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5 Most Expensive Traffic Violations

Ashley Kane

You know you’re not supposed to drive over the speed limit or drive without a license but you might not have known how much those traffic violations can cost you. While all states have different penalties, take a look at the most expensive fines. We might just change your mind about running that red light.   


You probably could’ve guessed this one. A DUI/DWI is an offense that’s not taken lightly under any circumstances. Most states have strict penalties for anyone driving under the influence, but the state that comes out on top is Arizona. If you’re found guilty of driving intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, expect to lose your license for 12 months. You will also face a minimum of $1,250 in fines, at least 10 days of jail time, and be required to install an ignition interlock device that works as a Breathalyzer. Don’t forget about community service time or additional alcohol education courses and screenings. The DUI will remain relevant for 7 years. 

    More: Car insurance after a DUI

Reckless Driving

Driving irresponsibly puts other drivers on the road at unfair and hazardous risk. As a result, there are expensive fines in just about every state. In Washington the offense will leave you with a fine up to $5,000 and up to 364 days imprisonment. Typically, any speeding over the acceptable limit can be grounds for a reckless driving citation. 

Driving Without a License

Driving without proper identification can lead to some serious repercussions. If you’re driving with a recently expired license, you may get a break with a lower fine but states like Nevada and New Hampshire may charge you up to $1,000 for an improper driver’s license. Expect suspensions or revocations to increase by a year or more. 


Pushing the gas pedal above the regulated limit isn’t always wise, even on spacious highways. If you’re caught over the legal speed in Georgia, Illinois, Oregon, Nevada, or Virginia, you may be hit with a $1,000 fine. All of this is up to a judge’s discretion, but it may seem harsh for first-offense speeders. Typically, the amount of miles above the regulated limit are taken into account as well as where the location where the offense occurred. 

    More: How much does insurance go up after a speeding ticket?

Running a Red Light

It’s just a red light, right? Well, maybe or maybe not. Many drivers take the risk frequently by speeding through a “yellow” traffic signal just as it turns to red. But what’s the cost? The fines for such an offense may depend on the state you’re driving in but fines in California can range up to $480. That’s a steep price to pay for making it to your destination a minute or two faster.

Driving mistakes happen every once in a while. Yet after seeing this list of expensive fines, you’ll likely want to avoid such costly violations. The bottom line is that these expenses are not just a one-time cost. Many traffic violations are surchargeable, resulting in more expensive car insurance. With offenses like these, your premium will jump up for an indeterminate amount of time.  Driving safe is the optimal, and easiest, way to keep your auto insurance rates low.