Alabama Speeding Laws

Basic Speed Rule:  No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards than existing.  AL § 32-5A-170

Penalty for Exceeding Speed Limit

A first time violator may be:

  • fined not more than $100, and
  • sentenced to jail time of not more than 10 days, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended not more than one year.

Penalty for Reckless Driving

A first time violator may be:

  • fined between $25 and $500,
  • sentenced to jail time of not more than 90 days, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended not more than six months.

Speed Limits

  • 30 MPH in any urban district
  • 35 MPH on any unpaved road
  • 45 MPH on any county-maintained paved road in an unincorporated
  • 55 MPH on highways (except interstate highways or highways with 4 or more lanes)
  • 70 MPH on interstate highways
  • 65 MPH on a highway with 4 or more lanes
  • 55 MPH for vehicles carrying explosives, flammable liquids or hazardous wastes except as authorized by the governor 

Alabama Speed Limit Law

Alabama has what is known as an “absolute” speed limit law. There is no trick to how this works: If the sign says 40 mph and you drive 41 mph or more, you have violated the law. In other words, you are guilty if you drive over the speed limit. In Alabama you may be able to make three possible defenses:

  • Attacking the officer’s determination of your speed. To do this you must discover what method the officer used to cite you and then learn about the ways to attack that particular method.
  • Claiming an emergency forced you to exceed the speed limit to avoid serious damage or injury to yourself or others.
  • Claiming that the officer mistook your car for another car. With so many similar-looking cars, it is possible that a cop could see a speeding car, lose sight of it around a corner, and then wrongly pick out your car farther down the road.

Note that in Alabama you can be ticketed for driving at an unsafe speed, even if that speed does not violate the posted limit -- for example, driving exactly at the maximum mph posted limit on the freeway amidst slower and heavy traffic, in a dense fog, or in a driving rainstorm or blizzard.

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