Along with your Arizona driver license comes the obligation to drive responsibly. “Driver Improvement” refers to the process of identifying those who are not driving responsibly and either correcting their behavior or removing their privilege to drive in Arizona.
Revocation is the removal of your privilege to drive. It is required by law, upon conviction of certain driving offenses. Once your revocation period has ended, your driving privilege will remain revoked until an investigation is completed. The investigation is to determine that all withdrawal actions have ended, and that all statutory requirements are met. You will be required to pay the appropriate application fee and a $20 reinstatement fee, and you may be required to file a Certificate of Insurance (commonly known as an SR-22). A written, vision and road test may be required.
Your driving privilege will be revoked for:
Your driving privilege will be revoked for two or more convictions for:
- Driving a vehicle under the influence of any drug
- Any homicide or aggravated assault involving use of a vehicle
- Any felony in which a vehicle is used
- Perjury or making false statement to MVD under oath
- Perjury relating to the ownership or operation of a vehicle
- Failure to stop and render aid at the site, if you are involved in a traffic accident
- Drive-by shooting
- Aggravated DUI (Driving while Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs)
In addition, your driving privilege may be revoked for:
- Reckless driving
- Racing on the highways
- Failure to take and pass a required driving retest
- If you are determined to be medically, psychologically or physically incapable of operating a motor vehicle
- Revoked for 3 years if involving injury other than death or serious physical injury
- If continued operation of a motor vehicle would endanger the public health, safety and welfare.
Suspension and Traffic School
Suspension is the temporary removal of your driving privilege. It is an action that may be taken after a review of your driving record. The suspension remains in effect until application for reinstatement is made. In addition to the reinstatement fee, you must pay the appropriate license application fee for your age group.
Each time you are convicted or forfeit bail for a moving traffic violation, points are assessed against your permanent driving record. If you accumulate 8 or more points in any 12-month period, you may be required to attend Traffic Survival School (TSS), or your driving privilege may be suspended up to 12 months. All convictions for red-light/stop-sign running, aggressive driving, moving violations resulting in death or serious injury, and the first moving violation for drivers under 18 years of age require successful completion of Traffic Survival School following assignment. Failure to successfully complete Traffic Survival School when ordered will result in the suspension of the person’s driving privilege.
Traffic Survival Schools, not to be confused with Defensive Driving Schools administered through the Arizona Supreme Court, are designed to reach individuals who have exhibited a disregard for traffic laws and the safety of others. The TSS Program attempts to modify the behavior of these drivers by teaching them how to avoid adverse traffic situations by increasing their knowledge of Arizona traffic laws, defining their responsibilities while driving, and most importantly, improving their attitude toward safe driving. These schools train and assist errant drivers in the proper attitude and techniques in the operation of motor vehicles and strengthen their knowledge of state motor vehicle laws.
As a result of poor driving behavior, courts frequently order juveniles to attend the course in order to help establish a lifetime of safe driving habits. Additionally, courts may refer traffic violators to a Traffic Survival School as a condition of sentencing.
Points are assessed as follows:
|Leaving the scene of accident, hit-and-run||6|
|Failure to stop for a traffic signal, stop sign or to yield the right-of-way, causing death||6|
|Failure to stop for a traffic signal, stop sign or to yield the right-of-way, causing serious injury||4|
|Driving over or parking in a gore area||3|
|All other moving violations||2|
MVD may suspend or revoke your driving privilege if you:
- Have been convicted of frequent, serious offenses which show disrespect for traffic laws and a disregard for the safety of others
- Have been convicted of reckless driving or are a repeat reckless or negligent driver
- Are medically unsafe to drive a motor vehicle
- Have committed or permitted an unlawful or fraudulent use of your driver license
- Have been convicted of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or toxic vapors
- Have been arrested for refusal to take or successfully complete a chemical test (alcohol/drug content). The penalty for refusal or unsuccessful completion is a 12-month suspension of your driver license, or 2 years for a second or subsequent refusal within an 84-month period.
- Are under 21 and have been convicted of receiving, consuming or possessing alcohol
- Are under 21 and have been convicted of any illegal drug violation
- Have an unresolved judgment from another state
- Have committed an offense for which mandatory revocation of the driving privilege is required upon conviction
Following the suspension or revocation period of your license, you must pay the appropriate application fee to reinstate your license. In addition, you may be subject to an investigation and you may be required to file an SR-22 Certificate of Insurance.
Driving On A Suspended Or Revoked License
If you are cited for driving on a revoked or suspended license your vehicle may be impounded by the law enforcement agency for up to 30 days.
Failure To Appear or Pay Fine For Traffic Citation
Your driver license will not be issued or renewed if MVD has been notified that you have not appeared in court for a traffic violation charge. When you are cited for a traffic violation, your signature on the citation is a promise to appear in traffic court. If you fail to appear in court, or fail to pay a fine, the court may direct MVD to suspend your driving privilege. When you have satisfied the court, you may take the court documents to any driver license office to apply for reinstatement of your driving privilege.
If you are under 18, your driving privilege may be suspended for failure to appear in court, pay a fine or failure to comply with any court order.
Altered or Fictitious License
It is unlawful to display any license that you know is canceled, revoked, suspended, fictitious or altered. It is also illegal to alter a license or obtain a false driver license. These actions will result in your driving privilege being suspended; you are also subject to possible fines and/or a jail sentence.
If you are under 18, it is unlawful to use false identification to cause a person to sell, serve, give or furnish a nitrous oxide container. These actions will result in your driving privilege being suspended; you are also subject to possible fines and/or a jail sentence. Nitrous oxide is commonly known as laughing gas and has a variety of uses, including as an anesthetic by doctors and dentists. It can also be addictive and long-term use may cause severe medical problems or death.
