The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) has announced plans to step up its enforcement of the automobile liability insurance law beginning in November. According to the Decatur Daily, drivers without insurance will face stricter fines and penalties.
12.9 percent of Alabama drivers are uninsured, according to the Alabama Department of Revenue. Motorists are required by the Mandatory Liability Insurance law passed in 2016 to have liability insurance that includes at least $100,000 in coverage. “There has been a grace period in enforcing that law to give motorists some time to obtain the proper insurance coverage,” ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said.
The law says that no one can register, maintain, or operate an automobile unless it is covered by a liability insurance policy. A form of the law was passed in 2011 but amended last year. Before the 2011 law was passed, Alabama had the sixth-highest percentage of uninsured motorists at 22 percent. That percentage has been cut in half since.
Taylor said that those involved in a car accident or traffic stop could be written a citation, or face a civil penalty later, for not holding the proper insurance. Drivers without insurance could face a $200 penalty for their first offense, $300 for the second, and $400 for subsequent offenses.
“When involved in a traffic incident (traffic stop or crash), some drivers have been known to present what appear to be valid insurance cards. When checked, however, it turns out the drivers had let the liability insurance lapse,” ALEA Chief Public Information Officer Robyn Bryan said.
Those who fail to pay the penalty within 45 days could have their license suspended for 90 days.