violation.
Drivers younger than 21 years old who are caught driving with a BAC of .02% or higher face license suspension.
You can find more details about young drivers, their regulations, and their penalties in the Kentucky Driver Manual.
Penalties for Kentucky Commercial Drivers
Make sure you report all traffic citations to your employer (and the KYTC, in the case of out-of-state tickets) within 30 days of receiving them.
You can lose your CDL for 1 year if you:
- Operate your commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a BAC of .04% or higher, or under the influence of a controlled substance.
- Leave the scene of an accident.
- Refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test.
- Use a CMV to commit a felony.
Note that you'll lose your CDL for 3 years if you commit any of the above offenses while operating a CMV placarded for hazardous material transportation.
You'll lose your CDL driving privileges for life if you commit a second offense of any of the following:
- Leaving the scene of an accident.
- Refusing to take a blood, breath, or urine test.
- Using a CMV in the commission of a felony.
Other lifetime disqualifications include convictions for:
- Using a CMV to commit a felony that involves manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance.
- Being in possession of a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense.
Serious Traffic Offenses
If you commit:
- 2 serious offenses in 3 years, you'll lose your CDL for 60 days.
- 3 serious offenses in 3 years, you'll lose your CDL for 120 days.
KY defines serious traffic offenses as:
- Speeding 15 mph or more over the speed limit.
- Driving carelessly or recklessly.
- Changing lanes in an erratic or improper manner.
- Driving too closely behind another vehicle.
- Committing any violation that shows wanton disregard for another person's or property's safety.
For more information, check the Kentucky Commercial Driver License Manual.
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