The suspension penalties are:
- First offense – Your driving privilege will be suspended for 6 months
- Second and subsequent offenses – Your driving privilege will be suspended for 12 months.
Driving Under The Influence
It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drugs to drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle. There are many conditions that can affect your ability to drive even after one drink; for example, body weight, emotional state or physical condition. The best rule to follow is still: If you drink, do not drive.
When you apply for and accept the privilege to drive a vehicle in Arizona, you give consent to test for blood alcohol concentration or drug content (BADC) if you are arrested for driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs (DUI). This is known as the Implied Consent Law.
When a law enforcement officer has reason to believe you have been driving while under the influence, the officer will request that you submit to a BADC test of your blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance to measure the amount of alcohol or drugs present in your bloodstream.
If you are stopped for driving under the influence and a test shows that you have an alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more (0.04 in a commercial vehicle requiring a commercial driver license), or if a blood alcohol or drug test result is not available, you will lose your driving privilege on the spot. In addition you will be required to complete alcohol or drug screening before you can obtain a restricted permit or reinstate your driving privilege.
It should be understood that you may be found guilty of driving while intoxicated or while under the influence of any drug or its metabolite even though the blood alcohol concentration was less than 0.08 percent. If you are under 21, your license may be suspended if there is any alcohol concentration.
If you refuse to submit to or do not successfully complete any tests when you are arrested for driving under the influence, you will automatically lose your driving privilege for 12 months or 24 months for a second refusal within 84 months. In addition you will be required to complete alcohol or drug screening before you can obtain a restricted permit or reinstate your driving privilege.
In addition to any criminal penalties imposed by the court for a second or third offense DUI violation, your driving privilege will be automatically revoked.
- First offense – You will be jailed for not less than 10 consecutive days and fined not less than $1,250. You will also be required to undergo alcohol screening/education/treatment and to equip any vehicle you operate with a certified ignition interlock device, and be ordered to perform community service.
- Second and subsequent offenses – You will be jailed for not less than 90 days and fined not less than $3,000 and your license will be revoked for 12 months. You will also be required to undergo alcohol screening/education/treatment and to equip any vehicle you operate with a certified ignition interlock device, and be ordered to perform community service.
This category of DUI applies to a person with an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher.
- First offense – You will be jailed for not less than 30 consecutive days with no eligibility for probation or suspended sentence and fined not less than $2,500. You will also be required to undergo alcohol screening/education/treatment and be ordered to perform community service and to equip any vehicle you operate with a certified ignition interlock device.
- Second and subsequent offenses – You will be jailed for not less than 120 days, fined not less than $3,250 and your license will be revoked for 12 months. You will also be required to undergo alcohol screening/education/treatment and to equip any vehicle you operate with a certified ignition interlock device, and be ordered to perform community service.
This category of DUI applies to a person who commits a DUI while suspended, revoked or canceled; commits a third DUI in 84 months; commits a DUI while a person under 15 is in the vehicle; or commits a DUI or refuses to submit a blood alcohol content test while under an ignition interlock device requirement.
You will be sent to prison for not more than 2 years and, in addition to any other penalty required by law, your license will be revoked for 3 years. You will also be required to undergo alcohol screening/education/treatment and to equip any vehicle you operate with a certified ignition interlock device, and be ordered to perform community service.
Certified Ignition Interlock Device
A certified ignition interlock device is a breath alcohol testing instrument connected to the ignition and power system of the vehicle. The driver blows into the device before attempting to turn the ignition. If the driver’s alcohol level is above a certain level, the vehicle will not start. While the vehicle is operating, the driver must blow into the device at random intervals.
Here is a listing of the authorized Certified Ignition Interlock Installers.
Additional information is provided on the Ignition Interlock page.
You may be cited for aggressive driving if you commit a series of acts during a single, continuous period of driving that presents an immediate hazard to another person or vehicle, exceed the posted speed limit and commit two of the following violations.
- Failure to obey traffic control signs or signals
- Passing another vehicle on the right side
- Unsafe lane change
- Following too close
- Failure to yield to emergency vehicles
The penalties for Aggressive Driving are:
- First offense – You will be required to attend a Traffic Survival School course and your license may be suspended for 30 days.
- Second and subsequent offenses – If you commit a second offense within 24 months, you are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and your license will be revoked for 12 months.
If you run a red light and cause an accident that results in life-threatening injuries to another driver or passenger, you may be fined up to $500 and your driving privilege may be suspended for 3 months. Additionally, you may be ordered to perform community service.
If you cause an accident that results in the death to another driver or passenger you may be fined of up to $1,000 and your driving privilege may be suspended for 6 months. Additionally, you may be ordered to perform community service.
Anytime you run a red light (or flashing red light) you must attend traffic survival school. If you fail to attend, your driving privilege will be suspended until the class is completed.
Failure To Stop At Accident
If you are a driver involved in an accident where there is damage to a vehicle, injury or death, you are required by law to stop your vehicle at the scene of the accident, or as close as possible and immediately return to the scene. You must remain at the scene to:
- Provide aid to any injured person, including making arrangements for medical treatment
- Provide your name, address and license plate number
- If requested, show your driver license to any person involved.
Conviction for failure to comply will result in your driving privilege being:
- Revoked for 10 years (not including the time you are incarcerated), if involving death
- Revoked for 5 years (not including the time you are incarcerated), if involving serious physical injury
- Revoked for 3 years if involving injury other than death or serious physical injury
- Suspended for 1 year if involving only damage to a vehicle.
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